The Eisenhower anger drawer – The 200 words project

US President Dwight Eisenhower used to have fits of anger as a child. Over time, he learnt that anger and hate clouded his judgment. And, in positions of leadership, he couldn’t afford to let that happen. So, he strived to make it a practice to avoid getting angry and hating anyone.

His technique for doing so was to write the person’s name on a piece of scrap paper, drop it into the lowest drawer of his desk, and say to himself – “That finishes the incident, and so far as I’m concerned, that fellow.” Over the years, the drawer became a sort of private wastebasket for crumbled-up spite and discarded personalities. During his time as Supreme Commander and President, he was frequently made a scapegoat by journalists for all sort of troubles. His anger drawer saved him from any negative reactions.

The learning that emerged for me – the anger drawer was Eisenhower’s method to pause and respond to adversity rather than react to it. And, he designed a system that worked really well for him. Here’s to doing that for ourselves..

Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot piece of coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one that gets burnt. | The Buddha

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