Smile laugh and keep on trucking

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sometimes you get treated like shit at work. There doesn’t seem to be any relationship between how much you are paid and how many shit sandwiches your employer serves you. The natural reaction is to become annoyed or angry. Most people have to swallow their pride, calm down and quietly get right back to work. Its hard to find another job and its always better not to do anything rash.

About now you’re probably expecting a story about me telling a former employer to stick it. Sure I’ve done that, but that’s not the message. I try hard to avoid negativity. Negativity is inevitable and without experiencing fear, anger or sadness we could never really know joy, bliss or happiness. That said their is no point courting negativity. The environment we live in will programme our minds unless we consciously do it ourselves.

So when something riles me (usually work politics) instead of flying off the handle I find some distance. I examine my rage from a dispassionate 3rd party perspective. Almost like the anger is happening to someone else. Rage is a blinding emotion so this takes practice and maybe some help to trigger yourself into another reaction to anger.

In my experience I usually laugh. Most situations that enrage me are totally trivial. I don’t really care about the situation. I’m not really personally invested in it say in the same way that I might be if I owned the cafe rather than work in it. Getting some space between yourself and the anger lets you see how silly it all is. You also get the choice of moving on and forgetting it. Living with the moment instead of having your day ruined and then taking it home with you to infect your family that night.

Emotions are like a virus in that they like to leap from person to person and feed off them. I choose to infect people around me with happiness. I’m attracted to joyous people and happy environments. If I find myself in negative spaces I take it as my personal mission to cultivate enthusiasm, lightness and fun. I want to have a positive experience on people around me and I can’t do that if I allow myself to be captivated by purposeless emotional responses like anger.

Anger is our response to either frustration or a personal threat. There is no need to be frustrated. There are infinite means to achieve an objective. Likewise their is no actual danger. No real personal threat. Most workplace threats are benign. The personal threat is mind created and carries no element of physical danger.

So smile, laugh and keep on trucking my friend!

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