Eric Greitens book, “Resilience,” was one of the very best books I had ever read on the subject when it was published in 2015. Please read it if you are struggling in life. Once again, this book has so many bookish weapons in it choosing just one is difficult. However, there is a concept discussed that when understood gives the reader a powerful weapon.
Feelings, Action, Identity
Everyone talks about how they are feeling. I feel sad, angry, hurt, etc. Greitens points out that in our culture we focus on our feelings first. Then those feelings lead to action. We get angry so we yell at someone. We are hurt so we isolate ourselves. That shapes our identity and we become someone that yells at people, gets angry easily or avoids relationships.
Greitens says this is the wrong way to look at it. Putting feelings first gets us in trouble. Feelings are always going to be there. We just need to put them in their proper place.
Identity, Action, Feelings
Instead of focusing on what you are feeling, ask yourself who you want to be. Then you take action based on that. The action will impact the way you feel. “Your emotions can be harnessed and your feelings trained.”
Greitens discusses Plato’s horses and chariot story where the horses represent our emotions so if we allow emotions to take over they run wild.
It Isn’t Easy
What a great bookish weapon this concept is for us. It is not easy, however. Greitens says, “This all takes daily attention. You never win an award for mastering emotions and call it a day.” He goes on to say, “Decide who you want to be. Act that way. In time you will become the person you resolve to be.”
Wise advice! This book is filed with so much and I certainly recommend you read it. My look at one or two ideas from a book is not meant to be a review, but just a quick look.