This post covers the fourth of several non-Method methods, generally expanding on non-Method method 3, “The Secret” or “Law of Attraction.”
People often, somewhere in the middle of presenting the Method for the first time, for example, ask if the Method is not just positive thinking. Likewise, I hear non-Americans say things like “What is it with you Americans and always wanting to feel happy all the time? Everything in life is not about happiness.”
I agree with the sentiment. I don’t promote trying to feel happy all the time, “positive thinking,” affirmations, or the like. They feel like putting lipstick on a pig. I promote you being you, being more aware of yourself and your emotions, and developing skills to act on that knowledge and awareness.
I find calling emotions positive or negative counterproductive to improving your life since you can use any and all of them to improve your life. Some of my life’s greatest advances came from periods of anxiety, during tearful moments, when I felt terrible, and so on. Had I thought positively or practiced affirmations, I might have been less aware of my situation, its causes, and what I could do about it. And there’s nothing special about me.
Moreover, what people call negative emotions aren’t bad for you. Like physical pain, emotional pain tells you how to prevent repeating mistakes. Something feeling negative or painful is not the same as it being negative or painful. Calling emotions negative and promoting the power of positive thinking shuts people’s awareness of useful emotions.
Calling some emotions negative makes some people want to shun them and act like they don’t have them. How many times have you seen someone obviously angry or enraged, saying through gritted teeth and clenched jaws, “I’m not angry,” in blatant denial. They think some emotions are bad and so repress them. This belief leads to lower self-awareness and motivates them to act without reflection.
The first time I got no playing time in an important game and the team captain told me he couldn’t put me in because or my poor defensive skills I felt horrible and had to go back to the van to cry. Feeling good would not have helped. I sucked at something important to me. I had to improve myself to prevent feeling that way again.
The Method begins with awareness of your emotions — all of them — and emotional system. Your emotions may feel good or bad, but they have other components than just how they feel. You can always use them to improve your life. They have causes and effects that play out in their characteristics. Sometimes you feel bad, but you recognize the feeling is appropriate.
Besides, your emotions are personal to you. Only you know what emotions you want to feel. Maybe you want to feel outraged or angry or miserable for some time. I have. Every successful person I know has. All emotional cycles can bring about emotional reward, the feeling that the combination of your environment, beliefs, emotions, and behavior are all in sync. Emotional reward rewards you more than merely positive emotions.
The Method is designed for you to know and be yourself, to bring about the emotions you want based on that self-knowledge, and eventually create a lifestyle you want based on what you want.
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