What Is Your Favorite Emotion?
During an interview with the rapper 50 Cent, a journalist asked the hip hop performer why he was so prone to singing about violence. 50 Cent replied, “Because anger is my favorite emotion.” What an insightful, if somewhat disconcerting, response.
We play to the emotions we most enjoy. Asking yourself what emotions you most favor explains much about you. Your favorite emotion is likely the one you most often generate on purpose. For instance, those who prefer the emotion of happiness will find situations and experiences where they will likely feel happy.
When we unwittingly prefer a dysfunctional emotion, such as irritated or bored, we find ourselves experiencing that feeling more often. We play to it, spend more time keeping that feeling alive and find ourselves accepting the idea that we have no control over our feelings. Over time, we begin to think “this is who I am.”
The truth is, by living life we experience the entire palette of emotions, from uneasy to reflective, from annoyed to hopeful. What emotions we favor is entirely up to us.
Deciding what emotions you want to feel more often is required in order to experience them with higher frequency. Seeking out people, situations and activities that produce them for you is more possible than most people think. Think of it this way. Every emotion is a decision. You are in charge unless you let yourself not to be.
Some people suggest that they have little control over their reactions, and therefore their emotions, when others engage them. Yet they don’t respond exactly the same to the actions that set them off. They are constrained by others present, emotional reserves, what feelings they have before the reaction among other inhibitors. What this tells us is that we are in more control of our emotions than they are in control of us.
What emotions you prefer is entirely up to you. A list of favorite emotions for leaders might include passion, curiosity, optimistic, excited, grateful, energetic and inspired. What is your favorite emotion? How often do you try to produce it?