Volume 2, Issue 4
Our motivations are the original rock that starts an avalanche. Motivations turn into goals, and then cascade into emotions that flare negative or positive when events/people are perceived to interfere with or enable us in reaching our goals. This all happens whether we are aware of any of it or not.
When we are in a state of negative emotion our capabilities are reduced. Brainpower is being distracted away from effective action clarity. The very thing that caused our negative emotion guffaws in triumph at our helpless self-attack, which leaves the irritant unscathed. The very thing we need most when the negative alarm goes off is to turn off the alarm and use all our brainpower effectively. So from the standpoint of adult commonsense logic, our indulgence of wallowing in negativity for more than an instant is totally unjustifiable and indefensible — in a word, ineffective.
People say they have no control over negative emotions. This is the archetypal self-fulfilling prophecy. If you refuse to give up control to your own habituated robot circuitry and instead fight it (the true meaning of jihad) eventually you win and then you feel very good forever after that. This is called Enlightenment. Think of it over-simplistically as gaining control of your own castle, your own motivations, goals, emotions, and everything else that is you.
What is a man?
What has he got?
If not himself, then he has not.
— Excerpt from the lyrics of My Way, sung by Frank Sinatra
Once you have that control it is easier to give up control to the Flow state, where things seem to be doing themselves spontaneously and perfectly while we watch as observers from the inside. This often has the appearance to outside observers of you performing so perfectly that you even seem to know what other people are going to do next. Your motivations-goals-emotions-ideas-actions system is performing as a whole in Flow state, which is why the actions are so perfect. This is where you eventually get by rejecting negativity and getting down to solving whatever is the cause of your negative emotion.
I hypothesize that our being trained to cry for rescue in infancy sets up a circuit that sublimates into the same thing on more invisible levels throughout life. Parenting around this would be a good idea, for example by soothingly reminding the infant every time he/she cries that it is more effective to call for us more pleasantly, perhaps even musically, and we will come just as fast. Then we have to remember to pay off that promise ardently so as to reinforce the non-anguish appeal over the rescue me syndrome. I see all negativity as coming from this rescue me circuit. It is a construct that helps me overcome it.
Any construct that works to gain control of habitual counterproductive programming is a useful tool. A more extreme version is my imagining that an alien spy is the source of the negativity — it is not coming from the true me. Such constructs appear to resonate with the animal parts of ourselves or perhaps at the cellular level of consciousness and certainly with the oldest parts of our brain including the limbic system. At any rate negativity deflates in the presence of such mental toolware, which emerges from imagination in the marketplace of the inner mind. Imagination is a great source of energy and leads to clarity.
The Human Effectiveness Institute offers such toolware but we achieve our own highest success when we inspire individuals to get into the game of creating their own toolware in response to their own observed moments of EOP and their own observing of what works to overcome it.
To return to our first point, motivations are the base of your being, so it is good to start there as you re-inspect your “SELF” from these perhaps new points of view offered here. What are your motivations and why? What are the goals that serve these motivations? What is helping you reach those goals? What is impeding you? What do these insights imply in terms of action decisions?
In the absence of protracted negativity — using it just as an appreciated alarm system — enjoyment of life is the natural levity remaining once the weights have been lifted. Let’s levitate into levity!
Best to all,