Perfect for: Personal Development, Stress Relief, Patience
Length: 243 pages
Depth: Light to read but may spark heavy self-reflection
Why do we make emotional/reactive decisions and how can we separate emotions from decision making, hence becoming “emotionally agile”. This essentially means being able to recognize your emotions, understand why you are feeling them and make corresponding decisions which most align with your long-term values.
All the Feels:
I did not find this book to be life changing. The author does a great job of explaining how our emotions work and dictate behavior, however I felt there was not enough actionable advice. Regardless this book made me think about how I handle certain situations. For example, why do I get so frustrated when I am having a meal with a noisy chewer? It seems so illogical to get angry, but it is the natural emotion my brain produces. Being able to recognize this and create space between my emotion and reaction is a skill I look forward to further refining.
My Main Takeaway(s):
- “The Hook” – situation happens, elicits emotions, decision is made based from preset list of responses (Emotion: Anger, Standard Responses to Anger: yell, bottle it, scowl, cry, etc.)
- Separate the facts from the emotions that closely follow:
Fact: I am trying to learn Spanish
Emotions: I am not learning fast enough. A brighter person would already be fluent by now.
- Do not compare yourself to others, focus on evaluating yourself against yourself. Realize that change does not happen overnight, and your end goal will likely take time to achieve. Focus on getting better every day.
- “Show Up” – face your emotions, accept them, think of the purpose/function of this emotion (why you have it and how it can help serve you in the future) and then think of several ways to move forward
- When experiencing an emotion: (1) say “I am feeling XYZ” (2) say it backwards “ZXY gnileef ma I”. This will create time and space between the emotion and “standard response”. With this time/space you can think of a reaction that best aligns with your long-term values as opposed to immediately reacting to the emotion.
- Identify your values and walk the talk. If you value business success then read, attend seminars/classes, etc. The amount of time spent practicing a given value does determine order of importance.