Angry Americans

I recently read The Art of Racing in the Rain which references racing truisms as analogies for life. I keep thinking about “the car goes where your eyes go” and wondering how much all of us are influenced by the anger that drives so much of what surrounds us.

It’s not just the media—although there are plenty of people acting out there whether in the name of entertainment or under the guise of news. It’s also visible in the sneak attacks made via anonymous blog postings or the overt incendiary comments made about people, ideas, and institutions using all types of social media. I get that we live in an era where there is plenty to be angry about…the lack of corporate accountability for the financial meltdown, the slowness of the economic recovery, the endless wars and certainly, what started many of us on this path, the attacks on 9-11.

But what is this anger-centric thinking doing to us?

Beyond the negative physical consequences, free-floating anger can lead us to scrutinize every interaction and lash out about every slight and injustice whether real or imagined. And because “like attracts like” we’re likely to attract other angry people who reinforce this worldview. We create a narrow, anger-filled reality for ourselves and those around us.

I suggest we all let the buck stop with us. Let’s keep our eyes on what can be instead of what is. There’s no need to rehash what angers us—we’re all well aware of the issues. Let’s spend our valuable energy rectifying what we can and working together to seek solutions for issues that affect all of us.

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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