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How To Command And Master Your Emotions

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True Stories Of People Commanding Emotions

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Here are true-to-life examples that show the mind (if strong and trained to prevail) can teach and command the emotions and will. They can ignore a stimulus that incites a negative reaction. Instead, a positive action can be produced to take over an otherwise chaotic situation.

  1. One of the greatest leaders ever known, Jesus Christ introduced the concept of loving the enemy, turning the other cheek when slapped on the face, carrying the baggage for 2 miles when your foe tells you to carry it for a mile, and praying for those who insult you, among other positive actions against offensive stimuli. He and his true disciples have been known to turn the world upside down. Jesus is known to have taught that the spirit should make the flesh obey.

  2. Mahatma Gandhi, a guru and spiritual leader of India when the British still ruled over it, was known never to have reacted negatively to any issue. He started the non-violent campaign of civil disobedience or non-participation in an unjust government administration. Instead of getting angry and getting even, he introduced “fasting” or abstinence from eating any food. People who can fast for days like Gandhi can command bodily urges to submit to the mind. This is the Hindu practice of self-denial.

  3. Dr. Jose Rizal, an Asian hero in the First World War, was a staunch believer of acting positively in the face of terrible and violent opposition. Some revolutionary leaders in the Philippines tried several times to persuade him to join them, but he turned them down. He believed that the atrocities of the Spanish invaders could be countered by showing the world that his fellow citizens were civilized and educated. He negated the furious feelings of a warrior and opted to develop the mind instead. He also overcame his fear of death by having a mindset that dying for the country was supreme.

  4. Martin Luther King was an African-American hero who was a staunch defender of the rights of black people in America. It was in the time when certain racists violently persecuted the blacks in America. Instead of getting angry and turning violent, he fought for equal rights by speaking his mind peacefully.

  5. Josef Stalin, Russian leader in the Second World War, thwarted Hitler’s invasion of Russia. When the Nazi “Blitzkrieg” army of Hitler was fast approaching the Russian border, there was pressure on Stalin to make a counter offense to save Russia. However, Stalin thought otherwise. Instead of meeting the violent German troops head-on, he had the courage of mind and the will to resist the temptation (or the emotion) to counter-attack. Instead, he withdrew his troops and took with them all food and fuel supplies. It was winter. When the German army penetrated the Siberian plain, they found nobody and nothing. They withdrew before they all died slowly of hunger and the freezing cold. Most communists are known to hold the intellect as supreme over the emotions. Many of them can command the emotions to submission through years of hard training and indoctrination. Enemies of communism call this “brainwashing.” Brainwashing means bringing the brain to a completely new orientation, reinforcing it, and then letting it command the will and emotions. Whole nations and generations were subjected to this. This is pointed out not as a model, but to show the possibility of the mind commanding the emotions. Some people succeed in putting the intellect above the emotions, though cruelly. This book does not endorse such cruel and inhumane methods, but presents a better and enjoyable alternative. This book puts forward a positive way of empowering the mind, and positive reasons for doing it.

  6. A school administrator was faced with a difficult parent. This parent, a radio reporter, publicly threatened to sue and expose the school for alleged unfairness in one of its graduation rites. A smearing campaign followed against the school. The administrator, however, invited the parent to pour out her woes and complaints. After paying sincere attention, the administrator apologized for the things they had “overlooked.” He assured the parent that a second look would be given to the matter. Where needed, redress would be done to lessen the damage. The administrator also gently pointed out the criteria for selecting awardees in the graduation. The parent came out of the office relieved. The administrator saved face for the school.

  7. A church leader was trying to bring significant changes to his church in crisis. The elders opposed him violently by accusing him falsely. While the accusations were baseless and immaterial, the leader chose to keep mum and even apologized for whatever the elders deemed were his faults. A year after, the elders confessed of being impressed at how he chose to keep silent even if he was in the right side. The elders lost lots of good sleep and rest. The church leader enjoyed great joy and peace of mind.

  8. A counselee complained of too much pressure from peers who tried to make her look bad in the office. They provoked her by setting her up in situations that triggered her ire. The counselor explained that the more she got angry, the more her peers felt victorious. Her anger only fed their want. The counselor told her the solution was to act positively and ignore them. The advice worked wonders. Her peers were the ones who reacted when they saw that nothing they did affected the counselee any longer. The counselee definitely looked more in control of herself, more confident, and happier.

  9. In the late 1970s, arson bombings in movie theaters were rampant in a metropolis. Scores of people died in the fire and stampede. One afternoon, a theater was jam packed with people watching “The Empire Strikes Back.” Suddenly, a bomb exploded near the exit of the cinema. Roy, a college student, was among the audience. It was too dark to see anything in the theater. He heard the seats abruptly fold up and the people beginning a stampede to the exit. He had the urge to join them also, but he decided to take command, not only of his fear, but also of other people’s fear. With a determined will, he commanded the people with a very authoritative voice not to panic, but to fall in line and go out the exit calmly. To his surprise, the people became silent and moved calmly to form lines toward the exit until everybody was out safely. He himself joined the line. Nobody knew that a mere 18-year old took charge of the situation and saved them all.

