Sunday, May 15, 2016

What’s wrong with a rut? When and why to get out of it … if necessary!

What’s wrong with a rut?  When and why to get out of it … if necessary!
Dr Gustav Gous

What’s wrong with being in a rut – as if it is a bad thing? We all create ruts - routines, behaviour patterns, habits - to produce results. We cannot live without ruts.  The dictionary definition of a rut is :   rut 1  (rŭt)  n.  1. A sunken track or groove made by the passage of vehicles.


If a rut produces good results, or the rut, road or track takes you to good places, why get out of it?  

But a ‘rut’ also gets bad press in the dictionary:   It is  2. An uninspired routine or pattern of behavior that one continues unthinkingly or because change is difficult.

A rut is therefore just a bad name for a routine, behaviour pattern, or a habit. In this blog I will give you the guidelines on when and how to get out of your ‘rut’.  “Ruts’ must be evaluated in conjunction with results. The problem is not ruts, the problem is that your current rut, routines, behaviour patterns or habits, are perhaps not producing the results you want to get out of your life.

You sometimes you must ask: Is’nt there more to life than wake up, work yourself to death, go home,  eat, watch TV, sleep, repeat 5 days in a row, and over weekends watch sport and have a party with friends?

The solution is not to do away with ruts.  We cannot live without them – we are creatures of habit.   The solution is:

1.        First to determine what do you want out of life.  Reconnect with your ‘why’ in life.
2.       Then you ask: How happy are you with your life? Are you fulfilled?  Give yourself a percentage. Or a mark out of 10.  If it is not 100% then  you must ...
3.       Understand cause and effect:  Your current patterns, ruts, habits, behaviour patterns produce your current results.  Is your current habits serving your purpose or bringing the happiness that you long for?  Dr Phil, of Oprah fame, has this nasty way of unmasking bad habits: He always asks: ‘And how’s it been working for you?’  If not, then discontinue the habit.  You must realize: “If I continue to do what I do, and think what I think, I will continue to have what I have”.
4.       Then identify and make a choice:
-          Which ruts serve my purpose? Then keep them . but even with good patterns you must ask? Isn’t the good the enemy of the better? Improvement must be continuous.
-          Which ruts does not? Then throw them out and replace them by better ones
-          Which one’s are half good but cause problems or are incomplete?  Then tweak them or
-          adapt them.
5.       The, get a plan or a program to help you redesign your life,
6.       Then start doing it.  In doing so you will cement behaviours into benevolent patterns (not uninspired ruts)  that will serve your life purpose and produce the outcomes you long for.  It starts with new thinking:  New thoughts are the seeds of deeds:  Sow a thought, reap an action, sow an action, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny.

The bottom line is:  There must be a balance between a winning recipe and “when last did you do something for the first time”.!

Live according to two principles:
(i)                  Connect your ruts or patterns to outcomes / results.   Current ruts – current results.  If you are not happy with current results, then change your patterns.  
(ii)                The way to change your patterns is to Get a Life plan,  a plan to redesign your life , habits for better outcomes. The Get a Life one day workshops that I do serve this purpose!

 If you want more information on how to make counselling/coaching appointments or book dr Gustav Gous for motivational talks, contact admin@gustavgous.co.za 
If you want  interventions for your team: Contact +27 12 3455931   0r  0845138312 (Speak to Karen) or email gustav@gustavgous.co.za to discuss possibilities. 

Disclaimer:    Important notice to you as the reader:  Although the life coach (dr Gustav Gous) provide certain recommendations, the sole and final responsibility for decision-making remains your own and that the life coach or anybody associated to him and his company Short Walk Seminars Pty Ltd cannot be held responsible for any of your choices and reactions. You, the reader, must take full responsibility for your life, reactions and choices.  


www.gustavgousonline.com 

Dr Gustav Gous  is an International Motivational Speaker and Executive Life Coach with experience on 5 continents. He 
was the in-house counselor for the petro-chemical company Sasol for 9 years. He is known for his Transformational leadership programmes on Robben Island, titled the “Short Walk to Freedom”. 

