I used to have rage – lots of it. I grew up in a small hockey town where dropping the gloves in any situation was common place. It was also respected. I used to get mad at the drop of a hat. And as Napoleon Hill says, ‘if the other fella wouldn’t drop the hat I’d knock it off and then get mad’.
I carried this mentality throughout a good portion of my life. There were many incidents of alcohol fueled stupidity in various bars and gatherings. My barometer for measuring this untethered rage was best demonstrated while driving in big city traffic. The mere sound of a horn honking made my blood boil. On many occasions I ran out of my car like a madman when I felt someone was messing with my piece of the road.
Fast forward to today – I no longer act like a maniac on the road. In fact, I coach others when driving to remain calm and be patient. While I do remain Zen during times of conflict, it is not an automatic thing that happened overnight. My chimp DNA and reptilian brain still urges me to go off the handle when confronted. I’m now aware of my thoughts and my physical heart rate during any conflict and am pleased when it does not fluctuate in the least.
I feel healthier, happier, and much wiser for evolving. I attract better things and people into my experience. When you are in the state of acceptance versus a state of resistance, anything is possible.
I’m not standing on a soapbox and pretending that I’m enlightened and that the journey is over. It’s just begun. But it took dozens of books and a decade meditation and deep awareness to get me to this point. It also took years of Muay Thai and Boxing to channel this negative energy into something positive. The transformation is quite remarkable and I am proud of it. I remain focused and look forward to the next decade of conscious evolution.
Neuroscientists have recently discovered that our brains are plastic. Neuroplasticity essentially means that we can rewire our brains to change our behaviour by changing our thoughts. It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks! There is no excuse at any age to not be at our best.
We have control over only one thing in life and that is our attitude. Choose a positive mental attitude and direct your thoughts to ends that you desire.
Wave and smile at the next lunatic that gives you the finger in traffic and be authentic. You never know, it may just defuse the situation. It could also send the poor little chimp into a rage which could provide some comic relief on the long drive home.
“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.” Gandhi
By: Brian Coones