Feelings are Overrated

FAR 174

Expected Air Date: 8/6/18

Opening

Ok, I’ve given away my content a bit with the title “Feelings are Overrated.” But I’m going to back it up. I’m reminded of a press conference with Coach Bobby Knight when, after a particularly difficult loss a reporter asked him how he felt. Even at the time I thought it was a dumb question, but Coach Knight didn’t disappoint. He tore into the reporter and reminded all of us what a stupid question sounds like. That hasn’t deterred reporters from asking the most obvious question over and over – “How do you feel?” First of all, the answer to that always goes without saying. The reporter asking it is not seeking news, but rather echoing the sentiment in our culture that we should be focusing on and thinking about our feelings. Today I’m going to challenge that notion and put forth the idea that while feelings are a part of our lives and should be acknowledged, 75 years of focusing on them hasn’t made anything better and possibly has made things worse.

If you’re like me, and I bet you are, you see someone doing something completely senseless everyday. You also see people acting in complete disregard for everyone around them, as if the universe revolves around them. And lastly you probably see people who have a strong sense of self-esteem without any logical or apparent reason in their life why they should feel good about themselves. By focusing on our feelings we have lost our way when it comes to doing the hard stuff. A culture and a nation grows soft while contemplating our feelings. And the true tragedy is found in the belief that if we can discover how we truly feel, we will be better. The fact is, once we spend the time to discover how we truly feel, all we have done is focus on the emotion, but we haven’t progressed toward any meaningful recovery.

Watch a little TV and you will no doubt see a commercial for a new wonder drug designed to address one of your emotional states. Never mind the 5 pages of potentially life-threatening side effects they read off in super speed, the extent the drug works is the extent to which is numbs that feeling somehow. In a few minutes I’m going to share with you a better way – a way to acknowledge your feelings and still get useful things done. I want to give you a hint now, but I think I’ll leave it at that.

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News!

Topic: Feelings are Overrated

If your life is a play, “feelings” is one of the actors, but definitely NOT the director.

Purpose is the director of our day to day lives.

We’ve spent two generations getting in touch with our feelings, and all we’ve done is feel worse than ever before.

While acknowledging our feelings, do what needs to be done and in so doing notice that we begin to feel differently, often better.

Physical exercise combats depression.

Progression of Activity and Reaction:

Activating Event (external)

Feeling

Thought

Decision

Action

Immediate problems result if we skip the “thought” step. Unfortunately our culture has been training people for at least 75 years to focus on their feelings which has led to acting on or responding to those feelings.

If we completely ignore our feelings we may run into problems down the road, but our decisions will be more productive and reasonable.

Here’s another problem. Few people have practiced thinking before acting for so long, fewer still know what or how to think when they set out to do so. In general, schools don’t really teach people how to think. They spit out facts for memorization and grades are based on the ability to memorize, not the ability to think.

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Motivational Thoughts for the day

  • “Dreams will get you nowhere, a good kick in the pants will take you a long way…” Baltasar Gracian