He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and past President of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa and a member of the APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore).  Currently he is heading up the Diversity Intelligence Institute, specializing in rolling out Diversity Intelligence interventions for 
international companies. His leadership caps does for leadership what De Bono's thinking hats did for creativity and problem solving. His Coaching programme on national Radio in South Africa RSG FM 100-104 "Fiks vir die lewe" touches the lives of many South Africans.  gustav@gustavgous.co.za    drgous@iafrica.com     www.gustavgous.co.za , www.diviin.com ,
Follow him on Twitter: @GustavGous  or on Facebook and LinkedIn .  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lousy apology? How to apologize and when to forgive.

Lousy apology? How to apologize and when to forgive.


by dr Gustav Gous

Many of my clients ask:  What must I do if my spouse, partner, child (or even my business partner or local politician) offers a lousy apology.  Must I accept it and forgive? Or assert my right to ask for a better apology .
 In this very short blog I want to share the basic elements of a good apology. If you messed up – make sure to use it as guideline on how to offer a good apology.  If you were on the receiving end of wrongdoing, then you can use it as a grid to know what to look for in a good apology.
A good apology should include;
1.     1. A direct reference to the behaviour, wrongdoing at stake and a detailed account of what happened.
2.     2. An acknowledgement that it had negative effects (damage, loss or hurt)
3.     3. Taking full responsibility for the action/behaviour
4.     4. A full apology and statement of regret
5.     5. Specifically asking for forgiveness
6.     6. A statement on what is different? - and that it will not happen again (a promise is not good enough). If nothing is different, it will just re-occur.  
7.     7. An explanation on what he/she will do to rectify the situation and what restitution will be involved.
 When any of these elements are missing, or talked away with flimsy excuses, the apology is not complete.  General references like: “Sorry for what happened”, or “I am sorry that it turned out this way”, is not good enough and not sufficient. Any conditional apology is also not making the cut: “I’m sorry but …. It wasn’t actually me” or “I had this or that reason …”. The worst is: “Sorry that you took it up in this way”.  

The best way to look at it is to ask:  If my child came to me offering this lame excuse, how would I have reacted. Obviously pointing out where it was not yet done in the correct way.
A very recent example was the President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, offering an apology to the nation, after being found guilty of violating (failing to uphold) the Constitution of the RSA.
The Church can be said is to be in the forgiveness business.  But when the Anglican archbishop, and the South African Council of Churches, said they think it is a lame apology and that they do noit accept it, it created quite a furore.     I include the web-link to the full text of the President’s apology   http://ewn.co.za/2016/04/01/Full-text-of-President-Zumas-speech-on-Concourt-Nkandla-judgment.  Judge for yourself if his apology fulfils any of the requirements of a good apology. According to me it doesn’t even come close.
The basic message is:  Before you forgive: Listen carefully to the apology addressed to you. Even the bible says repentance and forgiveness must go hand in hand with the changing of your ways.

Furthermore it must also be debated if repentance must always lead to reconciliation – which is another matter.  


If you want more information on how to make counselling/coaching appointments or book dr Gustav Gous for motivational talks, contact admin@gustavgous.co.za 
If you want  interventions for your team: Contact +27 12 3455931   0r  0845138312 (Speak to Karen) or email gustav@gustavgous.co.za to discuss possibilities. 

Disclaimer:    Important notice to you as the reader:  Although the life coach (dr Gustav Gous) provide certain recommendations, the sole and final responsibility for decision-making remains your own and that the life coach or anybody associated to him and his company Short Walk Seminars Pty Ltd cannot be held responsible for any of your choices and reactions. You, the reader, must take full responsibility for your life, reactions and choices.  




Dr Gustav Gous  is an International Motivational Speaker and Executive Life Coach with experience on 5 continents. He 
was the in-house counselor for the petro-chemical company Sasol for 9 years. He is known for his Transformational leadership programmes on Robben Island, titled the “Short Walk to Freedom”. 

He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and past President of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa and a member of the APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore).  Currently he is heading up the Diversity Intelligence Institute, specializing in rolling out Diversity Intelligence interventions for 
international companies. His leadership caps does for leadership what De Bono's thinking hats did for creativity and problem solving. His Coaching programme on national Radio in South Africa RSG FM 100-104 "Fiks vir die lewe" touches the lives of many South Africans.  gustav@gustavgous.co.za    drgous@iafrica.com     www.gustavgous.co.za , www.diviin.com ,
Follow him on Twitter: @GustavGous  or on Facebook and LinkedIn .  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Rumour has it … that gossip has been killed! The Art of killing gossip.

