This week our Master Key Mastermind group began reading Scroll 6 of The Greatest Salesman in the World. The thematic statement is “Today I will be master of my emotions!” Before reading it through I asked, what does emotional mastery really mean? Where in my emotional life do I need to be more masterful? Immediately I thought of my emotional eating! Yes, although I refrain from repeating the phrase, I do acknowledge that I have been (like that past tense…) an emotional eater and it has NOT served me well.
As far back as I can remember, even as a child, food was readily made available in states of heightened emotion whether it was celebrating a birthday or the holidays, or after experiencing a setback or disappointment…or even at a funeral. There was always the idea of going to eat and of course in those times in particular I would get my favorite foods which only reinforced the pleasure. I even have the cutest picture of me as a young child with a fried chicken drumstick in my hand. (It started way back then…)
It’s A Balancing Act
So I eagerly read on in hopes of finding a clue on how I can more readily and consistently alter my eating behavior when I feel stressed or even celebratory. Here are a couple of take aways. First, emotional mastery is a balancing act. It’s about balancing out negative feelings like depression, sadness, illness, fear, uncertainty and the like with contrasting affirming behavior. For example, if you feel depressed, sing. If you feel incompetent, remember your past successes. The act of choosing a behavior that negates the negative emotion can move you back to center. Likewise it is important not to get too full of ourselves because emotions like overconfidence, omnipotence, and overindulgence can wreck havoc on emotional stability as well. Similarly you can balance out those more positive emotional states to a more grounded mindset.
Two Ways to Mastery
Additionally I noticed a key statement in the text. It said, “Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” The paragraph above about “a balancing act” is an example of how this would be applied. The challenge that surfaced when reading this was the seeming contradiction to a foundational principle we’ve talked about since day one in the Mastermind…the idea of the 4 boxes beginning with thoughts, beliefs, actions and results. The simple idea here is that too often people simply focus on the actions needed to get the results they desire. The driving point behind the 4 boxes is that we need to go back further to change the thoughts and beliefs that come before the actions in order to experience real and lasting/sustainable change. Perhaps the last part of the last sentence is the key. If you want sustainable change with minimal needed effort, change your underlying thoughts and beliefs. Short term however, you can begin that shift in thinking and ultimate beliefs with new actions. Hence there are two ways to begin mastering our emotions. I’m choosing to work from both ends…I’m committed to becoming a master of myself all the way around and indeed greater! Join me!!
One Final Note, I’ve attached a message from Tony Robbins below. He shares his list of 10 emotions we should cultivate. Check it out.