“60 seconds. We’re halfway there!” the gym instructor declared.
I was trembling in a plank position. Already exhausted. Sweat plastering my hair to my scalp. Wondering how on God’s green earth I was going to make it another 60 seconds without collapsing in a death heap.
“Get into your happy place…” the instructor urged.
I tried to visualize clear blue skies and my boyfriend’s sweet snuggle-scent. OK. Kinda nice.
“Or, get into your angry place…” the instructor countered.
My angry place?
Do I even have one?
Let me think.
I thought about my friend Nick, who just had major surgery for rectal cancer. One of the most positive people I’ve ever met. Sick. Suffering. In pain.
Very angry place.
I thought about my friend Nick — a guy I used to work out with, a lot — and I held that plank like my life depended on it.
I held that plank and thought, “Nick, this one’s for you. Nick, I hate what you’re going through and I want to make you proud.”
I was still holding that plank after the instructor called, “Time. Take a break.”
I could have stayed there for another minute. Hell, maybe another hour.
Turns out, my “angry place” is a very powerful place to be.
There are a lot of spiritual gurus who talk about “inner peace” and “bliss” and “boosting your happiness.” Which is great. I love being happy.
But anger is a valid human emotion, too.
Rather than suppress it, why not allow yourself to feel it?
Rather than fake a blue-sky smile, why not funnel your anger into a worthwhile goal?
Dedicate your anger to someone in pain. Someone suffering needlessly.
Commit ferociously to the task at hand. Let it rage. Let it burn.
Anger is one of the most potent forms of energy we’ve got.
When misdirected, it’s incredibly dangerous.
When directed wisely, with purpose?
It’s gasoline for your goals.
Honor your anger. Don’t waste it. Use it.
Wipe off that fake happy face.
Get into your angry place.