Rumour has it … that gossip has been killed!  The Art of killing gossip.

Our national sport is not rugby, soccer, football or cricket – it is gossip. We all partake: You either (i) do it; (ii) don’t do it but enjoy it privately; or (ii) felt the pain of gossip caused by others in your own life.  This blog will give practical advice at the end on how to handle gossip in these three situations.

You say: It’s harmless – what’s wrong with a bit of gossip news? You say with Alice R. Longworth: ‘If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody … come sit next to me’ … and I will tell you a thing or two!  

How would you feel if your medical doctor, psychologist, life coach, local pastor, confession priest, best friend and confidant, has a secret gossip problem – spilling the beans about your sexual habits/diseases and deepest inner insecurities? Not nice anymore?  I thought so. People start to dislike gossip, when you gossip about them.

Remember the story about the 3 pastors/priests having a confession session about their secret sins? Pastor 1. ‘I secretly obsess about other women and even had a sexual relation with one of the parish members’. Pastor 2: ‘Mine is money - I have helped myself to the church offering money’. They turned to the last one and asked: What is your secret sin?  Pastor 3: ‘Gossip – and I can’t wait to get out of here to tell everybody….!‘

You would rather have a coach or counsellor who will go to the grave with all the incriminating things that he/she has heard over the years, keeping confidentiality. (PS: One of the greatest compliments I ever received as a life coach, was at a farewell function after 9 years as the in-house counsellor for the petro-chemical company Sasol: They said that in 9 years there was no breach of confidentiality of any personal information shared in private counselling.   In corporate counselling, the principle is that only process information may be shared with HR or leadership, but no content information.) 

What is gossip?  It is sharing selective information and half-truths about the behaviour and personal lives of other people, in order to put other people in a bad light. Professional gossipers master the art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid (Walter Winchell). Gossip is dangerous:  “It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.” - James 3:5-6 in The Message (MSG). Perhaps it is true that gossip is carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.

The difference between gossip and normal news or investigative journalism is: Newspaper editors or Investigative Journalism TV editors take their journalists through the rigorous discipline of verifying facts before they go to press. They don’t want to lose money being sued for character defamation or crimen injuria - a wilful injury to someone's dignity. The gossiper doesn’t care about character defamation or half-truths. They just spread the news and don’t mind causing hurt.

Why do people gossip?  Inquisitiveness? Is it because people don’t have interesting lives themselves and focus on the lives of others? Is it because people are insecure, so they point out flaws in other people to make them feel good about themselves? Is it because they don’t have courage to confront a person directly?  Is it plain shallowness?  Henry Thomas Buckle (not Eleanor Roosevelt) said: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

Let’s look at the 4 kinds of gossip and the reasons behind them. 

1.    1. Negligent gossip:  Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true. Mindless, third-party conversation with loose lips and tongues on truths or half-truths about a person not present. You negligently throw in all sorts of unnecessary information to spice up the conversation and tint the character of others:  “Oh yes, Sandy, the one who got pregnant before marriage’, or ‘Pete, after his extra marital affair, he started a new job, at ..’.  

2.    2. ‘Nose in my business’ - gossip. Sometime you are tempted to tell the proverbial town Gossip: Here is your nose – I found it in my business.  We all live in neighbourhoods, surrounded by voluntary spies, where news travels at the speed of boredom (Carlos Ruiz Zafón & Jane Austen). This kind of gossip is conducted by people who don’t have lives of their own, and they find the meaning of their existence to be voyeurs in, and broadcasters of the lives of others. Gossip columns fit in here. Interesting that no successful actor or sportsperson runs a gossip column on the secret lives of famous people. They have a life and success of their own. 

3.    3. ‘Character murder’ – gossip. This type of gossip is when you have malicious intent to deliberately harm another person with any bit of juicy truth or half-truth you can lay your hands on. The intention is to throw mud on a reputation. It is the dangerous type because the purpose is to commit character murder.

