How to Train Emotion

Have you noticed how some actions or events, even smells or sights, can evoke strong emotions? You can learn to harness the emotional connections your brain makes and use them to achieve your life vision. In this article, Joey Klein, Inner Matrix Systems founder and CEO – a personal mastery training system for high achievers – shares […]

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Have you noticed how some actions or events, even smells or sights, can evoke strong emotions? You can learn to harness the emotional connections your brain makes and use them to achieve your life vision. In this article, Joey Klein, Inner Matrix Systems founder and CEO – a personal mastery training system for high achievers – shares a process that can help you attain extraordinary outcomes using the power of your emotions. 

The first step: Vision

We all need a vision of who we are and what we want to accomplish. Goals are great and can help you along a path, but your vision is the destination. It’s where you want to arrive emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Because your vision is (or should be) the answer to life’s “why” questions, it needs to be powerful and meaningful to you. If your vision doesn’t have the power to motivate you, it’s not doing its job. Therefore, building a vision that can evoke strong emotions is the key to achieving your noblest desires and reaching your potential in life. 

The second step: Train

There is a well-accepted neuroscientific theory called Hebb’s Rule. This rule says that “an increase in synaptic efficacy arises from a presynaptic cell’s repeated and persistent stimulation of a postsynaptic cell.” So, what does all that mean? Hebb’s Rule is often summarized as “Cells that fire together wire together.”

In essence, this rule explains why strong emotions can lead us to specific actions and vice versa. 

Note, however, that Hebb’s Rules states “repeated and persistent stimulation…” is required. Thus, the more consistently we can feel enabling emotions such as hope, security, happiness, and joy, the more probable it becomes to feel these emotions again. In contrast, if we allow ourselves to feel anxiety, fear, and hopelessness repeatedly, that negative pattern is reinforced in our nervous system. 

Here’s where that powerful vision we discussed in step one above comes into play. If you repeatedly associate positive emotions with thoughts of that vision, it becomes a tool to help guide your every decision. 

The third step: Application

The application of powerful and positive emotions that are connected to your life vision takes some conscious effort – at first. But, eventually, if you are persistent, it will become a natural part of who you are. 

Begin applying the process by asking two questions of yourself as often as you can. First, especially when you are in decision-making mode, ask yourself “why am I doing this?” and second, “does this action align with my life vision?”

Here’s an everyday example. You’re in the grocery store picking up a few things for your family. As you pass by those delicious-looking donuts, you think, “my family will love these treats.” You’re about to make a decision – to grab some treats for your family. It seems harmless and even thoughtful. You love your family and want them to have things that make them happy. 

With some effort, at first, but later automatically, you will ask yourself, “does this align with my vision for myself and my family?” Of course, your vision includes good health for you and your family, so you rethink that decision and move toward the fruit and trail mix aisle.

For the above scenario to become a reality, two things must have happened before the trip to the grocery store. First, you must have developed a meaningful vision that includes good health, and second, you must have trained your emotions to react to that vision powerfully. Without those two things, the feelings associated with making your family happy (even if not healthy) would have prevailed. 

As you learn to measure your decisions against your vision and the powerful emotions associated with achieving that outcome, you will hardly notice as the process happens unconsciously. Instead, you’ll see those beautiful donuts and think, “those do not fit my vision,” and move on. 

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