Excellence is emotional. Not in the sense of being a quivering wreck sobbing on the floor, rather, to become excellent you must understand and use the power of your emotions.
Our feelings are what drive us. Despite your apparent and incessant fascination with telling the world what you ate yesterday or what your workout was this morning, sooner or later you’ll notice that no one cares.
It’s not because food or exercise is boring, it’s because just listing actions taken or food consumed strips the event of all emotion.
Nobody cares how many sunsets you’ve seen but they’ll talk all day about ten seconds of pure terror.
Just last Saturday I nearly killed myself with a series of four consecutive stupid decisions. I launched off a mountain on a paraglider into a sky that was well beyond my or my equipment’s capabilities.
Those 12 minutes of barely controlled terror between launch and land have done far more to impress upon me the importance of preparation, equipment, and mature recognition of conditions than the 8 months prior of exchanging banal witticisms with my instructor. They’ve certainly whetted my appetite for excellence. There’s nothing like knowing you don’t know how to survive to make you want to learn.
We tend to think of terror, or to tone it down a bit, fear, as something to avoid. As Shawn Alladio, a friend and mentor says, “Seek the fear, that’s where you live, that’s what our genes have developed for.”
It’s that last bit, that we have developed to seek out fear, that’s interesting. Our genes have developed through, among many other emotions, the drive of fear.
You only need to question how you yourself were conceived to understand that emotion is the genesis of life as we know it. If you want to accomplish anything in your life, you’ll have to harness the power of emotion.
Napoleon Hill talks about this in his book, “Think And Grow Rich”. The commonality, the one driver that every successful person he interviewed had, was a burning desire to become who they were. It wasn’t intelligence, circumstance, location, or skin color. That desire was purely emotional. While it may be logical explained after the fact, (this person had access to early computers, or that singer was born in a music hall) the initial power came from following the feeling.
We tend to spend more time on deciding where we’re going or who we’re going to be and miss the (counterintuitive) principal that excellence is emotional, not logical.
So head out there and follow your feeling, listen to your gut, stoke your desire. Sniff out that line through life that promises great emotion, great feeling, great desire.
Follow it as a shark in the ocean picks up the millionth part of its next dinner. Smoothly swinging its great blunt snout back and forth in the hunter’s arc, a shark tastes many weak flavors, but finds its greatest success not by hunting “the right part” of the ocean, but by following the strongest and most likely path to dinner.
As a shark smells and tastes blood, so too can you smell and taste emotion, developing your sensory apparatus to the point where the smallest waft of adventure, or desire, or curiosity, will be enough to spend you spinning inexorably towards excellence.
Follow the emotion, experience the excellence!
Too much reading...
How about dessert?