The Method, step 0: know your emotional system

[This post is part of a series on The Method to use The Model — my model for the human emotional system designed for use in leadership, self-awareness, and general purpose professional and personal development — which I find the most effective and valuable foundation for understanding yourself and others and improving your life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Today’s post will be brief. The Method’s zeroth step is to know your emotional system. I call it step zero instead of step one because you only have to do it once in your life. All the other steps you do once per transformation, so when you want to change something later, you start at step one.

Knowing your emotional system amounts to having a model for your emotional system. I prefer my Model, but yours may differ and work for you. As long as you don’t believe emotions just happen randomly and you can’t do anything about them. My post on the Model gives the overview of it. This familiar diagram summarizes it.

reward environment beliefs emotions behavior
The Model

Keep in mind that the Model above is a starting point. Because its purpose includes ease in communicating it I simplified it at the expense of some important detail. I also know everyone is unique, as are their goals, so partly I leave out details so people can customize their Model for themselves. Maybe your Model will be a pentagon or have more arrows between elements.
You can customize your model for yourself and your goals. I designed mine to illustrate, not dictate. The point is to have a model for your emotional system.
I’ve asked myself what elements, if any, are essential for any model to be effective. I’ve concluded the model has to be at least systematic, meaning consistent, reliable, and predictable, but you may find otherwise.

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