It’s Day 3 of the #ABDADA #OwnYourShit 2-week self study.

Yesterday you wrote down your ambiguity in conversations to monitor for the future.  Being ambiguous with others leads to lower respect as they’re subconsciously aware that you can’t make a polarizing decision.  Leaders make decisions, followers put them off.

Today it’ about anger and options.  A successful man has contingencies for all of his goals.  If he wants to go to the store to buy chicken but they’re out, he’s got plans for pork, or turkey, or lean beef.  If he made plans with a woman to meet up later and she flakes, he’s got backup plans in hand.

Anger comes from having no options

When we get angry, it’s because we can’t leave a situation without penalty.  Either we have nothing else to do, or we’re trapped in that particular direction.  We get angry.  Angry at our bosses, angry at our wife or girlfriend, angry at ourselves — we’re trapped.  The anger is a direct signal that we failed to have a contingency plan, a backup.

Paying attention to your anger is important, because it feeds the signal we need to look and see what we did that didn’t allow us an exit strategy to put our time to better use for our own selfish purposes.

Today’s notebook entry

Take your notebook and pen and jot down “Options/No Options” at the top.  Today you will pay attention to your own emotions and no one else’s.  When you feel anger, jot down on the “no options” side what you were doing — note that you’re angry at not having a strategy.  If you feel happy or successful or did a great job, write down on the “options” side what you did and if you had options (or if what you did was a backup option).

Again, we’re not making any changes, we’re just paying attention to our own behaviors, addictions, and areas of concern.

If you notice someone else showing anger or happiness, don’t write anything down, but give yourself a moment to consider: does this person have options in his action here, or was he trapped?

Anger at what others do

The best anger is one where we can obviously see our lack of backup plans lead to our negative feelings.  This is the best anger because in the long run, we can fix that.

The hardest anger to deal with is when someone else does something against our best selfish interests.  It can be anger at your kids, or anger at what happened with your favorite sports team or TV character.  That negative emotion is harder to control because the only real option is to cut that thing off.

In some cases, this is the wise choice, but in other options it’s untenable.  Still, if you do find yourself getting angry at what others do that doesn’t involve you directly, make note of it.