Emotion And The Stories We Tell Ourselves

When we get emotional we become storytellers.

A memory sticks out vividly in our mind. Meaning becomes clear; happiness, sadness, a lesson learnt.

Information + Emotion = Long Term Memory.

We don't remember a lot from school because we were bored most of the time - there was no emotion associated with the information.

This is a great way to leverage how our biology works - but can also lead to bad habits....

When we have an annoying chore to do we will just get on with it, we don't need to feel inspired, we just get it done - it's objective: 'the dishes need cleaning so I better clean them'.

Why then, when it comes to our most personally important tasks do we put them off?

Because they are infused with emotion.

As soon as we come to doing them we become master storytellers:

"This workout is really hard, what's the point? I'll probably not keep it up so how about I just relax instead.."


"This piece is going to be so tough to do, I definitely need to learn some more skills to do it before I start - I don't want to do it improperly after all...Better do it next week and learn today."

There are times to relax, and times to learn - would you have said the same things to yourself about washing the dishes though?

Be as objective and heartless about your passions as you are with your chores - do this so you can bring that wide-eyed bewilderment and emotion to them.

There are stories we tell ourselves.

And there are stories we discover for ourselves.

The Passive.

And the Active.

Real joy and real progress spring from the latter....