I recently rejoined Twitter to try and promote this blog and follow a few traders I like from Options Action. I recently shared that I left social media altogether and life has never been better for me. Less distraction, more progress toward my goals. But I bit the bullet and signed up, because that’s how this machine works.
Everyday we encounter the world outside of us and respond to what we sense (sound, sight, smell, taste, temperature, texture, etc.). We are struck with emotion every step of the way, sometimes intense, sometimes subtle. Emotions are involuntary, no matter how much you believe you are a rational person. Emotions are precognitive, like reflexes. If you are in sound health they work, if not you should see a doctor.
Feelings are different, and typically confused with emotion. Feelings are just your opinion of the emotions you are experiencing. You can call them thoughts if you do not like to consider yourself a ‘feely’ kind of person. How you feel about your emotions determines how you will act upon them. For those that insist upon arguing you are not driven by emotion, let us just say it this way-Your opinion about your emotions determines how you will react to them. Opinions are not facts.
We live in a world with more stimuli than ever before, with each stimulus encountered comes an emotional response. Those emotions tell us what is going on in the world around us. You cannot make decisions without emotion (read Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio for more information.)
Social media and our smart phones act like a sixth sense, alerting us to something happening outside of us. The emotional responses come and go so quickly we don’t even have time to ‘feel’ them until we have already reacted. A tweet about a new venture by someone I follow was attacked by other twits about an unrelated subject and as an expression of schadenfreude. I, of course, wanted to jump in and defend them. But do they need me to defend them? Does it matter anyway?
I put down the phone and went to check on my daughter, still soundly sleeping. As I stood there at her crib feeling a great sense of love and compassion (and a little bit of fear as I leaned in closer to see if I could hear her breathing!) I was reminded of what really matters in life.