We are often told to act in alignment to what we feel. How we feel. For whom we feel. This notion of acting in alignment with our feelings can be a dangerous mindset.
In fact, allow me to tell you that your feelings are completley overrated. They are unimportant.
Look, there are only 2 reasons to do things in life.
- Because it feels good
- Because you believe its something to be right/good
Sometimes these two reasons align. We do something that feels good and we know is the right thing/a good thing to do. We do it, and you and everyone else is happy and we all live happily ever after.
But more often, they don’t align. Doing something that feels good is much easier than doing something that doesn’t feel good, but we know is the right thing to do.
Doing something that feels good is easy, but isn’t necessarily good. It’s like continously scratching an itch. And let’s face it, the ‘ahhh that feel’s good’ feeling, passes pretty quickly, doesn’t it? It’s a short-term game.
Doing something that is the right thing to do, but doesn’t feel as good, like hitting the gym at 5 in the morning, takes a lot more mental resiliance and sometimes even time figuring what is the right thing to do. Unsurprisingly though, acting based on what we believe is right makes us feel good in the long-term and gives us a much greater feeling of reward, doesn’t it?
To get to the point, doing what’s right, makes us feel better about ourselves, adds meaning to our lives and builds self-esteem.
Why your feelings are overrated
I hate to say it, and I would guess most people would hate me after saying this, but organizing your life around your feelings, isn’t the best choice to make. And there are three reasons for this…
#1 Your feelings are inaccurate
Ever been notoriously mad at your friend for hearing they said this horrible mean thing about you to someone and then it turns out it was a complete misunderstanding and they actually never said it? Ever thought that what you’re going to do will make you a complete bad-ass, but in reality just upset a lot of people due to your ego-trip? Yup, we have all been in these or similar situations. See, your feelings can deceive you. They can be inaccurate.
#2 Your feelings are temporary
Feelings/emotions are temporary and short-lived. And more so often, we do things that have been controlled by our impulses during that moment. I mean, let’s be honest, everything that is screwed up in our life, is often attributable to us being too beholden to our feelings back in that moment. We were too impulsive. It’s that feeling where your feelings make you feel like you’re the centre of the universe, when in fact, you aren’t.
#3 Your feelings can’t tell you anything
Okay, maybe they tell you whats best for you. But even that is debatable. But look, I see dozens of people every day, saying that they will do X for their mother, do X for their friend etc. because they feel they know it. Your feelings can’t tell you what is best for your mother! They can’t tell you what is best for your neighbours dog! They can’t tell you what is best for the Parliament of Tahiti! Your feelings are experienced by you, and by you only! So how could they???
If you believe this to be any different, then please explain to me in the comments below. 🙂
The way forward…
Look, the ultimate goal is to control the meaning in your life. Not your feelings. Feelings don’t necessarily mean anything. They only mean what you allow them to mean.
The skill to adopt is to de-couple your feelings from what you believe is the way to act in a given moment. It is to realize that just because you feel a certain way, life isn’t necessarily that way.
Your feelings are overrated. Like I discussed in one of my other articles, doing something good/what is right will also make you feel a little bad about yourself in that moment, but will make you feel better about yourself later, because it’s the right thing to do.
Now, I also want to say here, that occassionally paying attention to your feelings should be done. Sometimes feelings or your intuition can be a somewhat valueable asset. The important thing is to carefully EVALUATE your feelings before committing to some sort of action.
Many of you already know this, but we decide for ourselves what our pains mean. Just as we decide what our successes mean. Choose wisely.
But more importantly, choose what you believe is the truth and right.
Congratulations for making to the end of this article! If you think this article helped you, make sure to visit my blog to read more stuff 🙂
Have a great day! 🙂