This week began Scroll VI of The Greatest Salesman in the World.
“Today I will be master of my emotions.”
To the outside observer, I’m often described as one who is “level-headed” or “even-keeled” or “emotionally steady” – but I know what’s occurring day-to-day, sometimes moment-to-moment, on the inside! I’m up and down, all over the place, but it’s ok. We all are. The Scroll reminds me that I am a part of nature. And all of nature is a circle of moods. Like the birds, the sun, the flowers, and the seasons, I too will find my moods rising and falling. It’s only natural.
How then do I master these emotions, these fluctuations, so that my day is happy and my actions are productive? “For unless my mood is right the day will be a failure.”
I must think. We’ve all heard the old adage, “Think before you act.” We have a thought, express it in word, and then follows the action. That’s the creative process.
But, in the case of mastering emotions, the counter seems to be the trick. The scroll gives us this secret of the ages:
“Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.”
Actions to control thoughts – act before you think! When I’m experiencing thoughts or emotions that are non-serving and unproductive, I can change them. But in this case, I act before I think (or continue thinking on the non-serving emotion). In other words, rather than trying to think my way back to happy and productive emotions, I act my way back.
In that case, with slight modification to the examples in The Greatest Salesman:
I will act with singing, if I think depressing thoughts.
I will act with laughter, if I think sad thoughts.
I will act by doubling my efforts, if I think I’m ill.
I will act by plunging ahead, if I think I’m afraid.
I will act by raising my voice, if I think thoughts of uncertainty.
I will act on my goals, if I think thoughts of insignificance and unworthiness.
The Law of Substitution in full force and effect!