A model to help create the life and relationships you want

May 5, 2013 by Joshua
in Exercises, Models, Tips

[This post is part of a series on “Mental models and beliefs: an exercise to identify yours.” 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.]

Do you want an awesome life filled with things you love or do you want a crappy life filled with things you dislike and hate?

I’d consider today’s belief too simple and obvious to post except that so few people seem to get it. At least they don’t live consistently with the strategy it suggests.

A model to help create the life and relationships you want: You get good at feeling and expressing the emotions you practice and express.

Today’s belief, that

You get good at feeling and expressing the emotions you practice and express

is no different from similar beliefs about any skill. As we said in sports, you play like you practice. The more you practice something, the more skillfully you do it.

If you didn’t realize how systematic your emotional system was (systematic is what the system in emotional system means) and just thought emotions randomly occurred to you, you might not realize you could develop skills to feel and express emotions. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like that the word happy derives from the root hap, meaning luck or chance. Or that we suggest Cupid’s arrow or creative Muses create emotions. They don’t. Our environments, beliefs, and behaviors, combined with the emotional system our ancestors evolved, did. But you already read about the Model the other day, so I don’t have to repeat it here.

The more you get angry, the better you get at feeling and expressing anger. Now people know you as an angry person.

The more you have fun, the better you get at feeling and expressing fun. Now people know you as a fun person.

The more you stay calm, the better you get at feeling and expressing calmness. Now people know you as a calm person.

The more you’re happy, the better you get at feeling and expressing happiness. Now people know you as a happy person.

The more you inspire, the better you get at feeling and expressing inspiration. Now people know you as an inspirational person.

The more you love, the better you get at feeling and expressing love. Now people know you as a loving person.

At the risk of sounding too touchy-feely, I’ll restate today’s model with everyone’s favorite emotion

The more you love, the more you can love.

You get the idea. It follows for every emotion. The more you feel and practice each emotion the more you fill your life with the environments, beliefs, and behaviors that create it and the more it becomes a part of your life.

What emotions do you want in your life?

Strategy

If you want more of some emotion in your life, start creating more of it and build on that. I recommend using the Method.

When I use this belief

I use this belief when I notice an emotion I don’t want in my life taking up more of my life than I want. I also use this belief when I feel an emotion and realize I want more of it.

What this belief replaces

This belief replaces helplessly thinking emotions just happen to you with empowering you to create more of the emotions you want, crowding out emotions you don’t want.

Where this belief leads

This belief leads to more emotions you want and less of ones you don’t want. It leads to you creating emotions with your emotional system like a piano player creates music with a piano. It leads you to practice creating emotions like a piano player plays scales.

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