  10. Another school was in danger of foreclosure due to non-compliance with a government ruling. The school sent a messenger to answer serious inquiries of some officials of the Education department. The messenger was bombarded with a series of tirade for the legal offense of the school. Instead of answering the accusations point-by-point — and probably worsen the emotions — the messenger chose to listen and accept all reprimand in silence. His emotions told him to answer back and justify the school, but his mind told him the scolding was just apt and proper for a delinquent like his school. He apologized for the school’s negligence and begged the officials to give them more time to produce the needed requirements. The officials saw the meekness and sincerity of the messenger. They not only pardoned the school but also offered help to expedite the compliance.

  11. A 12-year old boy woke up in the middle of the night to find that someone was trying to pull the blanket over his face and body. He dared not look over to see who it was. He knew he was alone in his room. He remembered a story about his grandmother who had died recently. She was said to do a practical joke on sleeping people by pulling the blanket over them. The boy’s first reaction was to scream to get attention. Then he tried to be rational about it all. He asked himself, “If it was a ghost, there’s no sense getting scared because ghosts can’t hurt people physically. If it was a person, there’s also no sense getting scared. Obviously, this guy is just trying to scare me. If he means harm, he wouldn’t just be pulling my blanket. So either ways, what real harm can happen to me?” Therefore, he told himself there’s no reason to fear or get alarmed. He commanded himself to go to sleep. With all will power, he fell asleep eventually.

  12. A couple was strolling in a mall. The bargain prices were so tempting that they started to consider buying several items. However, they had brought money only to buy lunch. They thought about skipping lunch and using the money on things that they had not planned to buy. However, the man took hold of himself and remarked, “Look, honey, we really don’t need these things. Probably next time, but not now. We came here to eat.” The wife protested. “But they don’t offer discounted prices every day, you know. This is a good timing.” The husband countered by saying, “Remember, we’re trying to keep a budget. Go ahead and look at all the items all you want. We can do that. But we’re not buying anything because we don’t really need them right now.” In short, their minds finally won over their feelings. They mustered enough will and strength to walk out the mall with their budget intact. When they were out of the mall, they thanked themselves for having extreme command of their emotions and will. The moral lesson: When you manage to get out of it all before your emotions win, a fresh wind blows on your mind and puts everything in its right place. You get a right perspective again.

  13. A married man discovered that his pretty officemate had been taking a fancy on him. She gave him obvious lustful encouragements and he was about to surrender to her actions. His sexual urges, driven by his licentious emotions, told him to go for it. Then he remembered his wife and kids, and the solemn vows of faithfulness they gave each other. His mind reminded him of what was correct, but his emotions told him what he desired. The emotions told his mind “no one would know about it if the desire was carried out.” However, his mind insisted on what was right. It commanded the emotions to bring out the feelings he had for his wife, rather than the wrong urge for the other woman. When the emotions gave in to correct reason, the will followed suit. The lustful stimulus did not meet interest anymore from the man. Instead, the man felt shame and reproach each time the stimulus presented itself again.

  14. Carlo was an average student. His friend Arthur was an excellent student. Their families, friends, and relatives always compared them. Carlo suffered a lot because he secretly envied his friend. After college, Carlo turned out an ordinary employee. Arthur became director of a legal department. This time, Carlo was too tired of being envious that he couldn’t take any more load of it. Besides, it didn’t do any good either. Therefore, he faced himself in the mirror and told himself: “You cannot be Arthur. You are made out to be Carlo. You have a different calling in life. You have been looking too long at how Arthur has been succeeding, that you miss to see the hidden potentials in Carlo. You are unique, and therefore you cannot compare yourself with another. Discover your own potentials and uniqueness, hone them to perfection, and start loving your being Carlo.” That moment on, when Carlo learned to surrender his feelings to what his mind thought was right, he kept excelling in the things he loved to do.

  15. A jealous young man had been having problems with his popular and pretty girlfriend. She made every head turn, especially heads of young and handsome men. Hence, he and his girlfriend often had quarrels. Then one day, he decided all his jealousy should stop. He finally had the mind to say, “So what if she doesn’t love me anymore? It’s either I accept this or make a fool of myself all my life!” He exercised his practical will over his emotions repeatedly. After experiencing painstaking battles between his mind and emotions, the mind finally took command. Since then, he found he could even watch his girlfriend ride alone in a car with other men, and feel nothing negative. He discovered he could love somebody and enjoy a newfound peace.

  16. Charlie was deeply wronged by his friend, Arnold. It was a matter of principle. Charlie was badly humiliated before people because of the incident. He decided not to see Arnold for months. Then one morning, Arnold called him up to ask for a favor. Charlie could have opted to turn Arnold down. But very quickly, Charlie commanded his emotions to step aside and give way to his mind’s firm decision to forgive. At the very moment he was talking with Arnold, and as he was asking the favor, Charlie decided right there and then to forgive all of his friend’s former offenses against him. He granted the favor Arnold asked him. The relationship was restored.

These 16 examples are only among so many true-to-life instances of how the mind was challenged. It actually won over seemingly insurmountable situations. On such short notice, the will and emotions gave in to the mind. These things can and will happen to you, if you choose to.

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