Who is Manning the Helm?: Maintaining Emotional Control and Dexterity
In any given snapshot of someone’s life, you can see that there are many motivating factors that contribute to their decision to action. Take a week in the life. Monday morning might be more driven by our desire to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. That Friday night might be more focused on sexual urge with a night on the town. Tuesday might be all about the money grind, and Wednesday you might be taken over by feelings of worry and anxiety (which is a motivator for action in its own way).
While we might be motivated by different desires at different times, it is important to notice what these urges inspire us to do. Which ones work in tandem with one another (Does your desire for money encourage more sexual activity)? Are these relationships in desire healthy and beneficial for your overall state of being? Which emotions are in the captain seat the most?
We’ve all seen Startrek, or we can at least understand the visual of the main control room. There are more than a dozen people doing different tasks, with different specialties, the captain’s right hand, and the captain. Pretend these people in that room are all your emotions and desires that influence your actions. The ones who are in charge are whichever you put in charge, so the role of captain changes regularly. Everyone on deck give their advice when they feel something to say, but there is always one in control with the ultimate decision (Plus the captain's right hand).
Who‘s in the Captain’s Chair?
It is important to be away of who is in the captain’s chair and when. Who is manning the helm, and what are they inspiring within you? We must know what each desire inspires in us as the same emotion can cause vastly different action in different people.
Take sexual desire. It has been said by many great men that sexual desire is a great motivator. It inspires them to take affirmative action and further their lives. However, we know that sexual desire can urge others to commit atrocious, unspeakable acts as well. This is why we must understand what our emotions and desires inspire within us. It is important to let the ones that inspire greatness within us to maintain control more often than those that do not.
Is Someone in the Brig?
Next part of the ship. There was the Captain’s Deck, now there’s the brig. Believe it or not, but it is very common for us to throw some of our desires and emotions into the ship’s prison cell. There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing this, but we do sometimes throw them in the brig for the wrong reason.
Someone might get their heart broken, so they throw “Love” in a cell. They adopt the belief that loving someone was the problem, when love is a beautiful thing. Love can inspire amazingly selfless action, but it can’t even have a say while it’s out in the brig. Is there an emotion in your brig that might be better to let out again?
On the other hand, the brig can be used for good. Let’s say you begin to spend a lot of your money on random amazon packages rather than saving, investing, or even spending it on something that can bring you and others together. Maybe it would be a good idea to uncover the urge that makes you want to buy so many useless things and throw it in the brig for a little while.
If you don’t believe in the cruelty of the brig, then there is a remedy. Let’s say you buy from amazon because opening up the packages gives you the feeling that you just got a gift, for just what you wanted, and feel accepted and understood. It could be a good idea to find a new action that fulfills the need for understanding and acceptance. What makes you feel accepted? What makes you feel understood?
Where Do You Get Fuel From?
Last part of the ship for now, the engine. What powers your engine the best? What is your fuel of choice? Is it love? Acceptance? Contribution? Growth? What keeps you going back for more? We all have a specific fuel that we like the most, the one that makes the ship run the smoothest and fastest.
A very common one is to be hooked on the love of a specific individual. It’s like our engine was made to run on that fuel. However, what happens when we experience a harsh breakup? We don’t really seem to run right for a while, right? It’s like we went from premium gas to vegetable oil. Sometimes we can’t even get the engine to start. It was so use to that specific fuel.
What can we do? We can add to our engine. When we lose someone, we lose the specific ways that they showed love to us. If we don’t learn to accept and appreciate different expressions of love, then we will never be running the same again. We must add to our engine to make it compatible with more kinds of love. That way we can find new sources of fuel and be back to running at full capacity once again.
While it is always great to have good sources of fuel, maybe in the future we can begin to learn how to make some of our own fuel!