People misunderstand emotions. They describe someone as “emotional” when they seem excited. They tend to associate being “emotional” with emotions like anger or rage.
Thinking that acting on only a few emotions exhausts the range of all emotions shows low self-awareness and room for improvement for those who want more self-awarenes. The better you understand emotions, the more accurately you describe them.
Humans have many emotions. Not only do they motivate us, they motivate us all the time. Emotions include calmness, satisfaction, comfort, and laziness. When someone is sitting still, apparently inactive, they are acting just as much acting on their emotions as someone angrily yelling. Someone feeling calm is not feeling angry and someone feeling angry is not feeling calm — either way they are acting just as much on their emotions.
Some consider being emotional to mean being out of control of their emotions. But people can lose control of their behavior just as much when they aren’t active. For example, when you have a paper to write and you watch television instead, you are just as overwhelmed with emotions as someone getting into a fight.
Associating emotions with being out of control or excitation romanticizes them, but misunderstands them, leading people to understand their emotions and motivations less. Misunderstanding emotions makes it more difficult to bring about the ones you want, leading to a life with less happiness, joy, fun, or whatever you want and to more misery, unhappiness, and so on. Misunderstanding motivations means you won’t know how to act on your motivations, leading to a lifestyle of environments, beliefs, and behaviors inconsistent with what you want.
You feel emotions all the time. They motivate you all the time, no matter how active or inactive you are. Calmness is just as much an emotion as excitation.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
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