The Daily Stoic for February the 10th. “Anger is a bad fuel”.
“There is no more stupefying thing than anger, nothing more bent on its own strength. If successful, none more arrogant, if foiled, none more insane—since it’s not driven back by weariness even in defeat, when fortune removes its adversary it turns its teeth on itself.”
—SENECA, ON ANGER, 3.1.5
Today is one of those working Sundays. Most freelancers and entrepreneurs have them. Next week I will be traveling to Budapest to enjoy some rest time. Thus, I was in a hurry to finish some stuff today.
I had not been able to publish yesterday’s stoic precisely because of work, so I was working as fast as I could to be able to write something later.
All of a sudden, I had one of these situations when the computer started to mess up with me, the battery was about to drain, and I needed to get the power adapter as soon as possible.
In the haste to get up and pick up the adapter, I dropped my phone.
Immediately, I felt the rush of anger. I was about to start swearing. Then I stopped right there, and decided that getting angry was not going to take me anywhere. I took a deep breath, picked up the phone, connected the power adapter, and kept on working.
Anger Is A Bad Fuel
That’s been one of the very first times of my life when I’ve acted in a consciously stoic way. And I’m glad I did. The situation won’t have improved a bit by yelling at the iPhone on the ground while the battery of my MacBook was dying, making me lose all my work.
Some people affirm that anger can propel change or good actions. I doubt it. Anger as a first impulse can make you react to an unfair situation, but it will also lead you to hate, as soon as you aim that anger towards something else.
“Hate is too great a burden to bear”
— Martin Luther King Jr, 1967.
So yes, we need to fight inequality, and stand up against injustice. But not from the point of view of anger or hate. And for our small daily missteps, it’s definitely better to stay away from it.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Anger is a bad fuel”, discusses how anger, even though commonly mentioned as a powerful motivational force, it’s actually destructive.
In my mind, there’s always a better way to react to things that with anger. You can very easily focus that anger in something or someone else, and turn it into hate.