[This post is part of a series on The Method to use The Model — my model for the human emotional system designed for use in leadership, self-awareness, and general purpose professional and personal development — which I find the most effective and valuable foundation for understanding yourself and others and improving your life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Step 2, the Method’s first active step, is to pick your direction, the key word being your. You will transform yourself based on your emotions, based on your wiring, meaning based on your values, meaning, and purpose. Not anyone else’s. You already clarified your boundaries in step 1 so you won’t do anything you consider wrong.
I recommend not going to steps 3 or 4 first, as much as picking emotions may seem to have less action than later steps. Your emotions are what create value, not your behavior, possessions, environment, and so on. If you get your emotions effectively, you’ll feel reward from creating them, which will keep you going. You’ll enjoy life.
If you don’t choose your emotions effectively, you won’t enjoy or feel reward and you’ll have to push yourself through emotional conflict until you give up or get lucky and stumble onto something rewarding. You’ll struggle.
The beauty of this step is that because of it, the more you transform your life, the more you make it consistent with what you consider important — your emotions, values, meaning, and purpose. Therefore the more you will live the life you want, free of external constraints other people impose on you.
Your next step will be to think of ways to create these emotions through changing the other three parts of your emotional cycle, so choose ones you’ll like to experience.
Here are new emotions that would fit with the three examples from step 1.
Running a marathon
New emotions: Excitement, dedication, discipline
Becoming more entrepreneurial
New emotions: Excitement, leadership, accountability
Improving Public Speaking
New emotions: Excitement, fun, nothing to lose
How do you choose what new emotions to adopt?
Besides choosing ones consistent with your wiring, the Method is based in taking responsibility and creating circumstances for oneself. One of the most effective ways to create situations and emotions you want is to use the principle “Don’t look for blame but take responsibility for making things better to the extent you can.” Blaming the world might make me feel better in the short-term, but blaming others (or “the world” or “the universe”) leads me to believe I don’t have the power to improve my situation so I don’t.
Another effective way to find new emotions is to find role models who do what you do and feel better about it than you. If you don’t love your job, find someone who loves their job and ask how they perceive it. If you want to get more fit, find someone who got fit from where you are now. You get the ides.
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