Real strength lies in the control or, as Nassim Taleb put it, the domestication of one’s emotions, not in pretending they don’t exist. So go ahead, feel it. Just don’t lie to yourself by conflating emoting about a problem and dealing with it. Because they are as different as sleeping and waking. You can always remind yourself: I am in control, not my emotions. I see what’s really going on here. I’m not going to get excited or upset. We defeat emotions with logic, or at least that’s the idea. Logic is questions and statements.
It might help to say it over and over again whenever you feel the anxiety begin to come on: I am not going to die from this. I am not going to die from this. I am not going to die from this. Or try Marcus’s question: Does what happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness?
As Gavin de Becker writes in The Gift of Fear, “When you worry, ask yourself, ‘What am I choosing to not see right now?’ What important things are you missing because you chose worry over introspection, alertness or wisdom?” Another way of putting it: Does getting upset provide you with more options? Sometimes it does. But in this instance? No, I suppose not. Well, then. If an emotion can’t change the condition or the situation you’re dealing with, it is likely an unhelpful emotion. Or, quite possibly, a destructive one.
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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