Summary: “Examine the emotions associated with your various life pathways”
If you look at your life in the aggregate, what is your answer to the question: Are you joyfully and productively participating in life? If the answer is ‘no’, what do you do next? Here’s an idea: disaggregate your life and subject each major aspect of it to an “emotional-association” evaluation. Allow me to further explain.
Your emotions are perhaps one of your best sources of direct/inside knowledge. By that, I mean most things you know came from an indirect/outside, source – a teacher, a parent, a coach, a book, a video, and so forth and so on. Just as physical pain is a direct/inside source of knowledge telling you to pay attention to something about your body, your emotions may be telling you to pay attention to something about your life. Hold that thought a moment and consider the following three things.
First: One of the more common breakdowns of life includes the following components (in alphabetical order, I’ll leave the order of importance up to you): Career, community, educational, family, financial, social, and spiritual. You can add to this list if you’d like, but this should cover most of the significant life pathways.
Second: One of the more common breakdowns of emotions includes the following categories: joy, sadness, anger, and fear. Each category includes a wide variety of mental states: joy, from calm contentment to exhilarating exuberance; sadness from mild melancholy to clinical depression; anger from mild annoyance to rage; fear from slight discomfort to terror. Again, you can add other categories if you’d like, but these four should cover most of the emotions you will likely experience on a typical day.
Third: Now just combine these two ideas. For each of your life pathways, is the overall pattern of associated-emotions joy, sadness, anger, or fear. These patterns of emotions (not isolated/temporary occurrences) are excellent guides. These guides are internal/direct sources of knowledge, programmed by Mother Nature, telling you that you are either on the right path, or that it’s time for a change.
If it is time for a change, you basically have three options: change something about yourself (the least used, most effective option), change something about someone else (the most used, least effective option), or change something about your environment. Or, of course, you can keep doing what you are doing and keep getting what you are getting.
Take time every so often to think about an emotional-association analysis of your life. It’s a good way to joyfully participate in life.
Joyfully participate in life today…Chris