Do emotions empower you or ensnare you?

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” – Salvor Hardin, The Foundation

Consider each of the following emotions:

  • Anger of all kinds. Bonus points go to outragism, where you trawl social media for things to get mad at. “Oh, good, a politician on the other side of the country tweeted something inappropriate? Luckily I have my emojis all lined up and ready to go!”
  • Sadness of all kinds. This goes double for when you’re sad because of what other people do. If only they’d date you, hire you, promote you – then you’d be happy!
  • Fear of all kinds. Especially fear of invisible things, like ‘social unrest’, ‘failure/success’ or ‘loneliness’
  • Anxiety, for similar reasons.
  • Shame of all kinds. Especially the shame of not fitting in.

All of these emotions are healthy and appropriate.

If you walk the streets naked, you should feel shame at ‘not fitting in’.

If your crony boss fires you and gives your job to his drinking buddy, you should feel anger.

But know this:

These emotions don’t empower you. In fact, they sap your power from your very bones.

Sure, anger feels empowering. In a fight for your life, it certainly is. Same with fear in that situation, too.

But those emotions compel you to take action.

Useful, powerful action.

Then they fade away. If they don’t fade, then they stick around, burning more and more of your body’s resources until you’re a husk.

One action isn’t useful or powerful – and instead of making these emotions fade, it invites them to stick around and grow even stronger.

I see this action every day – in real life and online.

And the weakest people do it. In fact, you can measure a person’s inner sovereignty by ow infrequently they do this.

I’m talking about, of course, none other than


The very act of complaining – even in the privacy of your own mind – robs you of power. It puts you in the mindset of a child, hoping an adult will pity you and fix everything.

If you want a challenge, go a month without complaining about anything.

But I’m not the first person to suggest that. In fact, that’s from Stoicism and Buddhism, making it as old as dirt. You read me for something new – something you can’t find anywhere else.

That’s why the inaugural issue of Phronesis Accelerator has a five-step process that’s even better than taking a break from complaining.

But the deadline to grab it is coming up fast. If you miss that deadline, the issue’s gone.

So get a wriggle on and get it here:

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