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Once upon a time, I had an anger management issue. I took everything personally and felt devastated every single time someone had something negative to say about my work. It hurt. It hurt bad. Oh, I wasn’t beating up anyone but myself, but still my manager at the time felt like I needed help and he advised that I read Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Guess what… the book made me angry.

Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood [Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you.] was the hardest one for me. I felt misunderstood and I couldn’t fathom the idea of understanding others first.

My manager was a good man. He didn’t give up. He sent me to seek help… and that made me angry. Yep, I’m serious. I remember getting in catfights with the shrink about how I was reacting to things: in a raw, violent and hurtful manner. That was the only way I knew how to react.

Despite my manager’s best tries, my time in the company ended shortly after that. And it took me another few month to wake-up one morning and realize… Duh…

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.
–Charles Swindoll

Since then, my life has changed for the better. I’m a much happier person. But I don’t wish to anyone to feel the pain I did. So if I can spark your lightbulb with this post, I’m happy to.