JSC Words of Wisdom #9: Controlling the Heat


PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — Good Friday morning, Everyone! It’s time, once again, for the JSC Words of Wisdom, a.k.a. #JSCWOW. As always, this will drop every Friday morning, more often than not, at 6:00 am Eastern Time. Feel free to share this on your favorite social media outlet with the hashtag — #JSCWOW.

After taking last week off and giving Jazmine Duke the floor for Father’s Day weekend, I’m back on this first weekend of summer and this week deals with a little thing I like to call “Heat.” It’s more commonly known as anger and it can be an impediment to just about any conceivable relationship you even think of having.  Just like you can’t let being Hurt cripple your success, being angry does you even fewer favors. And I speak from experience.

As difficult as it might be for some to believe, I used to have a bit of a temper. Go ahead and pick your jaw up off the ground. Yes. I used to have the nastiest of tempers. Much like my last blog on dealing with being hurt, one of the byproducts of “Hurt” is anger. It’s maybe the most common reaction to being hurt or wronged. My anger was always rooted in slights and “disrespect” — some of it perceived, most of it legit — and that often led to angry and (when I was much younger) violent outbursts. It’s not something I’m especially proud of and I’m willing to admit that my hair trigger temper cost me opportunities and led to courses in my life drastically changing. Much like I said a couple of weeks ago — It’s ok to be hurt. It’s not cool to stay hurt — it’s ok to be mad. What you can’t do is let anger overtake you because it leads you to make irrational, and regrettable decisions.  As the quote says above: Don’t burn the whole room down trying to heat the place up.

C - Rasheed WallaceOne of my favorite non-Bad Boy Pistons is Rasheed Wallace (My favorite player on that 2004 team was Rip Hamilton, but I digress). He was the final piece to the 2004 Pistons World Championship puzzle, damn near won them the title in 2005 (that damn Robert Horry) and they were contenders until the end of the decade. But everyone knows why I’m bringing up Rasheed. It’s not because of his stellar play on the court. It’s because of his anger that often kept him off the court — especially when he was in Portland. Rasheed was, pound for pound, one of the 5 best big men in the NBA of the last 20 years. @ Me if you gotta problem, bruh! The thing about Rasheed was that he was often his own worst enemy when it came to his flash-bang anger on the court that would lead to copious technical fouls, ejections, and suspensions. He would get Techs by the Pound, and it would often be the smallest thing that would set him off. When he was able to get that rage in check, he was unstoppable in the post then could pull an opposing 4 or 5 out beyond that three point line and do work.

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Yeah. This didn’t end well…

The key to his success was turning down the rage and blocking out all the things that were very clearly pissing him off — i.e. referees — and channel that anger into something very productive. Now, coming from someone who was known to run hot himself, that approach can only go so long before you inevitably burn out. My anger and frustration got the best of me in a number of instances. The most telling was in 1998 when I was in a Journalism class at Michigan State University. To understand who I was back then, you must remember that I had just turned 19 and I was feeling myself way too damn much for a guy who had done next to nothing at that point in my life. Yes, I had done work at the Detroit Free Press, but that was as an apprentice. But here I was, in Journalism 200, getting madder than a hornet at the professor (my Spartans know who that guy is) for basically tearing down everything I wrote. When I would ask him what I needed to change, he told me. When I did it, he told me it was wrong. Rinse. Repeat. Finally, about 2/3 of the way through the semester, after one more story of mine came back with more comments than anything else, I was so angry and fed up that I stormed out of the class and over to the office to CHANGE MY MAJOR. My line of thinking was:

“I’ll show him. I don’t need a journalism degree to be a journalists. I’ll major in Communications. It’s basically the same thing! Can’t nobody stop me!”

There are a number of things I wish I could get a do-over on. Switching majors at MSU is at the top of that list. I can say unequivocally that 37-year-old Jason would knock 19-year-old Jason on his ass before he could walk into that office and switch out. That’s what happens when pride and anger mix together. Instead of showing a little maturity, asking someone for guidance and flat out cooling the f— down, I tore the whole damn building down and set it ablaze. That’s what that quote at the top means. Do not let a small grease fire turn into a forest fire.

In closing, anger is another one of those impediments to success — be it in your professional and/or personal life — that is fixable. It’s not an easy fix, and there may be underlying stuff behind it, but it is fixable. Ask yourself this question: Is what you’re mad at worth ruining what you have or what you’re trying to achieve? Is getting immediate retribution going to make the situation better or worse? Like Rasheed getting 41 Technical Fouls in a season — That Really Happened — didn’t make Portland any better. Like my bailing on my major didn’t make my road any easier, you can’t let that anger heat you up and rile you into a frenzy. The best way to success may be riding a hot hand, but it also takes a cool head.

Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Friday, June 23, 2017.

Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ

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One Comment on “JSC Words of Wisdom #9: Controlling the Heat

  1. Pingback: JSC Words of Wisdom #10: Taking Care of the Home Team – Jay Scott Smith.com

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