4.    4. Full-blown planned political plotters of planned misinformation: The Propaganda politico’s or character snipers. This is serious stuff.  It is more than Goebbels-type War propaganda. We know the first casualty in war, is the truth. But here the intention is to eliminate political foes. It works according to a predictable pattern. Three examples:

(i)            It was used in South Africa and Namibia during the liberation struggle against inner competition inside the movement/political party. Three to four people conspire and start spreading lies about a person. ‘We saw him with the enemy …”.  The rumour starts: You are a spy. Then you got killed in Quatro camp – one of the notorious camps where so-called dissidents got ‘disciplined’. Purpose achieved: Opponent eliminated. This pattern was graphically described twee weeks ago by the Namibian author and political analyst, prof Diesho during a talk in Windhoek.
(ii)           In the spy-vs-spy sage in South Africa, opponents were found fabricating evidence (full emails fabricated and sent out in the name of the other person to implicate the opponent). In other cases people in the intelligence industry stand accused of using the state funded security apparatus (intercepting emails and telephone calls, etc.), to try to uncover ‘dirt’ in the lives of opponents, to use against them.
(iii)          Another pattern was recently used against the Public Protector in South Africa, advocate Thuli Madonsela: She gives politicians a hard time unmasking their wrongdoings. They don’t like her and have tried everything to discredit her, with no avail. The only thing left, is the age old revolutionary trick of calling somebody counter-revolutionary and  a spy. So, coincidentally,  just before the elections, where her evidence could have been damaging to the ruling party,  an ‘anonymous’ source with a pseudo name, posted on social media (such as Twitter) that she is actually a spy for the CIA. It gets picked up by the media and the instigators are happy that they started a run-away fire. She (the Public Protector) unmasks it, ‘nonsenses’ it with a public statement, and put out the fire. Then the instigators persist and start a commission of inquiry, trying to paralyze the person and distract attention from what she is saying against the wrongdoers. Then the ‘disciplinary action’ either disappears in history without outcome, or the perpetrators persist, and will even fabricate more information to cast a shadow of doubt over their foe, in this case the legal Public Protector in South Africa, tasked to protect us against the wrongdoings and the abuse of power by people and politicians who think they are above the law. 

Once you see the pattern, it becomes predictable, and almost boring (and laughable, if it were not so serious), if you see it being repeated all the time. 

Here is another message for you from The Message (MSG):  “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” Matthew 12:34-37  in ‘The Message’ (MSG) translation of the Bible. A person of faith believes there is a higher authority that even Kings and presidents must account to. If only they knew that.

George Harrison sings that “Gossip is the Devil’s radio” because twisted truth and knavish speech is the hallmark of the devil.    
“Gossip, gossip, I heard it in the night, Words that thoughtless speak, Like vultures swooping down below, On the devil's radio ….That soul betraying so and so , The devil's radio  … Pollution of the highest degree   .. Like a weed it's spread, 'till nothing else has space to grow, The devil's radio.  Oh yeah,  I heard you on the secret wireless,  Gossip, oh yeah You know the devil's radio ..”
The message is: The tongue must be controlled:  ‘Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.’  James 1:26  New International Version.

Practical advice:  

Let’s get practical. What are we to do in the following three situations: 
1. If you gossip yourself, 2. If they gossip about you, 3. If they gossip in your ear?   

Here is a practical plan against gossip, even a plan to kill gossip and stop it in its tracks. 

1.    1. If you do it – stop it.

  • ·         Get a life. Stop talking about the lives of others. Perhaps you will achieve more in life working yourself up instead of pulling others down. “Isn't it kind of silly to think that tearing someone else down builds you up?” –according to  Sean Covey, in  The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens.

  • ·         People see through you: They know you can tell more about a person by what that say about others than you can by what others say about them. (Audrey Hepburn)

  • ·         Marie Curie, the first women to win the Nobel Prize and only woman to win twice, said: “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” She did the pioneering research on radioactivity and brought us X-rays. The more time you focus on other people – the less time you have to focus on achieving your own goals.

  • ·         If you are really inquisitive - channel your energy in the right way.  Become a scientist or investigative journalist – we need more of these.

  • ·         And for the “Propaganda politico’s / character snipers”. Sorry :( – we’ve seen through you and know your ways. If you don’t change, we will reject both you and your methods at the next polls.


