I’m a big fan of Arthur Brooks. I have seen him speak, I have read his columns, I have listened to his podcast episodes, and I have written about him here.
Brooks had a podcast called How to Build a Happy Life and on the first episode, “Manage Your Feelings, So They Don’t Manage You,” Brooks interviewed Dan Harris, former ABC News anchor, meditation expert, and founder of Ten Percent Happier.
I was able to relate right away to the messages delivered by both Harris and Brooks.
Harris said the Buddha talked about anger having a honeyed tip and a poisoned root – meaning, sometimes it feels good to vent (the honeyed tip), but it almost never feels good after (the poisoned root).
That’s been my experience nearly every time I’ve vented. Put another way, if it has felt good for me to vent, it has never been a lasting feeling. I’m so much happier when I just let it go, as I have written about several times, including here.
When I complain about things, my wife who is a Life Coach, wisely asks me, “How is that going to help you?”
Brooks shared another saying from the Buddha: Expressing anger is like picking up a hot coal and throwing it at another person. Who gets burned? The other person perhaps – but definitely you.
For the next 21 days, try to catch yourself getting angry. Before you explode at someone, or even before just venting, see if you can let it go. If you can, you’ll be happy with the results.