“Look before you leap.” “Think before you act.” “Logic makes people think, emotion makes them act.” Yes, we’ve heard all these before. Some of us might even be living by them. Level-headedness is more the exception than the norm. “Go with the flow” is often taken to the extreme and becomes nothing more than impetuousness. “Do it if it feels good” brings with it more grief than actual satisfaction. Harvey MacKay has said that “If you make business decisions with your heart, you’ll usually end up with heartache.” He’s right, of course, and not just when making business decisions, either! So, how do we handle this thing about emotions? We are, after all, emotional beings just as much as we would like to think that we are rational ones. How do we avoid the pitfalls of making decisions based on fleeting emotions?
The first thing we need to realize is that our emotions are the result of our thoughts, not the other way round. We feel good when we decide to feel good. We feel terrible if we decide that we have no choice but to succumb to the maelstrom of negativity surrounding us and spinning us uncontrollably towards a vortex of oblivion. More often than not, we could have steered our way out of the maelstrom if we would have just bent our efforts to the oars, the engines or even the sails. Get this straight. Our thoughts lead our emotions. When we realize that, we will be rewarded with deeper, more satisfying and highly sustainable emotions. Think about all the health benefits we stand to accrue just from that! Heights of ecstasy and depths of compassion are not only good for our soul, they are manifestly and measurably beneficial for our mortal bodies as well!
Next, we need to train our minds to think good thoughts. Having good thoughts result from making consistent, daily choices to think good thoughts, choosing to reframe what would otherwise be negatives and training ourselves to acquire skills and competencies that would form the basis of those good thoughts. Be deliberate in asking yourself what it is you’re thinking about. Always check if what you’re thinking about is true, right and just, and you won’t go too far off course! Train your mind to zoom in and zoom out to get, not only the “bigger picture” but also the whole picture, and from different angles, or viewing points. What is one thing you need to train your mind to do today? Start training now!
Finally, we need to consciously influence the naysayers and destroyers around us to think the way we do. If we can’t, remove them from our consciousness and do not spend any more time than is necessary with them. Never worry about such people. They will find others to drown in the mire with them, or they will turn around one day and thank you for continuing to shine your light!
Stop being so wishy-washy emotionally. Discipline your thought life, and you will continue to experience better, more positive, more satisfying emotions. And be so much healthier for it!