What are the top three emotions you feel most days?
Your answers to those questions are a great compass to the state of your life.
The answer to the first question is important because how we feel determines how we act. When you feel stressed, what do you do? When you feel happy, what do you do? When you feel angry, what do you do?
The answer to the second question is important because it immediately shows us how we’re thinking about what’s going on in our life. What are you telling yourself about why you feel what you feel? Are you pointing the finger at someone or something else? An external factor? Or, are you taking responsibility for how you feel by reminding yourself that you feel what you feel because of the thoughts you’re focusing on. If you’re like “Whaaaat? I feel what I feel because of the thoughts I focus on?!”, please watch or re-watch my two earlier blogs on emotional management (titled Emotional Management 101 and Emotional Management 201). I’ll assume you’re all caught up on our fall curriculum and ready to play the adult in your life. You understand that you choose which thoughts to focus on each and every day and those thoughts drive the emotions you feel. Okay, so what are emotions? Emotions are energy in motion. They can be described with one word (sad, glad, lonely, mad) and are states of feeling that result in physical and psychological changes in our being.
There are lots of reasons why it’s important to be aware of what we feel. How we feel drives our actions, inactions, or reactions. If I’m angry, I’ll be more reactive. If I’m calm, I’ll take clean, clear action. If I’m sad, I might never get off the couch. For this blog, I want you to look at the big picture; to take a step back from right here, right now and look at how you feel most days and how that creates the life you’re living. Why do I want you to do this? Because it will allow you to consciously create a life you want to be living, versus a life you end up living. I passionately believe that we are all here on earth for a reason. We can not thrive in our lives if we are bumbling along, unaware of our thoughts or feelings. Life does not happen to us, it happens for us. When we bumble along thinking we feel a certain way because of what someone else did or something that happened, we are not able to show up as our true selves and we do not live up to our potential in this world. This is a crucial crossroads in our society. Will we show up or will we hide? Showing up doesn’t have to be some massive thing and hiding doesn’t always look cowardly. Showing up can be asking for help when you need it. Hiding can be signing up for a committee you don’t want to serve on. When we slow down to answer these two power questions, we’re able to shine some light into areas of our life where we might be hiding or where we are showing up strong. You, and only you, are in charge of creating your life. There is no knight in shining armor. No one is coming to save you. No one is coming to fix things. You are the adult in your life and you are responsible for your experience here on earth.
What was your answer to the first question?
What would you like your answer to be?
If there is a difference I encourage you to dig in and get to work. Yes, it is work but it is the most rewarding work you’ll ever do. How do I know? Because the life I’m now living is better than anything I ever could’ve imagined 5 years ago. For many years, the top three emotions that I felt were stress, bitterness, and sad. Why? I now know it’s because of the thoughts I was focusing on. At the time, I was excellent at blaming others. I was stressed because of all of the stuff I had signed up to do in my kids’ classrooms and on their sports’ teams. I was bitter because I thought my husband wasn’t supportive enough of me as a mom or a woman. I was sad because I thought I was all alone – everywhere I looked the other moms seemed to have it all together: they seemed to enjoy packing the perfect school lunches, they seemed to love spending hours surrounded by people 1/4 of their age, their husbands seemed supportive, etc… Did I want to feel sad, bitter, and stressed? No way! But I didn’t know what to do! I felt out-of-control and like I had no options. I had had these kids, I had chosen this husband…this is the life I had created and if it didn’t feel like I wanted it to, then so what? I remember my dad actually asking me: “So what? Aren’t you happy enough?” Happy enough? And so what?!? That’s a HUGE so what! So what if I’m stressed? So what if I’m sad? So what if I’m overwhelmed, bitter, depressed?! This is the work I do. We matter. You matter. I matter. You are here for a reason and you will not live up to that reason floating along in middle-class malaise. Flip that “so what” on its’ head. So what if this is what your parents did; So what if your neighbors are ‘happy enough’. You matter. You are not here on earth to suffer. If you want motivation to craft an exceptional life, to live up to your purpose here on earth, look at your kids. You get to model for them a life worth living. You get to show them that there’s more than running from one event to the next. You get to show them that they can create a life they want to live.
- What are the top 3 emotions you feel most days?
Choose to be the victor, not the victim, in your life. Victims feel helpless and blame other people and things for how they feel. Victors know they are in charge of how they feel and get to work creating a life they want.
- How do you want to feel today? Tomorrow? Next week?
- What can you do today to get closer to that feeling state?