Schopenhauer on the consistency and reliability of our emotional systems
I haven’t read anything by Arthur Schopenhauer and hardly know anything about him, but I agree with this quote from him:
Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will.
One can choose what to do, but not what to want.
People contrast emotions with reason, see they differ, and conclude emotions are irrational, unpredictable, and follow no system.
I agree they are hard to predict in others whose environments, belief, and behaviors we don’t know, but that doesn’t mean our emotions aren’t systematic.
I, like Shopenhauer, it seems, see the human emotional system as systematic. It depends on its inputs — the person’s environment, beliefs, and behaviors — but given them, it creates consistent outputs.
Effective leaders understand the consistency of our emotional systems from experience. Effective leadership means knowing how to consistently inspire the desired emotions.
If you believe emotions or our emotional systems are random, unpredictable, or inconsistent, you’re holding yourself back from improving as a leader or, for that matter, a better life for yourself.
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