If you could give one advice – what would it be?

Well, let me first start by stating that I am not a sage neither am I a philosophical guru or an age old grandma. I am just a normal person who likes to learn. Life teaches us lots of things during its course and everything that we learn out of it is a great life saving lesson. If one can gather all the teachings that life has taught them, they can perhaps compile a book full of such advices.

And although while writing this, my mind is battling with all the wisdom thoughts, begging me to pick them for this post; I am going to put all of those thoughts aside and write about the one advice that I think is the most important and useful. The advice is very simple and can be applied in any situation and it goes like this-

“When in anger, do not react immediately.”

Anger in my opinion is the worst of all the emotions. It cripples our ability to think straight; it impairs our listening capability and is often accompanied by rage and sense of revenge and nothing good comes out of it at the end. For an emotion as strong as anger, one might be surprised to find that it is also one of the short lived emotion. Which is why the second part of my advice above is important.

The best thing to do when you’re faced with a situation involving anger is to let it go at that moment. I am saying let it go forever, depending on the issue sometime you might need to take follow up actions about it, but not doing it at the heat of the moment is the key. Nothing positive can result when responding to anger immediately. Taking as much as a few seconds to cool off can go a long way.

A very practical example for this that I put to use often is while responding to emails at work. Sometimes due to deadline pressures or other misunderstandings people start off a cold war in emails pointing fingers at each other. When I encounter such an email, I often wait an hour or two or if time permits wait until the next day and respond with a cool mind. This gives time for both parties involved to cool off. Another common example is road rage. Living in California, I cannot begin to list the number of angry drivers I encounter on the road everyday. In this situation, there is really no time to cool off and respond, and the best thing to do here is to let go. Wise men said, you should pick your battles carefully and trying to get revenge on an angry driver is not a good battle to pick especially on your morning commute to work.

Other than the obvious benefits, I also find myself being more calm and patient practicing the above advice. It makes me a better person and at the end of the day that is all we want – happiness and peace.

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