What does this mean?
I am quite sure many people are familiar with the idea of controling their emotions. As nerds, we employ logic to figure out how to do something, then evaluate if its worth doing, and then execute what we planed. This is NOT what I am referring too. Emotional control is going beyond that.
In general I believe there are 3 basic types of person. People driven by their emotions, people driven by logic and those who go beyond and achieve emotional mastery. Of course, you can't make a clear separation among them, and people's way to act and think swings between them aswell. But you should most of the type aim for the third.
This is the attitude most "normal" people have when it comes to living life. They are happy when good stuff happens to them, they get depressed when shit goes south, they suffer doing the stuff they have to, and are happy again when doing what they enjoy.
They can actually be very happy, since its entirely possible to run overall good in life with some luck. Or they can be emo bitches when shit goes bad and never be able to pull their shit together and turn stuff around.
The great flaw on this way of living life, is that you rely on the outside to make you happy. You never take responsability on getting shit done and its really hard to improve on anything. You blame your flaws on your family, your friends, genetics or society and dont take action.
It's not McDonalds or genetics fault, you are fat because you eat too much crap
Supressing emotions and relying on logic to get stuff done. It works, some times. Is what scientists and engineers do, and it works. FOR SOME STUFF, and its where I come from and usually regress too.
Anything wrong with that? You bet.
First, not everything you want and or have to do in life can be resolved trough logic. You can't rely entirely (nor mostly) on logic to connect with other people, specially with woman. Human interaction is based around emotions, and it is an important part on being happy as social creatures.
Not good mentality for parties
Second and most important, going trough life without feeling stuff fucking sucks, and its boring. Plus, most likely than not you will develop negative thoughts that will hold you back, cause you can't really supress emotions. You will start doubting yourself, think stuff is not worth doing and generally not be awesome at life.
“The man who is guided by concepts and abstractions only succeeds by such means in warding off misfortune, without ever gaining any happiness for himself from these abstractions. And while he aims for the greatest possible freedom from pain, the intuitive man, standing in the midst of a culture, already reaps from his intuition a harvest of continually inflowing illumination, cheer, and redemption — in addition to obtaining a defense against misfortune." - F. Nietzsche
Emotional mastery comes from within. Truly successfull and happy people, are able to decide how they feel, depending on the situation upon them. They walk relaxed and carefree trough most of their day. When solving a math problem, they focus 100% on the task at hand and rely completely on analitical analisis to solve the task at hand. Later at night, at a party will have a good time with his friends and not worry or actually think of anything; just enjoy having fun. However, when seeing a hot chick, he will aproach her directly feeling confident on himself, therefore skyrocketing his success chances.
Athletes are very good at this. Sometimes, you need to be calm on the feel and catch your breath; others, you need a delusional faith on yourself to push trough the blockers.
For example, an MMA fighter who walks around as the nicest guy in the world, but steps into the ring and turns into a fucking beast which remains undefeated for 20 years fighting guys with 20-40 pounds on him.
Fedor Emelianenko, while not fighting, looking like a teddy bear.
In the end, you walk around withand unshaterring confidence on yourself. You are happy, cause you choose to do so. When a challenge arises, you feel the best emotion to succeed at the task at hand. Be it solving a math problem, a new squat record, or avenging Aiur in the last BW OSL. When shit happens, even if it crushed you, at least you can take comfort on how you dealt with it; when good shit happens, its usually cause YOU made it occur.
The hard part is, How do you control your emotions? There are many ways, I'll elaborate on them later, but know you must find the ones that suits you. The first step though, is to accept responsability and to decide you want to get shit done. They say with great power comes great responsability, but I believe the contrary to be more true. With great responsability comes great power.
Where am at?
I'm not a monk yet, and I can't dry wet towels while meditating on the snow. I've got a long way to go trough, but there is one aspect on which I believe I do control what I feel perfectly; when facing the Iron.
Whenever I squat, but specially when going for PRs (Personal Records, be it more weight or more reps/sets) I feel power flowing trough me. My heart rate goes up, so does my breathing, and its a close to religious experience. To do so, I actually picture myself as goku powering up before getting under the bar. As a huge DBZ fan this is what works for me, what has en emotional imprint on me.
Trough my mind, before squatting.
When deadlifting, I feel a deep calm going trough my body (opposite to the squat), and then achieve complete muscular tension and accept that I'm gonna have to grind the weight slowly to lockout. THEN, I get down to grab the bar, but to me, the weight has already been lifted. I'm tensed to lift it before hand.
No tought goes trough my mind WHILE lifting. And in general, I have a delusional confidence on my self at the gym. I use logic to write my spread sheet and plan ahead what I'm doing, so I pick my battles, but while at them I'm damn fucking sure I'm being successful.
On the other hand, I can sometimes feel fucking awesome and confident with woman, but not always. Sometimes I just think too much and fuck up :p.
As humans, we are more capable than we think we are. There are tons of anecdotal evidence of people doing thing they were not supposed to, and have felt it myself a few, rare times. The benefits of emotional mastery are unlimited, and totally worth pursing. Start by taking action, and believing it can be done.
"If you always put limit[s] on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there -- you must go beyond them." – Bruce Lee