Wrath, greed, envy, sloth, pride, gluttony, and lust: The Seven Deadly Sins, right? But wait …is that not so … A.D. 590?
Each day in America, hundreds of customers queue up to enter what have been termed “Anger Rooms”, to simply smash everything in sight, from TVs to mannequins, only to exit moments later, smiling and content. And they pay up to $100 for this “privilege”.
Destructotherapy, as it’s called in medic jargon, has become a controversial form of anger management in mental-health circles, but the general American population seems drawn to it anyway.
In Spain, shrewd business minds have organized outdoor events where people willingly pay to demolish cars, appliances, and computers with sledgehammers.
The chronic suppression of anger can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and sleep disorders, studies have repeatedly shown. When you let loose every once in a while, you vent the emotional steam from life’s pressure cooker.
If you’re married, a little bit of the ranting might even save your life. As in, couples who hold regular “fights” have been known to live longer than those who bottle up.
Note to the ladies: Sorry, expressing anger on the job appears to be acceptable for only men. Angry outbursts from women are more likely to be attributed to emotional imbalance (and poor upbringing).
Demonized as it is, greed still has some redeeming qualities. When it spurs people on, as it does within the capitalistic in which we live today, then it has some real positive value.
And greed for knowledge … What’s wrong with that? So really it depends on the type of greed you are talking about.
Even materialistic greed can have positive effects. When you’re pursuing and acquiring what you desire, do you not feel great?
This has the potential to benefit not only you personally, but also those around you, including family, friends, and, depending on your business, shareholders and society. And in the end, even if you have acquired great wealth, others’ resentments are often forgotten if the proceeds are used for the wider good. To feel greed is basic human nature!
Instead whining about what others have that you don’t, draw three columns on a blank page and headline them: Who? Why? and Now What? Then write down the person you envy, why you envy them, and what you plan to do about it.
In other words, take envy as a call for action, as a tool to motivate yourself.
What you have done is convert malicious envy, a classic sin into benign envy, which definitely is a win. Benign envy, which lacks the venom of its poisonous big sister, motivates us to improve.
Although pride is regarded by some as the original deadly sin, what we’re talking about is achievement-oriented pride, and it can be born within individuals or groups, whether corporate, ethnic, or civic.
Achievement-oriented pride creates feelings of optimism and worthiness. It is motivational, and results in greater perseverance and personal development. It even changes physical appearance, prompting more smiles and better posture, which affect social standing.