2.    2. If they gossip about you – reframe it, confront it, ignore it, outlive it

If you experience it and is on the receiving side of gossip, you can:  

  • ·         Reframe it:  See it as a compliment and entertainment:  Oscar Wilde said: “If there is anything more annoying in the world than having people talk about you, it is certainly having no one talk about you.” Thank those who gossip about you for making you the centre of their world. It is sometimes fun to give boring people something to discuss. Gossip can also be entertaining: Occasionally you hear the most fascinating things about yourself you never knew.  Also recognise the jealousy of others:  Those who gossip behind your back are behind you for a reason.    
  • ·         Confront it:  Immediately confront the person, summons them to repeat what they have said in front of witnesses. Challenge them to bring provide proof. Immediate action will kill most of all gossip uttered in its tracks.  
  • ·         Ignore it:  Sometime it is so ridiculous that you must just ignore it. Reacting to it can just perpetuate the story. Don’t spend all your time to manage your public persona - the view others have of you. “Reputation is what others think of us; character is what God knows of us”.
  • ·         Outlive it: First of all: Live a life that prevents gossip. Live clean and make it impossible for people to get anything on you. Live in such a way that even if people throw dirt, that it will not stick. -     Will Rogers said: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”  Secondly: When they really go after you: Then outlive it. Deeds speak louder than words.  Live above it. Truth always finds a way to reveal itself. Keep your cool – if they deal in lies – don’t do the same. Don’t descend to their level.   
  • ·         Protect yourself legally: If you are in the middle of an political onslaught or a personal vendetta against you: : Be aware, and protect yourself legally where possible – even get an interdict if necessary.
  • ·         And lastly: Live preventative: Do not entrust information to people who cannot handle it.

What if you are really guilty and every word of gossip about you is true? Then change your ways, and do not try to kill the messenger as current politicians in South Africa try to do. Focus on changing your ways – not zipping the mouths of people or muzzling the press. Like the ridiculous law Robert Mugabe got passed in neighbouring Zimbabwe – believe it or not - that nobody is allowed to criticize the president.   

3.    If they gossip in your ear -  be careful, test it, stop them, walk away, let it die with you, and dis-associate

What if people come to you to gossip about others?

·         Be careful:  Be wary: He/she who gossips to you will gossip of you. Tell them your policy is to talk to people – not about people. 
·         Test it:  Ask them if the information is verified? Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind? If not urge them to only share necessary verified information. There are two sides to every story. Try to see both .  
·         Stop them: If they say: “I do not want to gossip, but …” then stop them and say, I am glad you don’t want to gossip. The best way to kill gossip is to turn a deaf ear.
·         Walk away: Sometimes you must walk away. Don’t silently concede – then you are part of it and perpetuate it.
·         Let it die with you:   Gossip dies when it reaches a wise person’s ear. Mercedes Lackey said; ‘It's only gossip if you repeat it. Until then, it's gathering information.’  Then sift through the information and reserve judgement. If you don’t see it or hear it first-hand, or test it to be the truth, then don’t share it.

·         Dis-associate: Don’t hang out with people who gossip. This one is radical but it is the Biblical advice in 1 Corinthians 5:11 not even to associate with slanderers:  “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” (New International Version).
-           

My closing advice:  I have learned not to even believe everything I think, and more so especially not everything I hear. Make this your motto, and you will kill gossip in its tracks.  

If you want more information on how to make counselling/coaching appointments or book dr Gustav Gous for motivational talks, contact admin@gustavgous.co.za 
If you want  interventions for your team: Contact +27 12 3455931   or email gustav@gustavgous.co.za to discuss possibilities. 

Disclaimer:    Important notice to you as the reader:  Although the life coach (dr Gustav Gous) provide certain recommendations, the sole and final responsibility for decision-making remains your own and that the life coach or anybody associated to him and his company Short Walk Seminars Pty Ltd cannot be held responsible for any of your choices and reactions. You, the reader, must take full responsibility for your life, reactions and choices.  




Dr Gustav Gous  is an International Motivational Speaker and Executive Life Coach with experience on 5 continents. He 
was the in-house counselor for the petro-chemical company Sasol for 9 years. He is known for his Transformational leadership programmes on Robben Island, titled the “Short Walk to Freedom”. 

