I’m Mad as Hell, and

Angry Tiger
Anger Can be a Motivator

Using Anger as  a Motivator

We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what motivates us:

1.  How big is your dream?
2. You’ve got to know your why!
3. What have you got to gain?
4.  Think about how good you’re going to feel and what you can do with the money!
5.  How can you help?

And having a passion to help someone can be effective, but we overlook a huge motivator that — in truth — is responsible for a LOT of progress and is much harder to stop, and that’s good ole ANGER! I have to tell you, ANGER can be scary!  When I was a younger man I got angry and at times it scared me, but that’s because it was immature, unfocused and essentially without purpose.  Anger, when properly harnessed and redirected, is a tremendous motivator!  Have you ever had someone tell you, “YOU CAN’T DO THAT!” and you came back with, “I’ll show you!”

Several years ago when coming through the ranks of the Professional Photographers Society, I had some things I needed to accomplish, but ONE OBSTACLE (person) seemed to be sabotaging everything I tried to do.  And one day I just got fed up! I got angry!  When I’m angry, I write, so I wrote a blog post and the jist of it was this:  “When faced with an obstacle there are three things you can do with it.  You can 1) go around it, 2) climb over it or 3) blow it to smithereens and drive leisurely through the space where the obstacle used to be!”

There were several reasons why I couldn’t post that article, but instead I harnessed the energy of that emotion. The Law of Attraction works on intense emotion! Joy is emotion, but so is intense anger; and both emotions will activate the law of attraction, and — IMHO — anger is a much stronger emotion than joy.  We normally associate anger with negativity — and it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be if the energy is channeled positively.  I mean the same fire that unbridled can destroy homes and forests, when contained and directed can power huge steam plants to create electricity, heat huge complexes and other things.  Fire isn’t inherently bad, and neither is anger if it’s channeled properly.

1.  Anger is not RAGE! It must be contained and focused.  My anger was focused on finding solutions to my problem; finding ways to get around or circumvent my obstacle! There HAD to be a solution and i was going to find it. When I asked the right question — how can I get around this — a number of answers presented themselves very quickly.

2. Anger must fuel determination.  “ I will NOT be denied!” When the answers were presented, I chose one and worked that plan. The anger was used to fuel my “why” and keep enough intensity involved.  Getting angry because someone said you couldn’t do something when you know you can, forces you to act with intensity rather than whence in pain and retreat.

3. Make sure the target is clear!  I was angry at a specific person, at a specific set of actions and results. My efforts were to neutralize their interference with my goals in a non-volatile way, and I found an ingenious way to make that happen. When executing my plan, I was not raging — I was calm, articulate, focused but intense and my mind was crystal clear about the result I was after.  The anger kept the ENERGY up that I needed to succeed. Many times we don’t succeed because we run out of energy. When you’re angry the energy is constantly regenerated.

4. When the job is done… let the anger go. Breathe. Celebrate your accomplishment; do a snoopy dance, write an “I told you so letter” or whatever your ritual is to end the batter. You CANT stay angry forever. The purpose of the anger is not hatred, it’s energy, intensity. You can be very intense without being angry… but sometimes there is not substitute for anger, like sometimes there’s no substitute for fire.  And anger — like fire — can also have a cleansing effect.

Keep the metaphor! There’s fire in the furnace, you’re fueling the engine, and when you don’t need the fuel anymore… let the fire die… and celebrate your wins.  Channeling your anger into a positive purpose is a matter of mindset, and when you master your mindset… you’ll master your life.

Give me your thoughts in the comments and…

Have an awesome day!

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photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

Kelvin Ringold

Born to John and Lora Ringold on October 24, 1953, grew up, went to school, graduated high school and joined the Air Force -- turned 18 in basic training. Did 20 years in the Air Force and retired in 1991. Moved to Syracuse, worked at University Hospital and retired from there at 55. During that 55 years... I learned some lessons, one of which is that LIFE is what we make it. I spend a major portion of my waking hours helping other people figure out the same thing. Life is what we make of it, and... "when you master your mindset, you master your life." That's my mission: living it, and teaching it.

8 Comments

  • I’ve never used anger as a motivator. It zaps my energy.

    Competition, now that’s a different story. I’ve used my competitive gene numerous times both professionally and personally.

    Anger doesn’t serve me well. It means I’m playing into the other person’s hands or emotions. I lack direction, focus, and I’m not being me.

    When I’m competing, I have a clear head, focused on the goal line, and in control.

    • Thanks Steve! I appreciate your input. I know how you feel about zapping your energy, and I used to feel like that too until I had a couple of situations where I had to refocus and channel that emotion. Perhaps what I did was transform it into that competitive spirit you mentioned, and perhaps that’s what gave me the resulting clarity and resolve. I like that as a metaphor. I agree that pure unbridled anger is destructive and unproductive but transforming it into a competitive mindset would be very effective. Thank you for that!

  • You’re absolutely right Mr K. Anger is scary! It’s scary to be on the other side when someone is angry, and it’s scary to feel ‘out of control’ angry. The ‘mad as hell but still in control’ anger is, however, healthy because, as you say, it can drive us. The key is to use the power behind it to move us forward but to avoid the red mist which stops us choosing a great direction for that forward momentum. This is where I’m a great believer in ‘respond’ rather than ‘react’. Recognise the anger for what it is, feel the power behind it, and allow yourself time before you respond… just as you so articulately described your neutralisation process – great blog!

    • Sarah! Thank you for your input. I have been on both sides of the rage which is uncontrolled and generally unproductive in the long run. It took determination to learn to control and redirect it for a positive outcome. That mindset shift in itself is life changing. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Good post Mr. Ringold. Personally I might have posted the article anyway but I’m like that; I’d have removed names to protect the innocent however. lol

    Still, anger can help us focus on solutions sometimes, even if it’s only to prove someone else wrong by showing everyone the right way, or the way something can and should work. I’ve had occasion to do that and it’s amazing how much better one can feel after letting it all go. Well, kind of let it all go; I still remember them all as a reminder to not let those types of things occur again if possible.

    • They always come back! It’s a rhythm of life, I think. Things recycle so we can remember the lessons. But the confidence that comes from the doing and now “knowing” we can do it again… that’s the real gift — unless, of course, you just celebrate with chocolate. LOL

    • I don’t think anything has ever come out of proving someone else wrong.

      • Thanks Steve. I’ve had a different experience with that also. In my experience it depends on the spin you put on it, and you can spin it to the competition mindset you mentioned above. Someone says you don’t have the skills or ability to do something or be something you want to do or become… and you succeed at doing or becoming that. Game, set, match. No? Thanks for weighing in my friend! Lunch soon :-)

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