Emotional Processing Power

You might know a lot of stuff. You might be very smart. But the operating system that stores all that knowledge is very emotional.

Your brain is a boiling soup of chemicals held, usually, in a precarious balance. If something upsets the pot, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to add new knowledge to your database or to access what’s already there. In a real way, the software might be logical, but the hardware is as irrational as it gets.

There’s nothing you can do about that, but you can plan for it. You can make sure you’re aware of it and not try to deny it away.

I often tell my clients that the best thing they can do before a big interview isn’t to cram – it’s to meditate. Or swim, or eat, or listen to their favorite music. The point is, a final few scraps of data won’t do anything to change the outcome, but your stress level has a big impact. Getting yourself emotionally ready is the way to make great mental strides.

If I could have taught myself one lesson early in my life that I instead had to learn the hard way later, it would be that one. The various features of your total character aren’t separate. Usable intelligence relies on emotional stability, which relies on physical health, which relies on usable intelligence. You don’t have separate stats like a video game character. You can’t neglect entire facets of your being and hope that the others will be maximized.

You are a soul, and you have tools to navigate the life that soul will live. You cannot maintain only some of them.

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