He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and past President of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa and a member of the APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore).  Currently he is heading up the Diversity Intelligence Institute, specializing in rolling out Diversity Intelligence interventions for 
international companies. His leadership caps does for leadership what De Bono's thinking hats did for creativity and problem solving. His Coaching programme on national Radio in South Africa RSG FM 100-104 "Fiks vir die lewe" touches the lives of many South Africans.  gustav@gustavgous.co.za    drgous@iafrica.com     www.gustavgous.co.za , www.diviin.com ,
Follow him on Twitter: @GustavGous  or on Facebook and LinkedIn .  

Monday, October 12, 2015

How to find your lost temper. The art of anger management. Ten tips to tame your temper.

How to find your lost temper. The art of anger management. Ten suggestions.

1. Finding your lost temper fast.

It’s actually humorous how fast you can find a lost temper. Some say it is not possible.  They say: I cannot help myself,  it is my temperament, I am highly strung, it’s my culture (I’m Irish, Italian, Zulu or whatever) and by the way, it is your fault that I get angry.  It is you who cause me to lose my temper.
 I say: Nonsense! You are looking for excuses that don’t hold up.  You can find your lost temper faster than you can lose it. But only if you want to.  Let’s look at a few examples:
-          You are in a heated argument, lose your temper and you are SHOUTING. Your smartphone rings, and you see it is the person who wants to award you a million dollar contract.  You immediately ‘lose’ your lost temper and find your cool again and answer in a friendly professional voice: “Hello, …”
-          A married couple is in a heated argument, and both of them lost their tempers and are shouting.  They didn’t see that the pastor or priest that they respect very much, had just walked in. When they see him they both immediately change their tone: “Hello Pastor …”
-          You shout at one of your workers, and the woman/man who you just started dating and who you seriously want to impress, just walked in to pay a surprise visit, and, guess what: You miraculously find your lost temper again! Because you want to.
So don’t tell me that you are not in control. Your temper tantrum behaviour is just a sad excuse for a bad habit or mechanism that you have learned, repeated, perfected and got away with (thus far). You do it to intimidate people, to get your way or force your will with an emotional ‘blitzkrieg’ on others.  You think: Losing your temper is a sign of strength. Others know it is rather a sign of weakness.

2. Yellow and Red Cards:  It is a pity that there are no referees and yellow/red cards in work and love relationships. It would have kept so many people out of trouble and would keep relationships on track.

3. He who angers you conquers you. Lose your temper – lose your game  Vs  Master your anger - master your game.

-          * # In the Game of Sport: Sports people (Soccer and Rugby players in particular) know:  If you lose your temper – you lose your game.   Think Soccer world Cup Final, 2006: Ask French captain Zinedine Zidane, who head-butted Italian player Materazzi in a moment or anger in the final. Materazzi knew, that if he can anger Zidane by insulting his mother and sister, then he can destabilize him. And Zidane fell for it, got a red card and his absence caused his team to lose the World Cup.  



 One moment of madness, then a lifetime of sadness, losing him sponsorships and compromising a successful career. Zinedine Zidane knows now (but it is too late):  He who angers you conquers you. It is never too late though. Zinedine Zidane made a comeback to as a coach to coach Real Madrid to victory in the Uefa Cup!  In the Rugby World Cup,, all the coaches remind their players that ill-discipline in the department of anger management, can cost them the Cup.  

-          *# In the Game of Life:  But we all are playing in our own game - the final of the Game of Life.  The same rings true in the game of life: If you lose your temper, you can lose your game – be it the game of relationships, business, or even politics.  Anger must therefore be managed.

4. The art of anger management

Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy. These are the wise words of the philosopher Aristotle.  

4.1 To achieve this we must first understand the following about anger.

(i)                  Anger is normal, and has a rightful place:   Anger can be necessary and important. If your own or someone else’s rights have been infringed, you may rightly feel anger, and the need to correct the situation. Good-tempered people can do it in a good way.  Even the Bible gives you the right to be angry, but reminds you not to sin in the process. “BE ANGRY, and yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger” - Ephesians 4:26

(ii)                Anger is an emotion - that must be managed:  All feelings, including anger are like wild horses.  If you cannot hold your horses, they will throw you off, and hurt others. You need to master your emotion and do not let it master your reason. Good temper should govern anger, not the other way round.

