“Emotional Optimization™” is the aspect of “Human Optimization™” that deals with, you guessed it, emotions. Emotional health is an essential element in maximizing your potential and achieving success. Those who lack emotional intelligence will self destruct long before success can flourish.
We have all been hijacked by our emotions at one time or another. Sometimes they serve us and our interests, but there are times when they definitely work against us. Road rage is an excellent example of emotional sabotage. A woman was driving through the streets of Vancouver one sunny summer day when she was side swiped by another vehicle. The driver pulled in front of her, threw his car in reverse, and proceeded to smash into her several times. I suppose he didn’t like what she was doing. But wait a minute! He was the one who side swiped her. His emotions clearly got the best of him.
Can you think of a time when your emotions got the best of you, and maybe even hindered your progress toward success? If you are honest, then I suspect that you would have to answer a resounding “Yes!” We can all remember such a time; usually with considerable embarrassment.
Emotional health implies emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage your emotions in a way that will enable you to succeed and enjoy life. Those who can’t manage their emotions will be ruled by them. In most cases, their emotions will run them right off the road to success.
A friend of mine bought a new car and was excited to take it on a road trip. The car wasn’t actually “new,” but it was new to him. He went on a 10 hour drive to visit some friends in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. On his way back he heard a loud bang in the engine compartment, followed by a grinding sound, and an immediate drop in power. He wasn’t far from the city so he called me and asked if I would pick him up. My friend had assumed that the car was in perfect running condition. Turned out that his “new” car burned oil, and he neglected to checked the oil while on his trip. One mile from home the engine seized, and his car coasted to it’s demise. The next week we put in a new motor.
My friend insisted that there was no “oil light” to warn him of the cars impending doom—though I wondered if he was simply too embarrassed to admit it. In most cases a light will flash on the dashboard, warning the driver that there is a problem with the motor. When we see this light we don’t panic; we don’t ignore it or bash it with a hammer. We simply heed the warning and check for a problem. The light is there for a purpose. It is there to warn us that something is wrong. That little read light is our friend.
That is exactly what our emotions are. They are the red flashing light on the dashboard of our lives. They let us know when something is amiss. It doesn’t do any good to get worked up about them, or ignore them, or suppress them, or allow them to explode and destroy everything in their path.
Our emotions serve a purpose. They help us to understand ourselves and how we are responding to the people and circumstances around us. They warn us when something is wrong, so that we can take action and make the necessary adjustments. They also let us know when all is right with the world and our place in it.
The average person experiences many different emotions everyday. Usually we don’t give them a second thought. We just assume that they are a part of life—sometimes good, sometimes not so good. Often we are not even aware of many of the emotions we experience during the course of the day—sorry guys, but this is especially true of us. The vast majority of the time we don’t give our emotions the credit or attention that they deserve.
Emotions are exceptionally helpful if we will take the time to understand their role in our lives, and determine how we should respond to them. Doing nothing and letting them “just happen” will ensure that they will control you.
If you are not convinced of the importance of emotional health then try to complete an important project, or achieve excellence at a task, when your depressed, worried, or anxious. It’s very difficult. All people, without exception, are hindered by negative emotions when they are trying to achieve something. It’s like trying to drive through a snow storm when your trying to get home from a long business trip.
Emotional Optimization will ensure that your emotions don’t rule—or ruin—your life. When you master your emotions they become your friend, your guide, your counsellor, your self optimization coach. Make them your friend, and you will be able to enjoy your journey to success.