The good news about emotions
We're not born with Anger or Happiness. What we can expect is to create and learn concepts from which we will create meaning.
I've been reading a fascinating book by Lisa Feldman Barett called How Emotions Are Made. It's quite exciting, and I want to share something that stood out to me. Here's a small excerpt from the book.
Another core idea is that the emotions you experience and perceive are not an inevitable consequence of your genes. What’s inevitable is that you’ll have some kinds of concepts for making sense of sensory input from your body in the world because, as we learn in chapter 5, your brain has wiring for this purpose. Even single-celled animals can make sense of changes in their environment. But particular concepts like “Anger” and “Disgust” are not genetically predetermined. – Lisa Feldman Barett
The takeaway is that our emotions such as Anger, Disgust, Happiness, etc. are not hardwired. We're not born with Anger or Happiness. What we can expect is to create and learn concepts from which we will create meaning. How we perceive emotions relates to the concepts we learned throughout our lives. The good news is that the popular expression "I'm just wired this way" or "this is who I am" are false statements we tell ourselves. Or is that the bad news? 😉
There's nothing wrong with how we are, but when we tell ourselves these false statements, we rob ourselves of taking ownership of our actions and behaviours.
I still have more to read from the book. I might do a book summary when I finish reading it. Let me know if this is something you'd like to see!
A few favourites this week
1. Article: I read another great article from Seth Godin entitled Earned crankiness, you should take a look; it’s a short one. If you're willing to believe what Lisa Feldman Barett says emotions, you might consider renaming this article to "Learned crankiness.”
If we earned the right to be cranky, we've learned the right to be cranky. Earned and learned can be seen as synonyms.
2. Book: How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barett. This book is definitely worth the read. If you're at all curious about emotions and how they get created, you'll get a kick out of this one.
Quote of the week
Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
From Arnold Bennett.
If you've enjoyed reading these as much as I've enjoyed writing them, consider sharing it with your friends and family. I would greatly appreciate it
Have a great Sunday and a wonderful week.
Sparknotion – Think Differently.