Seth Godin – guru of all things guruish – has an interesting view on emotions:
Occasionally we encounter emotions at random. More often, we have no choice, because there’s something that needs to be done, or an event that impinges itself on us. But most often, we seek emotions out, find refuge in them, just as we walk into the living room or the den.
Stop for a second and reread that sentence, because it’s certainly controversial. I’m arguing that more often than not, we encounter fear or aggravation or delight because we seek it out, not because it’s thrust on us.
The problem with the analysis is that we have no control whatsoever over our emotions, and it has been proven scientifically many times. What we do have control over however is how we choose to respond to our emotions.
What Godin is saying, I guess, is that many of us seek out particular behaviours that trigger certain emotional responses. Further, that there are many who habitually sabotage aspects of their life as a result of a particular behaviour/s.
What is important though is that we cannot choose our emotions and suggesting we can is dangerous. We can however choose to modify our behaviour. What would you choose to do?