The Method is based on the Model. Keeping in mind that like any model, the Model simplifies what it represents for its purpose. The Model’s purpose is to improve our lives by helping us understand our motivations, emotions, and emotional systems. As with any model, it can’t be absolutely right or true. Neither can any alternative. I mention the above for context because the discussion on the Method will all adopt the perspective of the Model.
Let’s start our discussion on the Method with its foundations.
Recall two points from our discussion on the Model.
First, you can control some parts of your emotional system while others you can’t. You can control you environment, beliefs, and behavior. You can’t, except to a limited degree, control your emotions or feeling or reward directly.
Second, reward is what you want most because you feel it when everything else comes together. Something merely in your environment or mere behavior and achievement alone aren’t as meaningful as when they fit with everything else in an emotional cycle. Whatever else you think you want acquires value and meaning only by the reward it brings. I stated it so bluntly to communicate the idea clearly. Of course, you have to take more into account, like pleasure and pleasurable emotions, and that reward comes in a range of characteristics. Click the link in this paragraph for more context and background.
At first these two points seem to imply a cruel twist — that we can’t control the most important things in life. We want reward and rewarding emotions most and they are the only things we can’t control. You’ve probably heard the phrase “we aren’t designed to be happy” or some variation. I agree with that statement, however much we want happiness or reward. Evolution designed us to pass on our genes however worked. Happiness and reward worked sometimes, but anger and hatred worked others, so you feel whatever emotion your environment, beliefs, and behavior prompt.
You can still have all the happiness and reward you want.
It turns our we have all we need to bring about whatever emotions and reward we want. Because your emotions respond to the other elements in your emotional cycle, you can control your emotions indirectly through managing them.
Already this post suggests the Method’s core — broadly, to choose our environment, beliefs, and behavior to bring about the emotions and reward we want — that is, that resonate with our wiring.
You’ll find you know most or all the practices in the Method from other parts of life. The difference in the Method is that you will use them in unison here, and purposefully.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book