Master your emotional self
- Never react in the moment, never make a decision while under the influence of a strong emotion
- Like everyone, you think you are rational, but you are not
- Rationality is not a power you are born with, but one you acquire through training and practice
- Learn to question yourself, under scrutiny, your emotions will lose hold on you
- You will begin to think for yourself rather than reacting, then, while calm, assess options or solutions
- Like an athlete continually getting stronger through training, your mind will become more flexible and resilient
- Understand: The first step toward becoming rational is to understand our fundamental irrationality. Nobody is exempt from the irresistible effect of emotions on the mind. Being irrational is beyond our control.
- We constantly feel emotions, they continually infect our thinking. Rational people are aware of this and through introspection and effort are able, to some extent, to subtract emotions from their thinking and counteract their effect.
- Rational people are better able to finish a project, realize their goals, work effectively with a team, and to create something that lasts. Irrational people reveal their lives negative patterns, mistakes that keep repeating, unnecessary conflicts, dreams and projects
Recognize the biases
All of our biases come from the desire for pleasure, and the avoidance of pain.
Confirmation bias — “I look at evidence and arrive at my decisions through more or less rational process”
Conviction bias — “I believe in this idea strongly, it must be true”
Appearance bias — “I understand the people I deal with, I see them just as they are”
The group bias — “My ideas are my own, I don’t listen to the group, I am not a conformist”
The blame bias — “I learn from my experience and my mistakes”
Superiority bias — “I’m different, I’m more rational than others, more ethical as well”
Beware of emotional inflaming factors
Trigger points from early childhood
- Misreading the present and reacting to something in the past, leads us to create conflicts, disappointments, mistrust. All strengthen the wound.
- This trigger tears, deep depression, excessive hope
- People under the spell of early childhood emotions often have a very different tone of voice and body language, as if they were physically reliving the moment from early life
- In the midst of such an attack, we struggle to detach ourselves and contemplate the possible source — the would in early childhood and the patterns it has locked us into
- This deep understanding of ourselves and our vulnerabilities is a key step toward becoming rational
Sudden gains or losses
- Can create emotions that lead us to see things in different views
- Gains = excitement, optimism, hubris, complacency
- Losses = pessimistic, doubtful, indecisive
- Rising pressure around us can cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed and see things with negative emotions
- Inflaming individuals become enemies, we see everything they do as an attack and we allow that to affect our mood
The group effect
- Effect from the group atmosphere and how that can impact our emotions
- Exercise a realistic appraisal of yourself, a devotion to truth and reality, a tolerant attitude toward people; and the ability to reach goals you have set
- Know yourself thoroughly
- Examine your emotions to their roots
- Increase your reaction time
- Accept people as facts — work with what they give. Do not try to change them.
- Find the optimal balance of thinking and emotion
- Love the rational