How much "Mad Time" do you have in your life?

Do you know what “Mad” time is? It is time we waste when we are mad at others or the world. Road Rage is an extreme example of “Mad” time. How many lives have been wasted because of one single incident on a highway that took less than five seconds? Yet, when Mad time takes over, a single incident can turn into wasted hours, wasted weeks and even wasted lives. Mad time has a notorious propensity to escalate and keep on escalating. An incident can turn neighbors into lifelong enemies. One single incident turns friends, lovers and family members into people that now hate and despise each other. Mad time is a vicious gift that keeps on giving. It gives more and more time to continue hating and loathing and despising others. Nothing is more pernicious or insidious than Mad time. “Of course, you are right, it was not your fault. Of course, they were being jerks. Of course, they should apologize.” How much time do you waste thinking about what they did wrong and how you were insulted or maligned?

Have you ever sent an email that you wanted to retrieve? Did it cause you problems when you could not retrieve it? How much time did it take to send the email versus the time it cost you to fix the problems you created by sending it? Have you ever said something you wish you could take back? How much time did it take you to make up for this one lapse of patience. This is Mad time at work. Mad time can consume us and consume the time we could use for helpful activities.

In business, one looks at Costs versus Benefits and it is called a Cost-Benefit Analysis. Perhaps we should have a process for doing a “Mad Time Analysis.” Before we shoot off that angry letter, before we yell at the other driver, before we say those angry words, we should do a cost benefit on the time it will cost us to make amends or the time that it will take out of our lives to repair the damage our actions might cause. How much time will it save or waste versus the time it took us to be angry and retaliatory? Sometimes, you can never undue the damage that one minute of haste or one minute of anger can do. Nothing can take back a life that is lost.

Are you a Mad-aholic? Do you get off on spending Mad time and then dealing with it? What if you had less Mad time in your life? Can you start reducing your Mad time by redirecting your anger? What could you do when you are angry rather than retaliate? Think about how much better your life would be with less Mad time.

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