Theme of the week

Issue III(02.02.2011)


Life and Emotions


Human Life is full of many colours. Money, success, status, relationships, etc. are some of the colours everyone is concerned about throughout life. However, one word which is associated with all the spheres of human life is emotion. The ultimate aim of all the activities of human life seems to create situations leading to a feeling of emotional fulfillment on one hand and to remove all the factors leading to sorrow, displeasure, and fears on the other hand. 
The interesting thing to note here is that many times we assume that something external would give us happiness, joy, comfort or peace. The other side of the story is that we assume that other people’s actions or words or our bad luck can make us unhappy.  However, the biggest secret of being happy and successful in all respects is developing emotional independence. We need not depend on the actions and words of other people or on our luck to experience joy, love, compassion, or, peace.
To understand the above statement, just consider the following analysis. Whenever we give joy, affection, or love or feel concerned, compassionate or sympathetic towards someone or when we appreciate someone, we experience a pure sense of joy within. Nobody or no situation can take away this positive experience from us. But when we start depending on others’ attitude or behaviour or on our success for feeling happy, there is always a fear attached to our expectation. 
The implication of the above analysis is that we should enjoy contributing to others’ happiness but should not depend on others for ours. However, when we receive it, we should accept it with dignity. The question which arises here is then is if others’ do not contribute to our happiness, where from do we get it. 
To search the answer of this question is the purpose of human life. Throughout life we struggle to feel positive without depending on anyone else. Gradually, we start getting many insights and then we understand that these insights, one’s inner wisdom, is the real source of happiness. Thus, truly speaking, a wise person, whose inner peace is not disturbed by external factors, is emotionally independent.
Whatever we do in life has an obvious purpose. When we study, the purpose may be to get knowledge or to make a career. When we take a job the purpose may to earn or to get a social status. When we form a family, the purpose may be to get social security. However, behind the obvious purpose, there is an underlying purpose also. In all the above activities, there is no absolute surety that the obvious goal would be achieved. However, all these activities surely contribute to our maturity and wisdom, which in turn, becomes a direct source of our happiness. We do not compare two animals in terms of their maturity. But we do judge human beings on the basis of their maturity or on the basis of the depth of their understanding and their emotional strength. Those who can control themselves in negative situations and can contribute in creating positive situations are judged to be better because they are more calm, composed and wise. This growth which takes place within a person is one of the basic purposes of human life. 
The table below depicts the journey of human life in terms of emotional growth. The ultimate goal is to attain complete freedom through emotional independence.

The Journey of Emotional Freedom

Steps of Growth>

Rough or Egoistic 


Balanced Person



Complete Freedom




Main characteris-

Has a lot of rough instincts

Innocent but  unwise

Innocent and self controlled

Wise and Mature

Full of Compassion

When a person continues to grow after being saintly, finally his soul merges among the five elements of nature, that is, Sky, earth, water, air and fire. It is believed that after this the soul is not forced to  come on earth as human being but may come back as heavenly body or a saint for welfare of others

General Behavior

Can harm or hurt others physically, emotionally or financially No self control

Doesn’t harm others but reacts

Can harm himself

Not Reacting
Preserves energy for positive purposes

Can positively influence others and makes conscious efforts for positive projects

