Anger doesn’t leave room for quality thoughts.
I don’t consider myself knowledgeable in many aspects despite the knowledge it’s clear I’ve attained as well as that which I intrinsically possess/process. I don’t consider myself an authority on how to think, much less what to think, as I am deeply flawed (as anyone who knows anything about me will reveal). Last and most importantly, I don’t consider myself significant. That is why I needed my family growing up to know I’m (at most) significant to them. Do not ever mistake my acknowledgment of my insignificance for impeding my self-confidence. No one has more self-confidence and pride than me in terms of self. In terms of the world, I simply have perspective. The experience of traveling globally at a very young age in the grand manner I did gave me the upper hand/durable competitive advantage to qualify my insignificance in several ways outside of insecurity. Therefore, my ego has always been calibrated against my deep humility for having the opportunity to simply live. What does have significance to me are the millimeters of improvement I focus on every day (like I did with my many instruments from piano to guitar when I was child). I deeply believed back then as well as now that if I focus on millimeters of gain in performance as well as function, I’m bound to grow in inches at some point. What qualifies this to be true physically is the human spine. Over time we will all naturally loose inches in our height because, past the age of 20, we are loosing millimeters. Since this is truth, I personally know that the inverse is true in terms of millimeters of improvement which I deem significant. The incidental omen of identifying imperfections in our mistakes is a mistake because those mistakes are the instances that have the most probability to make tangible improvements in what we need, not want.
I experienced many misfortunes at a young age around death that make me the most grateful for life. Despite the little I do know that one would think is enough to not be ignorant, I was not exempt from foolish behavior. This foolish behavior centered around the unnecessary pressure I’ve put on myself since I was a young boy. It also included unnecessary, well-intentioned points of contention with peers over harmful decisions they were making in the moment (which I made worse by arguing points and subject matter that was never my business to help fix). I would also categorize it as foolishness to have been accepted to several Ivy League schools at 17 just to ignore every single one of them with no thought of my parents’ deep and painful sacrifice to give me and my sister the childhood we had. It’s not that I’m not grateful for my parents and their sacrifice, but at that time my only thought was the deep humility of not wanting to let any one of my friends feel like they weren’t good enough to attend college. For me, it was about a group effort. I knew the influence I had over my friend group and because of that I took personally the responsibility of staying together as a group in a way that would allow them to go to college as well. It was never about the individual to me because I’d had opportunities that most people would never dream of having. I felt a sincere need to share that with them so we could all be together and win on both sides, not just me winning. My priority was going to a school that my friends could get into — even if it meant going to community college. I was completely uninterested in anything prestigious, especially if my core group of friends/inner circle couldn’t attend.
If this is not flawed in so many ways, I don’t know what is. While my Behavioral RNA™️ will never change, my execution of what I define as help or even judge as a problem that I have the power to solve has improved since those days. My mindset around being what I thought was fair and equal at the time was so extreme that when my mother brought me all my college acceptance letters to discuss where I wanted to attend, I disrespectfully shrugged her off (unintentionally) as if she was the problem. I let her know I would be attending community college with my friends as if that was a normal thing for someone with my accomplishments, background, notable experience, and opportunities that other individuals would never even think about giving up for me no matter who I was to them.
It was not until I saw my mom’s eyes start watering and her look of shock combined with my dad’s look of confusion that I realized I was somehow off in some way. After a talk with my dad (because my mom was understandably too disappointed to speak to me at the moment), we compromised and I ended up accepting the University of Florida’s admission because my friends could attend Santa Fe (the area’s community college). Therefore, we could live together and would all be on equal ground (or so I thought in my mind). This fallible execution of what I believed in my heart to be logical eventually created different levels of frustration that became anger at some point when I realized I had created every complication. This deep frustration that at moments led to anger stemmed from me not having the skills needed to understand how to understand the externals of the world. Through deep and very uncomfortable self-analysis, I discovered clarity, a determined mindset, and helpful information only visible because I was back to observing the grass instead of just the dirt. This forced me to conclude that one must be very careful of the conclusions one draws in life as the conclusions we make can be the biggest enemy of our progress. Emphasizing my quality thoughts has allowed me to connect to my body in a way that allows fluid movement in my daily actions as opposed to the rigidity I naturally possess. Rigidity isn’t bad, but when blurred by frustration can become negative if not controlled. This control I’ve attained (but most importantly maintained) is a product of years of guidance from both my parents in their own way while leaving me completely independent to think for myself and make my own mistakes.
This hands-on but hands-off approach of trust in me is much appreciated. It created the foundation for me to innovate my own foundation. Without experiencing the pitfalls of anger, it is impossible to appreciate the control of disappointment and frustration (which I believe are at the base of anger). When I see anyone angry who is unable to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense to them, I always say quietly to myself, “there but for the grace of God go I“. It is a clear reminder of the complications of our emotional state as a human race. No matter how stable, no one is exempt from anger. Some conceal it better than others, but we all have our own experiences with it regardless of where it falls on the spectrum. Therefore, when we encounter anger it deserves the quality thought of grace before judgment.
Have you ever been so angry that you couldn’t see anything but what you were seeing?