The 5 Emotions That Drag Us Down Or Shape Our Destiny

I watched three movies yesterday (a lazy week-end!). As the stories unveiled, I couldn’t help noticing how emotions interfere with certain decisions. Perhaps, being on the other side of the screen, made it easy for me to “see through” these characters.
Yes, I understand that the making of a movie, revolves around a “plot”. The roller coaster emotions, decisions and actions keep the audience entertained. The funny thing is, it’s not limited to the cinema; the very same thing happens in real life!

Looking back at your life, have there been moments which would have inspired a movie? I can recall a few. Some are funny(embarrassing!) and the rest.. awfully painful (no doubt, a recipe for a successful movie!)
May be you also created your own “plot” unknowingly…. giving away to emotions that shaped you to be where you are today.

Drag Us Down Or Shape Our Destiny?

 Emotions That Drag Us Down Or Shape Our DestinyOur minds perform a series of information processing in order to form strategies needed to live our daily lives (in other words, decisions are made!). We often have different preferences as to our preferred approach, varying between thinking and feeling. Ideally, everyone has a different "make-up" that influences how they take decisions.

I invite you to take a look at the last 5 (serious!) decisions you had to make. How did the following emotions influence that decision?

1. Fear
Of the future
Of change
Of failure
Of rejection
..............

Regardless of who you are or what you have achieved in your life, you have no doubt been confronted by fear in some capacity. Maybe some of our fears are brought on by our own experiences, by what someone has told us, by what we've read in the papers, watch on television etc.

Many of us don't pay attention to how fear is impacting our life, and we have grown to accept the “fear talk” as the norm. We believe what fear tells us, and sometimes we give a fair weight-age to a decision based on this emotion.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear that you will make one." ~ Ellen Hubbard
2. Love
Who among us have not made hasty/crazy decisions because of love!

3. Lust
Desire, longing, craving, yearning.... for sex, power, wealth, possessions, success etc. Take a newspaper and browse through it; you will find many examples!

4. Anger
Anger is a great destroyer. Research has proven that anger biases people towards impulsiveness and risk-taking.

5. Pride
Pride based on personal excellence is encouraged. However, too much pride can easily tip the balance toward vanity, haughtiness and self-love.

Note: I know that this subject is much more complex than I reflect here. Indeed, it makes an interesting study for neuroscience and psychology. My intention was to ponder on how the regulation of emotions, influence our decision making. One might argue that we base a decision beyond the emotions mentioned here. I agree. I didn’t detail all because the emotions listed here, form the “basis” on which other emotions are built.

When making a decision, "parking my emotions at the door" has always been a challenge for me. How about you?

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21 comments:

rummuser said...

It is indeed a challenge. I am an impulsive decision taker. By and large the decisions turn out alright but the occasional one will be the wrong one. This is however par for any kind of decision making and so without worrying too much about it I take decisions. This has made me decisive and capable of handling stress as it comes.

Avani-Mehta said...

I am a sucker for love. Would do anything for those I love.

Shamelle said...

@rummuser: Is good that you are aware of your "decision style". Perhaps that make the whole process a little less stressful.

@Avani:I am too!

Evelyn Lim said...

I definitely feel the challenge of leaving my emotions at the door. I can feel the "tug of war" going in my head sometimes. Do I choose to Be One (togetherness) or do I choose separateness (my Ego)?

Shamelle said...

@Evelyn: I can related to what you mention. The tug of war for me is between the heart and the mind!

mkj6 said...

I have made many decisions because of love or pride, I'm impulsive. But I can't say rational decisions have been much better, at the end when I have something difficult to face I have to follow my gut instincts. Emotions are bad when they lead to paralysis.

Bamboo Forest said...

These are fine points.

I think it is vital we use our minds when making decisions. You always hear "follow your heart."

The heart is valuable - but it is the mind that prevents us from leaping into things we shouldn't. To acting in ways that aren't wise.

The mind should always be consulted.

Dot said...

It took a lot of years before I realized that I do a to of things impulsively. I'm still trying to get that under control.

Jean Browman--Transformng Stress said...

One of the Traits of Stress-Hardy, Resilient People is

"They have a sense of meaning, direction, and purpose. They are value-centered rather than reactive and defensive. They understand that emotions are great sources of energy and motivation but are often poor guides for action. Instead these people use their values as guides."

So I try to use my emotions as basic energy that I can use to take action. I try to tune into my deepest values to decide what that action should be.

Robin said...

Hi there Shamelle - I reckon it is quite an art to distinguish whether our actions are coming from our emotions or from our intuition. I am better than I used to be!

Stacey / Create a Balance said...

I appreciate this post. Fear, love, and pride have been involved in many of my serious life decisions.

Shamelle said...

Hi All,
Thank you very much for your comments. It seems like this is a subject that relates to many of us!

The battle of the mind vs heart continues..
Shamelle

Patricia Singleton said...

I tend to overthink most of my decisions. I am working on listening more to my intuition and less to my fears and doubts. Great post.

liza said...

this is a great post. i am impulsive too, and yes it is hard to distinguish emotion from intuition.

eranda said...

Nice to see a great blog from another sri lankan. Can't beleive I didn't find you before. Great post. Stumbled. :-)

Meghna said...

Very interesting and I learnt a lot from this post:P

Peter | The Change Blog said...

This is a very interesting topic Shamelle. I tend to have a pretty good grip on my emotions. However, I think life would be pretty boring if we never allowed ourselves to get carried away with our emotions, particularly when it comes to something such as love.

Grace said...

Interestingly enough, they've done research with MRI scans and found out that most of the decision making is MADE with the emotional/intuitive side. It's only when options are narrowed down to the final two or so that the rational mind is even invited in. :-) G.

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Marie said...

Shamelle,
I'm getting caught up on my blogs this morning - and loved this post! Emotions truly do keep us on our toes, especially when we are outside of our comfort zone. We have to make sure that we don't let them control us, control our decisions and hinder us from thinking things through. Sure, many decisions are based on emotions, but keeping them in check - allows us to make wise decisions.

Thanks for the great reading...it goes great with my morning coffee! (yummm liquid gold...)

Melissa said...

"Our minds perform a series of information processing in order to form strategies needed to live our daily lives (in other words, decisions are made!)."

^Exactly! I think this is key in understanding what emotions are all about...at a basic level they are survival strategies to protect us from danger...but sometimes they do get out of whack and then we lose grip of who we are or why are behaving in certain ways. That's why it's so important to be mindful of your emotions so that you are at least aware of how you are responding to life and making decisions.

I explore this topic of emotions and health on my blog as well : http://mindfulconstruct.com

I look forward to reading more of your posts here, there seems to be a lot of constructive tips on living a healthy life!

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