How to Listen to Your Emotions

Summary: Emotions, feelings, or thoughts are action signals. They are signalling you to do something about them.

Do you tend to have a lot of things to think about?

Do you daydream?

Do certain thoughts keep looping and coming back?

If so, how many times do you address these thoughts? Do you step back and articulate them?

For example, you may be “worried” about an upcoming exam, interview, or a customer meeting. Maybe, you find yourself daydreaming about the past or future.

Above statement describes my average day about seven months ago. (still working on it)

Worry about school, startup, client meeting and other goals.

But “worry” or daydreaming was a symptom of a bigger problem. 

I was letting vague words such as worry, daydreaming, and thinking distract me from getting to the root of the problem.

Then came my AHA! moment;

All of these emotions, thoughts or worries are ONLY action signals.

They are trying to “signal” you to take action.

Are you “worried” about a goal? Maybe its because you are not measuring your progress, thus, your brain has no idea!

If you are thinking a lot, distracted easily by thoughts, daydreaming, or worried your brain is screaming “HELP ME! Organize me! Take Action!”

Organize your brain by articulating a plan to address your worry. For example, measure your goal’s progress so your brain doesn’t worry.

Articulating and building upon action signals will give you clarity and focus to work towards those dreams instead of just daydreaming about them.

It is no surprise that the greatest scientists had their “Aha!” moments after countless writings and not just thinking.

Likewise, great artists create beautiful pictures not because they know what exactly to draw, but they act on the action signal. The signal to create not knowing every granular details – depth, color, breadth etc (See pic below).

Imagine if you acted upon all of your action signals (thoughts)? Would you still find yourself thinking as much?

Lastly, from personal experience, there is an optimal level of thinking. Too little = bad and Too much = bad. Articulating my thoughts with a pen or a paper puts prevents me from over and under thinking.

Thinking (Mind) + Articulating (Hand/Pen) = Aha Moment! (Action Step)

Words articulated into a meaningful picture. Now try imagining the words dispersed all over?

Picture Credit: My good friend.


Lessons Learned

  1. Emotions and thoughts are action signals. They are trying to tell you something.
  2. It is upto you to take action based on the action signals.
  3. Your brain is a thinking machine (subconscious). You need to consciously articulate those thoughts.
  4. Do not let your brain fool you with “worry” or other vague emotions that can cloud your mind.

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