Learn to Master Your Emotions

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Two weeks ago in Orlando, a gentleman asked me, “Where do you get the inspiration to write your books?” Often, it comes from the interactions I have with the wonderful people I get to meet on my journeys and my speaking engagements. For instance, when I was putting down ideas for Turn The Page, I could not help but remember the chance meeting I had at 37,000 feet on a flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles.

I must admit that as a frequent flier I am not concerned by the dips and bumps of turbulence. It could be because my wife is an ex-flight attendant, or maybe it’s just that I loved rollercoasters as a kid! In any case, somewhere over the Rocky Mountains, the Lord above decided to create some fascinating downdrafts, currents and other forms of turbulence that were more severe than most.

There was a passenger sitting next to me who was grasping her armrests with incredible hand strength! Each time the aircraft would jump, she’d let out with a soft shriek. She appeared to be in her mid-40s and was stylishly dressed.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “You would think I would be more together than this. I apologize.”

I reassured her. No need to apologize. She asked me what I did for a living and then volunteered that she was a psychiatrist. As I like to inspire people to their higher and better purposes, and as she wants her patients to have the best lives possible, we had a natural connection.


Slave to Your Emotions

For the purpose of this blog, I shall call her Dr. Joan. She was very pleasant and personable. While she obviously couldn’t reveal any information about her clients, Dr. Joan did share that most of them were “Hollywood people.” Her patrons were A-list television and movie actors. She gave me her card. She had an impressive address in Beverly Hills.

I inquired about what it was like to treat celebrities. She said that it was sometimes a challenge, and I asked her why.

She said, “While some of them are very down-to-earth, great people going through life struggles like the rest of us, others are all emotions, all of the time. They are often difficult and ruled by feelings instead of using their intelligence.”

I immediately understood what she meant. As a keynote speaker addressing thousands of people each year, I encounter individuals in all walks of life who have a strong desire to grow and change. However, they are so wrapped up in their emotions and opinions rather than making intellectual choices that it is difficult to reach them.

I asked her if it was true if some “stars” really did demand on-set baths in sparkling water and Lattes that had to be precisely 140 degrees!

“And worse,” was her reply. They feel that their mental well-being depends on exotic treatments, expensive supplements and in making outrageous demands of everyday people such as handlers, servers and chefs.

I pondered that point. It’s easy for us to criticize those Hollywood people for their absurd choices. However, how many times have I met individuals still outraged at people who offended them 25 years earlier? What about those individuals who have changed careers eight times because nothing felt right, or worse, those who never want to do anything because they feel defeated before they even start?

Instead of logically trying to move forward with their lives, some people feel that everything is stacked against them, and they delight in playing the victim. If you always play the victim, then you are victim to your own reality. Don’t play the victim to circumstances you created by your own emotional choices.


The Right Path

If you are dissatisfied with where you are, and you want to Turn The Page, you can do so. In the process of changing, you must sometimes put away all the emotion and wisely map out a blueprint for yourself.

I will leave you with a thought that Dr. Joan conveyed. The most successful people in Hollywood don’t allow their emotions to dictate their path. Some are excellent business people, and many have solid strategies in place for enjoying their families and friends far away from the lights. Many understand that while emotions are wonderful, if your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.

“Looks fade, and big-time parts go away,” she said. “A smart life plan and an understanding of what is important are what lead to success.” No matter what the situation, never let your emotions overpower your intelligence. When you learn to master and control your emotions, you can master anything.


For more information about Hall of Fame speaker and bestselling author Steve Gilliland, please contact steve@stevegilliland.com / 724-540-5019 / www.stevegilliland.com.