Motivation And Belief
Strange as it seems, millions of us believe we are not in control of our actions and emotions. Whole political systems have been developed, based on this false notion that we can't decide in our own best interest, so we need politicians to decide for us, with seat belt laws, trans-fat laws, etc. This article isn't about politics, but about discovering what really motivates our decisions and how to use that to make better decisions...ones we really want. If you've ever wondered why you did something or if you suffer from addiction, anxiety, eating disorders or any number of dysfunctions, read on...this article is for you.
You Make Me Angry!
How many times have we said something like "he makes me mad," to place the blame for our emotions on someone else? Who knows...right now you may be thinking of times you've done this recently. Let me ask you a question! If someone is such a jerk as to anger you, why would you want them in control of how you feel? You don't? Good...because they aren't...you are. When we believe other people "make" us feel a certain way, we're giving them control over our emotions.
If I can control your emotions, I can control a lot of your decisions and actions. We all know this to be true. The squeaky wheel gets the most grease because the squeaking gives us emotional pain. Kids are expert at this! Here's an example that proves you control your own emotions: Courtship...you know...all those gifts and compliments and fancy dinners? You also know that getting that kind of attention from someone you don't have romantic feelings for is called...stalking. No, your fiancé didn't make you feel complete; you did that because you were getting romantic attention from someone you had romantic desires for. By the way, this also means it's impossible to "fall" in or out of love. We decide to have those feelings and we decide when we don't, no matter how convenient it is to think otherwise.
I Just Couldn't Help It!
As much as we control our emotions, we control our actions more. "I couldn't stop myself" may work for a child, but part of being grown up is being in control of ourselves, or at least being progressively more in control as the years go on. Imagine a grown man trying to buy food in a clothing store. Upon hearing they have no food, he throws himself on the floor and starts crying and screaming demands for food. Every action is a decision. Of course we can keep from doing harmful things, if we decide to.
I remember resenting the people around me who said, "When you want to quit smoking, you'll be able to." For years, I thought I was controlled by the cigarettes. Guess what! When I wanted to, I quit, in Oct 1989, and haven't had a cigarette since. It isn't that I'm unsympathetic to all those suffering addiction...just the opposite! I've been addicted to booze, drugs, sex, food, etc. I care so much for your recovery that I'm willing to tell you the truth...you can get better if you want. The addiction does not control you...you control you.