Radiates peace and dignity

Level of Success & effectiveness

Not successful in long term

Not successful in long term

Generally Successful and Effective

Highly Successful

Highly Effective

Relatedness with others

Of not much worth for others

Feels like helping others but may not be effective in actual help

Spreads positive energy and is able to help others and inspire others

Creates harmony and positive will among others and brings co-ordination

Serves Others in various ways

 How to be Emotionally Independent   

  • Taking an Emotional Bath:  Whenever we experience any negative emotion, some extra hormones or chemicals are generated in our system. Therefore, to control negative emotions, one should release these extra hormones or chemicals. Walking, yogic exercises, deep breath, pranayam, meditation, etc., help us in taking an emotional bath by cleansing out the physiological changes within our system. However, proper guidance should be taken before undertaking any of these activities.
  • Deep understanding of human nature helps us in relating meaningfully with others and saves us from futile conflicts.
  • Emotions are the reason and not the result of any event. Many positive and negative emotions are recorded in our system. External situations trigger only the replay of already recorded emotion. That is why same situation triggers different emotions in different people. Thus, emotions are part of human nature. By modifying our nature, we can keep ourselves away from sorrow, fears and anger. 
  • If a situation demands us to be angry, we should first make ourselves cool and calm internally. By way of forgiving ourselves and others internally and silently, we can control our physiology and make our feelings and thoughts positive. Once we attain this internal peace, we can express our concern with firmness and / or anger according to the need of the situation.
  • Management scientists have given a concept of emotional bank account. Whenever we nurture a communication or a relationship with positive behaviour, we make a deposit in this account and feel emotionally strong. However, when we experience and  express a negative emotion we withdraw from this account and feel week within.
  • Connectivity to self leads to great peace and emotional independence. Most of the time we are entangled with someone or the other in terms of some activity or thought. However, for a few moments if we pay total attention to our innermost core ignoring whatever is there outside, we experience tremendous peace. When we are in touch with our inner self, we get connected to the universal power. This connectivity helps us in overcoming all our fears and anxieties. Making efforts to change others does not lead to happiness. We only need to be in touch with our innermost core.

Remember, all of us are bestowed with lot of intelligence. How much intelligence we will be able to use for our success and prosperity depends on our emotional strength.  Emotional blocks become a barrier in healthy expression of intelligence in real life. Therefore, in spite of all ups and downs, we should take the charge of our emotional health and inner peace. Positive emotions become a seed for success. Negative emotions become a seed for mistakes and failures.

Assess The Impact of Emotions on Life:
Think about 20 – 25 people who are 35 plus and whom you know very closely. Most of them may be in your social network- your family members, relatives, colleagues, seniors or your neighbors. 
Think of five among these you appreciate the most because they have been happy successful in their life and they are helpful in solving others’ problems.  Their presence is generally liked be others. Think of their emotional profile.
You will find most of them to be sincere and concerned about others, calm and cool, and generally affectionate. Such people are good in understanding others and tend to forgive others for their mistakes. Also see where do rank yourself in your social network.

Suggested Life Experiment:
Visualize your emotional growth after five years from now. Consult the table of journey of emotional growth. Choose any one positive emotion you would like to nurture in the next three months and one negative emotions you would like to control.
For instance you can start with nurturing forgiveness and controlling anger. 
Whenever you get caught in a situation where you need to forgive and control your anger, first touch your heart. Ignore all thoughts which relate to others and explore your inner power. When you feel this inner power, half of the fear vanishes and the urge to be angry also goes off. Think silently about the consequences of forgiving internally to be able to establish a meaningful dialogue in future. Silently forgive the other person and pray to God for blessing him with peace and sincerity.  When you feel calm and concerned for all, do what is the need of the situation.
Focus on these two emotions for next three months. When you feel a natural change within you, choose other emotions to work upon. 

Anger Repels Wisdom
The anecdote given below shows how anger goes against wisdom and should be controlled.

(Anecdote of a stoneball)
Once A king got mad with anger and an idea stroked his mind that he should order his subjects to kill all the old aged people in the kingdom. His reason was simple that – they are a liability on the state and its resources. The people were horrified with this declaration of the king.
They decided they would send their parents to the forest instead of killing them and they would provide to them all the necessary things there. This continued well for some time but due to fear of the king and other problems faced by them in meeting the ends this way made them to find a permanent solution of this. So they decided to meet the minister and told him the problem. The minister was surprised to know all this as he was out of town for some work. He assured the people that he will work out a solution to this problem. After some days the minister met the King and told him that he has a challenge for the latter. He had a stoneball in which he had two holes which were connected by a zigzag pathway. The challenge was to pass a thread from one hole to other. The king tried his best was unable to do so. Then he announced a reward of 50 gold coins for the person completing the task. Many persons came but failed. A person who went to give food to his aged-parents told them about the kings’s challenge. His father told him a simple and smart way to do so. When he returned he straight away went to the palace. He told the king that he can easily complete the challenge. The king gave him a chance. He ordered the worker present there to bring an ant and honey. He tied the ant with the thread and put honey at one hand and from the other hand inserted the ant. The ant smoothly took the thread from one end to other. The king was surprised by the wisdom of the young man but minister asked the man that where from he had learned the trick. The man told him with fear that his father had suggested this trick. He also told him that we have kept our parents in the forests. The king thought for a moment and he realized the power of wisdom that comes with age. He admitted his mistake and announced the people to bring back all the people from the forest.