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The best fighter is never angry

One of the sayings attributed to Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism and the author of Tao Te Ching, is "The best fighter is never angry".

I wrote a couple of days ago about my Jekyll and Hyde approach to life, and how I'm pushing the boundaries and testing the resistance in my Hyde phase, with the aim of improving things around me for the better.

A lot of the time, that need to improve something and raise the bar comes from a place of anger. Anger at unfairness, anger at a lack of ethics, anger at the absence of strong values.

However, my efforts are also the least effective when I'm starting from a place of anger.

When going into a fight, one-on-one combat, there are two vital aspects to the fighter. One, she needs to take the situation seriously enough to want to make a difference and to want to win. The fight ought to matter to her. And two, she needs to have a calm enough frame of mind to observe and react to the opponent's moves, to be agile enough to adapt to the situation she finds herself in in a logical manner.

While anger does a great job of invoking deep emotions that bring with it a deep care for winning and making a change, it completely hinders rational thinking and makes us take risks in a fight that puts us in danger rather than effectively strategise and swiftly react to the opponent's moves.

Thus, we need to channel the anger into a desire to bring about change and to take action. But once we are committed to that, we need to let the anger dissipate so that we can fight with a calm frame of mind and be effective at the change we are trying to bring about. 

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