"Lust, anger and greed, these three are the soul-destroying gates of hell." -Bhagavad Gita
If you were one of the billion people who watched Sunday's World Cup final, you saw French superstar Zinedine Zidane struck by an affliction to which no human can claim immunity: ANGER. Many soccer experts, aficionados, and critics agree that Zidane is soccer's greatest player of the last 20 years. Pele, the Brazilian legend, refers to Zidane as Maestro. Zidane's proven skill and leadership already lifted France to the 1998 World Cup championship. But in Sunday's final with the whole world watching and for a reason nobody understands, the French legend angrily headbutted an Italian player in the chest leading to Zidane's subsequent red card and ejection. France went on to lose in a penalty kick shootout... Zidane's specialty.
This is a lesson the yogis have passed down for thousands of years. No matter their talent, strength, or determination, every single human being is susceptible to anger, lust, and greed. To live out the depth of one's purpose, he must develop the skills to overcome this three-headed monster. Zidane faced the monster and sorely lacked what the The Dalai Lama referred to as the rarest form of human strength: the ability to maintain an open heart in a moment of extreme anger.
Here are some techniques to develop this rare form of strength and cope with anger:
- Make a habit of taking that oh so difficult first step away from the situation, person, email or phone call that incites your wrath. Walk the other direction, turn off your phone, shut down your computer. It's always worth it.
"If you are patient in 1 moment of anger you will avoid 100 days of sorrow." -Zen proverb
- Kill 'em with kindness. Tell the person who pisses you off how much you love them. Tell the person who drives you nuts how much you appreciate their testing your "strength." Tell the person who makes you crazy that no matter how mad, you won't pull a "Zidane."
"As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." -Albert Schweitzer
- Open your heart...literally. The yogis believe that even a basic backbend opens the heart evoking love. Be your own hero next time you face the three-headed monster. Take a step back, interlace your hands behind your back, let the chest and heart protrude slightly forward, and take a few deep breaths. This will instantly open the heart and dissipate anger.