(iii)               Anger is a suitcase emotion - it is often a cover-up for other feelings.  Anger is a container for other emotions. Are you truly angry? Or is your anger masking other feelings such as embarrassment, insecurity, hurt, shame, or vulnerability? So be aware what is beneath.   

(iv)              Anger is not unethical, but what you DO with anger can be right or wrong. It is the actions that follows the feeling of anger that can be right or wrong, and can be ethically judged.  Let’s have a look at the following actions and how they are judged by wise philosophers, famous people and the Bible:     
  •   Revenge – try to get even:  Douglas Horton said: ‘While seeking revenge, dig two graves - one for yourself.’  Dick Armey said:  ‘You cannot get ahead while you are getting even.’  Romans 12:19-21 says:  ‘Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord. … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’
  •   Cursing and abusive words:   An ill tongue loves an angry heart, because then it can lash out and cut others in pieces. The Bible has the following to say: “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.” - Colossians 3:8.
  •   Losing your temper:    “He who is slow to anger has great understanding.  But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” - Proverbs 14:29. “Ferocious anger belongs to beasts”. – Ovid.
  •   Outbursts:  “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, But the slow to anger calms a dispute” -  Proverbs 15:18
  •   Shoot a person in rage or road rage: It is common sense: Guess who is going to sit in jail? The person who you were angry with, may be dead – but you lost your freedom mate. You will be the one in jail.
  •   Hit or head but a person on the sports field: More common sense: You will be the one with the yellow or red card in the sin bin.
  •   Harbouring hatred:  Albert Einstein  said: Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools. According to Mark Twain, anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.  Attributed to Buddha: ‘Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.’     
  •   Stir it up or Indulge  anger:  Indulge not thyself in the passion of anger; it is whetting a sword to wound thine own breast, or murder thy friend.’  –Akhenaton . ‘Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you're doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.’  -Joel Osteen.  Psalm 37:8-9: Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.
  •  Throw a temper tantrum: Bruce Lee said: ‘A quick temper makes a fool of you soon enough’.
  •  Quarrel:  Bob Marley:  ‘If you get down and quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devil, I say.’
If the above actions are destructive, what then must I do with anger? 

4.2 What must I do with anger?  There are three things:   You can ..

(a) Express it  - constructively  - not destructively.  If frustration or anger build up for too long, you will explode .  According to Wayne Dyer there's nothing wrong with anger provided you use it constructively.  Expressing it is not an excuse to let it rip, nor a licence to hurt. It is not slinging insults, under the disguise that I am honest. It is not hitting a holes in the door.  It is being cool, calm and collected.  

 (b) Suppress it   - strategically – not permanently.   If you permanently suppress anger, you just create a bigger explosion later.  Suppressed anger will pop out in the form of sarcasm, and ridicule. One can suppress anger momentarily to buy time to think.

(c)  Employ, deploy and direct it. The energy of anger must be redirected to a constructive purpose. Address the issue at hand, employ the passion and direct your anger on winning the game, not focusing on the person.  Be angry with the sins, not the sinners.  Norman Schwarzkopf said:  “I get angry at a principle, not a person.” 


5. Here are 10 tips on anger management - to tame your temper

Pre-work for anger management:

1.       1. Cultivate a strong sense of self-worth. It is the foundation of anger management. With a strong self-worth you will not be over-sensitive.  A giant is not easily offended.  If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size and stature?

Core skills for anger management:

2.       2. Recognize anger as normal feeling and recognize it as energy that can be channelled.         Emotions makes us passionate and gives us energy and motion ('e-motion'). But also be wise: Be aware of which situations are the triggering experiences for your anger. Also recognize the signs when things are going to boil over - red in the neck,  feeling of heat in the head, etc . 


3.       3. Break the anger cycle.   All anger problems start when you go straight from feeling to action. To break the short circuit from feeling to action, you can do the following

3.1   Master simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery and stretching exercises.   Breathe slowly :  Inhale for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds, Exhale for 3 seconds. Repeat. It  can help calm down angry feelings.  

