How many times have you blamed someone else for how you feel? “You really make me angry!” “You hurt my feelings!” “You totally embarrassed me!” Most people don’t realize that by allowing others to determine how we feel, we actually give away our personal power. We allow others to decide for us how we will feel at any given moment. When I live without power I am, in essence, a victim – I am incapable of making choices for myself and have assigned that responsibility to another. They have the power to determine my level of happiness, joy, love, esteem, misery, rage and so forth. For me, that is not ok. I am a fully functioning adult and am capable of choosing for myself just how happy or miserable I’ll be.
But how does one choose their feelings, including anger? One must first understand where feeling originate: all feelings are the direct result of what we think. Feelings come from thoughts. Throughout the day, we have hundreds or possibly thousands of experiences. For each event, we form a corresponding thought. I look outside my window and think, “My yard really needs a lot of work.” The phone rings and I say to myself, “I hope that’s my son calling from college!” My internal dialogue, the voice in my head, my thoughts, generate a corresponding feeling. I can feel depressed over the condition of my yard or angry that my husband hasn’t taken care of it. I may be ecstatic over the thought of hearing my child’s voice or dread it knowing he only calls asking for money. Either way, I decide how I want to feel. “Oh, well. The yard isn’t really that important. He’s a good husband in so many other ways.” “At least my son calls! Some parents never hear from their children.” A simple change of thought (perception) changes the emotion we experience.
Knowing this allows me to be master of my life – I alone dictate what I think, how I’ll feel, what I say or do, and the direction my life will take.
Here’s a simple equation to remember this – I call it TECO Magic: Thoughts > Emotions > Choices > Outcome.
Thoughts (which we choose) generate Emotions. Next, we act out what we feel. All behaviors and Choices are an expression of what we are feeling internally. Every decision (Choice) we make produces an Outcome, good or not good. Positive thoughts generate positive emotions which cause us to make smart choices and we create a beneficial outcome. Negative begets negative.
Choose your thoughts wisely. They determine the outcome of your life. Remember: “Where your mind goes your life follows.”
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