Do you have your “go to” guy or gal, where you go to get knowledge, perspective, and motivation? I’ve had many mentor types in the past, and my current guru is Tim Ferriss. If you have not heard of Tim, he is the author of “4- Hour Workweek”, “4-Hour Chef”, and 4-Hour Body”. I am currently reading his latest, “Tools of Titans”. I also subscribe to his weekly Podcasts. He interviews the latest and greatest in the fields of technology, health, wealth, and life. You should check him out.
In one of his recent Podcasts, he reviewed some of the major impacts on his life in 2016. One of them was a series on Oprah. I’ve done the backtracking to spare you the details, but the core of the message was a guest offering the idea that there are only two emotions, love and fear. If you have studied psychology, Paul Ekman identified six basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) and Robert Plutchik eight, which he grouped into four pairs of polar opposites (joy-sadness, anger-fear, trust-distrust, surprise-anticipation).
Here is the quote I dug up from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:
“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.”
For the last few weeks, I have been playing with the concept of living with only two emotions. If I am not in love, then I am in fear. It really does not matter if fear takes the form of anger, anxiety, or hate. If it all comes from the true emotion of fear, then I am better off living from a place of love. Who wants to be in a place of fear? When I come from a place of love, I may feel happiness, peace, or joy, but for me, let’s cut to the chase. Life is much simpler when I have a choice of two. Tonight, I took my daughter to dinner, her choice was Smashburger or Chipotle. Keep it simple.
How would your life be different, easier, and clearer if there were only two choices for every emotion you experience? Could you live your life complete by choosing between love and fear? I know it seems easy as an impulsive response, but when you look at the extended menu, it may be easier to say I’m angry or disgusted. There’s a lot of juice in that when you are in that state, and there may be lots of power if you stay in that space. However, if you trade the anger or disgust for fear that may put you in a less empowering position. It can be a raw feeling to either be in fear or love, but there’s a lot of excitement in experiencing that shift.
What do you say? Give it some thought, give it some practical experience, and let me know what you think. I’m interested in hearing your experience.