3.2   Take time out.  Step  temporarily out of the situation. The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk. At first absence of body is better than presence of mind. First get yourself out of the situation and under control.  Count to 10, better still to 100 before you do anything.   Interrupt the anger cycle:  Do not entertain it, feed it, indulge in it, grow it, blow it up, or  throw petrol on the fire. Put yourself voluntarily in the cooler box (off the field in Rugby) . Use physical distraction: Walk to the fridge: There is nothing like drinking a glass of cold water to distract you - it sobers you up a clears your mind.  

3.3   Use the time to deflect.   Deflect the rock-fall of emotion before it gains momentum, and think differently.  Example: "This old man with his dog in his old car is blocking my road!" . Deflect by thinking differently: "This old man is doesn't have much money, he is driving and old car and he is taking his only friend left in life - his dog - to the vet."   Use the time to hold your horses: Power is nothing without control. 

3.4   Use the time to reflect (think differently) Ask yourself what really lies underneath your anger, and pinpoint your real feelings.  Spend time on empathy to understand where the other person is coming from. Think differently before you speak and act. Discuss the issue with people you respect. 

4.       4. Verbalize your anger.   Always write angry letters to your enemies.  – just don’t mail them, and emails – just don’t push the send button. Keep them in draft mode.  It is the best way to take control of your emotions.

5.       5. Use humour to break the tension.   See it from a viewpoint of sitting on the rofo and looking down on the two of you quarreling. What funny two people.  angry l

6.       6. Choose your battles. Only go into battle for what is really important.

7.       7. Be assertive, and have a problem-solve mindset.   Change your attitude from wanting to win all the time, to go for the double win.  Why not be creative and find a way for both.

8.       8. Know when to let go.  Why persist if in the bigger scheme of things, this is not so important. Ask yourself: How big will this issue be in 5 years from now if you look back at it. 

Applied Skills

9.      9.  Plan difficult conversations.  Plan your words and angle before difficult conversations.

Preventative Skills

10.   10. Be aware of what triggers you and get strategies to keep these triggers from tipping you over the edge in future. also go for coaching and counselling to sort the undercurrents in your life and to get rid of the emotional baggage from the past - that so often trips you in the present. 


Use it (this list), or lose it (your temper and relationship/work). Remember: He who angers you conquers you.   You will not be punished FOR your anger,  you will be punished BY your anger. So the choice is: Lose your temper - lose your game! But the opposite is also true:  Master your anger – master your game! Cool heads - cool life!




For and audio CD on emotional intelligence:   Go to : 

https://gustavgousonline.com/collections/audio-files/products/emotional-and-leadership-intelligence 


If you want more information on how to make counselling/coaching appointments or book dr Gustav Gous for motivational talks, contact admin@gustavgous.co.za 
If you want  interventions for your team: Contact +27 12 3455931   or email gustav@gustavgous.co.za to discuss possibilities. 

Disclaimer:    Important notice to you as the reader:  Although the life coach (dr Gustav Gous) provide certain recommendations, the sole and final responsibility for decision-making remains your own and that the life coach or anybody associated to him and his company Short Walk Seminars Pty Ltd cannot be held responsible for any of your choices and reactions. You, the reader, must take full responsibility for your life, reactions and choices.  




Dr Gustav Gous  is an International Motivational Speaker and Executive Life Coach with experience on 5 continents. He 
was the in-house counselor for the petro-chemical company Sasol for 9 years. He is known for his Transformational leadership programmes on Robben Island, titled the “Short Walk to Freedom”. 

He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and past President of the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa and a member of the APSS (Asia Professional Speakers Singapore).  Currently he is heading up the Diversity Intelligence Institute, specializing in rolling out Diversity Intelligence interventions for 
international companies. His leadership caps does for leadership what De Bono's thinking hats did for creativity and problem solving. His Coaching programme on national Radio in South Africa RSG FM 100-104 "Fiks vir die lewe" touches the lives of many South Africans.  gustav@gustavgous.co.za    drgous@iafrica.com  www.gustavgousonline.com    www.gustavgous.co.za , www.diviin.com ,
Follow him on Twitter: @GustavGous  or on Facebook and LinkedIn .