After giving it five minutes of thought, I’ve decided to stop being a hot head

Once in a while, a blog post appears that seems written just for me at just the perfect nanosecond. It is especially great when such a post is written by someone who is such an all-star in my book as Jason Fried.

Read Jason’s entire post titled, “Give it five minutes.”

In it, he admits to something that I find hard to believe. That he used to be “a hothead. Whenever anyone said anything, I’d think of a way to disagree. I’d push back hard if something didn’t fit my world-view.”

He goes on to explain how his life changed when someone he pushed back on countered with the suggestion that Jason should, well, I’ll let Jason pick up the story here:

“He said ‘Man, give it five minutes.’ I asked him what he meant by that? He said, it’s fine to disagree, it’s fine to push back, it’s great to have strong opinions and beliefs, but give my ideas some time to set in before you’re sure you want to argue against them. ‘Five minutes’ represented ‘think,’ not react. He was totally right. I came into the discussion looking to prove something, not learn something.”

I used to be a rather laid back person. Heck, my last name is Hammock, so I probably come from a long line of laid back people.

But during the past few years, I’ve become that guy Jason says he used to be.

I’m not a hothead, in general. But when it comes to a narrow set of issues and to dealing with certain types of individuals, my laid backness has turned into hot headedness.

Twice in the past three days, I’ve had those out-of-body experiences where you can see yourself. And in those experiences, I was coming unglued and confrontational over matters that, yes, I have very deep opinions about. But enough to come unglued? No.

Worse, I didn’t gain anything in trying to counter what the other person was saying. If anything, I probably reinforced a point of view other than my own and convinced those observing that I was in need of anger management training.

So, thanks Jason. Thanks for reminding me to seek to find what used to be at the core of who I was and who I hope to be.

Thanks for reminding me to:

“When I hear something, or someone, talk about an idea, pitch an idea, or suggest an idea, give it five minutes. Think about it a little bit before pushing back…it may be worth it.