In talking with a client about overcoming anger I was reminded of a story I heard many years ago. I'm not sure who wrote the original story but the gist of it is this;
A couple of men were out camping in the forest, they went off into the woods and left a kettle full of food over the fire. The kettle was boiling away and a bear became curious with the noise and smell of food. When the bear reached for the kettle he was burned but instead of running away he grabbed the kettle and was burned even more. The more the bear was burned the tighter he hugged the kettle until unfortunately he expired.
I often remind myself, and my clients, that when we hold on to the thing that makes us angry we only hurt ourselves. To help move quickly through moments of anger I'll simply repeat the following statement; Bear Hugs Kettle. It's a quick way to regain my own composure and often times when shared with a friend, colleague or client can bring a knowing smile to their face. I encourage you to give it a try the next time something gets under your skin and threatens to get your hackles up. Just remember the tighter you hold on the more YOU will be burned.
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