I wanted to take the opportunity to share a story from my background in today’s post. This is something from a while back, but it’s been very important to me throughout my life.

It’s really one of the most important lessons that I’ve ever had the privilege of learning.

It’s informed a lot of my business decisions and I credit a lot of the success I’ve had to the lesson I learned in this story.

Have I built it up enough? Here’s the post!

Control Your Emotions, Or They Will Control You

When I was a kid, I started martial arts. I was only six when I began and it was (and still is) one of the most important and positive influences on my life – even though I’m not presently involved with the martial arts.

My Sensei was a very soft-spoken and respected man, who had clearly mastered the art of serenity and moving through the world with grace and flow.

I know, he sounds like the classic martial arts master stereotype, but he really was a great man and that’s the best way I can paint a picture of him.

He told me something very important and it’s stuck with me for a long time. He told us to, “Control your emotions, or they will control you.”

A Powerful Statement

Even at that young age, I knew on some level what it meant. I’d be having a temper tantrum, throwing things around and suddenly something would just click in my head and my Sensei’s words would come back to me:

“Control your emotions, or they will control you.”

It’s such a powerful statement and something that I’ve used as a mantra in so many areas of my life – not just success in business and with my filmmaking – having given up temper tantrums a long time ago!

This is something that I’ve told myself…no, urged myself with at some of the lowest, darkest points in my life.

It’s more than just a statement. It’s a command to yourself to get your act together and start living how you should be living.

Holding Yourself Accountable

A powerful and effective way to get yourself to start taking action and pushing in the right direction is to hold yourself accountable to your goals and what you want out of life.

When you hold yourself accountable, you decide that you won’t accept excuses from yourself.

A great way of holding yourself accountable is to tell someone exactly what you’re doing:

1. Tell a friend or acquaintance that you’re going to be embarking on some changes in your life.

You need to tell them roughly what it is that you’re going to be doing, but you don’t necessarily have to be super-specific.

You also don’t have to tell a very close friend or family member if you don’t want to, as sometimes this can work against you.

2. Instruct this person as to roughly what you’re going to be doing – you can be as detailed and specific as you like.

3. Now ask them to hold you accountable to following through.

They can do this in a number of ways, including:

  • allowing you to file weekly or monthly reports with them about your progress,
  • getting them to ask you regularly if you’re following through on what your said you would,
  • or even something as dramatic as arranging a forfeit or punishment if you don’t take the action you said you would.

By asking friends to hold you accountable, you’re leveraging some powerful social conventions that should keep you on the straight and narrow, as falling off the wagon equals potential embarrassment and breaking social contracts.

Yes, in this situation, aspects of social conditioning can actually be useful for you.

I hope this story and the exercise afterwards have given you some clarity today. I wish you the best with your dreams and goals!