We are a bundle of the physical body, the mental mind, our emotions and a soul. A balance between all these four leads to a happy life. Let’s take emotions. Have you heard of something called EQ ? – It means the Emotional Quotient. To succeed in life a high IQ (Intellectual Quotient) is just not enough. We need a good EQ as well. Now what does that mean ? Emotions or some people call it as feelings can make or break you. Emotions are what makes us human. However, life cannot be just lived based on emotions. We feel anger and joy, we feel pleasure and pain and so on. Do you know that there are more than 100 (don’t know the exact number) kinds of emotions that we experience every day. Just like an average person has 50,000 thoughts per day – give and take some.
Given below is the Robert Plutchik wheel of emotions
All of us have felt some or all of these emotions in a varying degree. For example, we feel sad and sometimes very sad i.e. depressed. We feel happy and sometimes very happy i.e. blissful. So why do we feel emotions – the main reason being our thoughts. Our thoughts trigger emotions. Sometimes emotions also trigger thoughts. Say you have booked movie tickets for your entire family. Feels good. When you drive to the theatre, there is lot of traffic. Suddenly the emotion that you feel is anxiety (whether you will reach there on time or not) What triggered this emotion is a thought in the mind. The thought may be saying ‘I’m so fed up with the traffic’. And subsequently you feel anxious. Anxiety can lead to rage and rage can further trigger other thoughts that are related. (for example, your rage emotion may make you recollect an incidence in the office with a colleague with whom you got angry) On and on it goes.
If you let emotions run your life, it’s going to be an expensive mistake. Work or business runs on facts and numbers. There is a space for emotions at work also, but you must keep it under check. Take for example, it’s appraisal time. If you feel that you have been rated lower than what you think, you can’t negotiate with your boss using emotions. You need to provide concrete proof that you have done what you deserve. And then also you don’t get that promotion, let it go. Learn to treat emotions objectively. Factual. You see a flower, smell it, enjoy it and move on. That is all there is to this joyful emotion. If you think that the same flower was given to you by your ex or the color red is not a good color and whatever other baggage that you have (your memories), don’t. Pull back. Learn to see things as they are and not as you want them to be.
We are strange creatures. Sometimes we are like lions and other times like a mouse. We are the only creature on this planet which can’t be defined. A tiger behaves like a tiger, an eagle goes about being an eagle. But us. We take on different roles. We pursue different interests. We have a thirst for the infinite. And we want it all, without having read the user manual for our life. Yes, we are emotional creatures. That separates us from a robot. But that won’t buy us a three course meal. There can be tumultuous emotional moments in our life. The idea is to, not let it get control over us and remember the Bible which says ‘And it came to pass …’ So enjoy this ride by treating all emotions objectively. A machine may take over your job, but it will never wonder looking at the skies, ‘Oh God, what a beautiful sunrise’. That’s what it means being human.