A model for what improves life the most

June 6, 2013 by Joshua
in Awareness, Exercises, Models, Perception

[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.]

What can you do to improve your life the most? Exercise more? Eat more healthily? Save or earn more money? Improve your social skills? Buy a house?

I’ve found success in many areas of life. I think I could safely say I’ve performed in the top few percent of performers (to the extent you can quantify these things) in fitness, earning, academic success, business success, relationship success, and various other important things.

Today’s belief is about what, of all things I’ve worked on, brought me the most reward and created the most opportunity to keep growing to more reward.

A model for what improves life the most: Awareness of your emotional processes and emotional state.

Knowing how your emotions work and where they are enables you to manage and influence them.

I consider knowing your emotional self what “Know thyself” means. Since I believe emotional response determines meaning, value, importance, and purpose (MVIP), knowing your emotions helps you understand what creates MVIP and why.

Because your emotions motivate you, knowing how they work and your emotional state tells you had to change it and create the emotions you want. Since emotions come from your environment, beliefs, and behavior, creating the emotions you want means creating the life you want.

Whether you want money, power, fame, beauty, family, or whatever, the foundation comes from your emotions and the motivations to bring those other things into your life. Without motivation you’ll stagnate. Having it creates the best chance for those things.

Also, though many people contrast emotions with rationality and consider them mysterious and unpredictable, I believe the emotional system is consistent, reliable, and predictable — the most solid foundation for everything else.


Working out The Model and The Method helped me a lot. If you want to get what today’s belief got me, I recommend learning what I did by clicking those links.

I also found meditation helpful to understand how my mind worked. It removes the distractions of daily life. Since you aren’t busy reacting to the world, you can observe how it works more on its own. Plus it’s free, though it takes practice to get it right.

I also found the exercise in this recent post the most effective exercise in increasing self-awareness, so I recommend it. It’s also free and takes little time.

When I use this belief

I use this belief when wondering where to devote resources. In my experience, putting resources into raising my awareness and acting on that awareness has contributed to every other part of my life succeeding better and my finding more reward in it.

What this belief replaces

This belief replaces not knowing my emotional system that well with knowing it better.

Where this belief leads

This belief leads to more reward, direction, focus, and motivation.

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