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Measuring Emotions & Feelings

by Rick Baker
On Jul 20, 2011
We don't bother to measure our feelings and emotions.
At least most of us, most of the time, don't measure our feelings and emotions.
That's not to say we don't 'register' our feelings and emotions. And, that's not to say we don't behave in accordance with our feelings and emotions.
We do those things.
We do register the fact we feel this way or that. And, we do recognize our feelings and emotions play a role in what we do.
We just don't measure what's going on.
Maybe we are generally content with our feelings and emotions...so, why bother analysing them or taking the time to measure them?
Maybe we don't think we can do much about our feelings and emotions...like, they happen and that's it?
Maybe we've thought of measuring our emotions and feelings but couldn't quickly identify how that might be done...then, we got busy and that thought slipped away?
Regardless, maybe today we are thinking it would be a good idea to figure out a way to measure our emotions and feelings.
If that's something you’d like to do then there are simple ways to do it.
About a dozen years ago Brian Tracy recommended a technique which is simple and helpful. He recommended a scale from Minus10-to-Plus10.
  • a rating of ‘Minus 10’ means you have the most negative possible feeling about the situation at hand. As examples...utter disgust and raging anger
  • a rating of ‘Zero’ is absolutely neutral...take it or leave it
  • a rating of ‘Plus 10’ is the most positive feeling about the situation. As examples…sheer bliss and pure love
I like the Minus10-to-Plus10 approach much better than any other 'yardstick' for measuring emotions/feelings.
A Minus10-to-Plus10 approach forces us to accept the reality of negatives and positives.
It also makes sure we do not lose track of the fact, when you boil it down, we only have 2 types of emotions:
  • Emotions that make us feel Good
  • Emotions that make us feel Bad
That helps remove all the mumbo jumbo about optimists versus pessimists. Everyone experiences Good feelings and everyone has Bad feelings.
A Minus10-to-Plus10 approach also allows us a wide enough range to make and be pleased about baby-steps of improvement.
It’s easy to give and receive advice like, "Your problem is you don't have a positive mental attitude. Think positive and all will be well."
On the other hand, that's not really very practical. To alter our feelings, if our goal is to have more good feelings then, we need to overcome deeply ingrained Bad Habits...some of which we know and can identify...and some of which are deeply rooted in our subconscious.
While we may never uncover the deep roots of habits we can always register and measure our feelings and emotions.
Using a Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale© we can calibrate any and all our feelings [or emotions if you prefer to describe it that way]. Some of this goes without saying...catastrophes can generate extreme frustration or anger or compassion or grief, etc. Other feelings and emotions, the ones that we experience throughout every waking moment of every day, are more subtle and their root causes are less clear. Regardless, the feelings and emotions influence what we do next...they influence how we feel next…and, repeating, they influence what we do next. And, they generate patterns of behaviour that show up later...including years later.
We can choose the behaviours we desire then create those behaviours.
We can use the Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale© to create those behaviours.

Comments (15) -

1/15/2012 9:47:58 PM #

"You know from your own experience that under proper mental conditions of joy and enthusiasm, you can do three or four times the work without fatigue that you can ordinarily."

Robert Collier, 'The SECRET of the AGES', Volume 4,(1925)

2/12/2012 6:33:24 PM #

"All anyone asks for is a chance to work with pride."

W. Edwards Deming
Auto Sector Genius, (1900-1993)

rick baker
3/28/2012 10:06:29 PM #

"Perception is the way the brain organizes the information received from the outer world via the senses. The organization is affected by the emotional state of the moment which favours some patterns at the expense of others."

Edward de Bono
'Water Logic', (1991)

rick baker
4/8/2012 9:21:41 PM #

"The will to overcome an emotion is ultimately only the will of another emotion or of several others."

Friedrich Nietzsche
'Beyond Good and Evil', (1886)

rick baker
4/26/2012 9:59:34 PM #

"There's no question that the higher the stakes, the greater the anxiety you're likely to feel."

"Once you become aware of your tendencies you'll be able to recognize a warning sign when you see it and put on the brakes before you crash or do something stupid."

Dr. Doug Hirschhorn
'8 Ways to Great', (2010)

rick baker
4/28/2012 9:39:49 PM #

About Emotional Intelligence

1. Understand our feelings and emotions and how they influence our external behaviors

2. Take control of our emotions and do the difficult things that we may not want to do, but must do, in order to achieve our worthwhile goals.

Ron Willingham
‘The Inner Game Of Selling’, (2006)

rick baker
5/4/2012 9:59:49 PM #

"The peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character."

"Hence it is not enough to deal with Temper. We must go to the source, and change the inmost nature, and the angry humours will die away of themselves."

Henry Drummond
‘The Greatest Thing in the World’, (1918)

rick baker
5/26/2012 6:36:07 PM #

"So often today, white-collar workers are hired for their brains alone; blue-collar and service workers, for their bodies only, as though these could be detached from the beings who possess them. As a consequence, there is so much emotional pain around work in our culture."

Laurence G. Boldt
'ZEN and the art of making a living', (2009)

rick baker
10/7/2012 6:40:26 PM #

"Leadership is all about psychology. You've got to know all the hard stuff, engineering, physics, computer science and design, but you've got to know the soft stuff - the hopes, fears, ambitions, and latent courage inside you and the people in front of you, waiting for direction."

Dr. Joe MacInnis
'Deep Leadership', (2012)

rick baker
11/25/2012 2:10:05 PM #

"I would say that listening to the other person's emotions may be the most important thing I've learned in twenty years of business."

Heath Herber

rick baker
11/25/2012 2:13:34 PM #

"When you are listening to somebody completely and attentively, then you are listening not only to the words but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it."

Jiddu Krishnamurti

rick baker
1/22/2013 7:17:38 PM #

“Emotional control is uniquely difficult because you generally can’t alter your mood by an act of will. You can change what you think about or how you behave, but you can’t force yourself to be happy.”

Baumeister & Tierney
‘Willpower’, (2011)

rick baker
1/22/2013 8:31:00 PM #

“Positive mood and the self-esteem that accompany it lead to an increase in agency – or the belief that you have the power to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals.”

Shelley Carson
‘Your Creative Brain’, (2010)

rick baker
2/3/2013 10:13:11 PM #

“The happiness habit is just as necessary to our best welfare as the work habit, or the honesty or square-dealing habit.”

Orison Swett Marden
‘Pushing to the Front’, (1911)

rick baker
3/1/2014 12:04:18 AM #

"The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts."

Bertrand Russell
British polymath, 1872-1970

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