Anger is my emotional factory setting. I inherited the trait from my father. He used to punch empty cardboard boxes in the grocery store, where he worked after school. His father had been angry too; Wilsons have been short-tempered for generations. It didn’t help that when I was a kid playing sports, over-aggression was prized. It was called being competitive.
As I grew older, I realized that my temper made me an outsider. Being irritable all the time didn’t help me make friends. I tried my best to curtail my outbursts. But by the time I graduated university, my apoplectic responses had become one of my defining characteristics. I thought that limiting myself from fully expressing my rage would leave me stifled, creatively and socially.
I became consciously angry. I wrote angry poetry, listened to angry music, and got mad at people when they deserved it. I channeled ire from social or professional interactions and used it as motivation — a trick I learned as an athlete. Michael Jordan didn’t make varsity his sophomore year of high school; his failure and subsequent indignation fueled him to become the greatest basketball player ever. Anger can be a powerful tool when harnessed correctly. To read more from Bobby Wilson, click here.