From Short Temper to Maturity

One of the shortcomings I confront in life is short temper. Everyone wishes to have maturity, the diametrically opposite of short temper. How can one overcome short temper and be a matured person? To find answer to this question, we need to understand what exactly short temper and maturity are.

Short temper is the impulsive — thoughtless — reaction while maturity is the state of being completely aware and self-assuring of what one talks or does in a given situation. In order to understand further, let’s call this impulsive reaction as First Response, or F.R., and maturity as Second Response, or S.R. A close look at our reactive dynamics shows that short temper is inherent in our personality, hence, unavoidable but not inevitable. In other words, if we are able to contain F.R., then we can overcome short temper. 

For easy understanding, let me explain the difference between unavoidable and inevitable. Unavoidable is something that is almost certain to happen, still, can be avoided through conscious action; inevitable is something that is certain to happen, hence, can not be avoided under any circumstances. Our actions can be unavoidable, but consequences of our actions are inevitable. Let us look at the following example: If we throw a stone at a certain velocity, at certain angle of elevation and under certain atmospheric conditions, it will fall at a certain place. We can repeat this experiment with the same stone falling at the same place if we maintain all the conditions same, so the falling of the stone — a consequence of the action of throwing the stone — at the same place is inevitable. This is the basic principle of missile technology. But to throw a stone or fire a missile to an enemy territory can, still, be avoided — an avoidable action.

As short temper is an impulsive response, the best way to contain it is to NOT express it to the outside world but express within ourselves, followed by quickly evaluating if the F.R, is appropriate and befitting to the given situation, and if such evaluation asks us to make necessary changes to F.R., do it quickly. In this way, you can modify your F.R. and develop it into a new response which can be your S.R. If you find that F.R. is totally inappropriate, then abandon it completely without looking to modify it and come out with an appropriate new response — S.R.  And in both these cases of S.R., our thought-process is in action, so S.R.  is a thoughtful outcome, unlike F.R. A thoughtful response is a sign of maturity.

Once we internalize the above habit and put it into practice, time gap between F.R. and S.R. will get smaller and smaller, for our speed of thinking gets accelerated as a consequential default.  Over a period of time, such internal conversion of First Response into Second Response will happen in seconds and that we will start to express our Second Response as almost quickly as First Response that we, otherwise, would have given.

Develop an internalizing habit where you initially express only to yourself and that you will modify your thoughtless First Response to a thoughtful Second Response or that you develop an altogether new Second Response to eliminate short temper. Is Second Response an all-inclusive, one-shot panacea to be a matured person? The genius writer, James Allen, in his best-selling book titled “As A Man Thinketh” —  the most powerful book that I had ever read — says, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” As I stated earlier, our thought-process is in action during the formation of S.R. As the Second Response is an outcome of our thoughts, it will be a natural coursing down, as James Allen says, that you will start to act in a matured way in accordance with your thought. Hence, the realization that Second Response is the way to your maturity.

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