Strong positive feelings and emotions are the best leverage we have to both make and keep commitments. Emotional highs (or lows) can offer clarity and perspective. Such feelings and energy can motivate us to change. Without energy there can be no deep and meaningful commitments.
This morning I was trying to help one of our sons to stay focused and stick to our agreed morning routines. He's been doing very well. Not today, though. We let him do "his thing" (which wasn't at all what we had agreed to) and when time came for a mutual accountability report we had a thorough discussion about how it went.
I let him know how disappointed I was, and I guess maybe I was too emphatic about it. It was not difficult to see the pain in his eyes. I was deeply affected by this, possibly more so than him. Since we were late for school I offered to give him a lift. As I watched him running to his classroom I could not help but shed a tear. My heart was aching for him, in light of what he had gone through. I saw clearer than ever, what a great and special person he is. I so much wanted to keep communicating his greatness in my daily dealings with him.
There and then I committed myself to be even more gentle, to be a better friend by spending more one-on-one time with him and more than anything else make sure he knows that I care.
Leverage From Positive Feelings
I try to make commitments when I have strong positive feelings. In my opinion it's the best time to do so. Not only because at such times we want to change, but also because these moments are glimpses of "what really matters" and of "things as they really are".
On that same note, I try to never make decisions when I have negative thoughts or feelings. I believe the old saying "never let your fears (or anger) make your decisions" still holds true.
My son is on my list of "Great People".