107: Two Core Emotions In Life
Are you living your life out of fear or in a place of love? These are the two core emotions that dictate the majority of our decisions. Those emotions are polar opposites, which means that despite them being present at once, you can only choose to be ruled by one. In this episode, Thane Ringler draws parallels between his experience in golf to these two emotions. How does living a life of fear or pure love affect your mindset? How do you free yourself from that place of fear in order to live a life of love?
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Two Core Emotions In Life
I had the chance to sponsor my first child named Braise, who lives in Rwanda. I am excited to see how God will work in my life and his through this relationship. My church hosted a speaker from an organization that connected people with children in poverty. After seeing the work they were doing, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. I went online and decided to start sponsoring Braise. We share the same birthday, which is a super cool connection that I wanted to make so that my support and letter writing would be more significant for both of us. Honestly, it’s way better to focus on someone else than yourself on your birthday too. What this means is that I’m paying $38 a month, which helps pay for Braise to go to school, see a doctor when he needs to, get proper nutrition and get the mentoring and tutoring he’ll need to be healthy as he grows up.
This is all through a group called Compassion International. In looking them up, I learned that compassion has been releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name since 1952. Through their holistic child development model, they blend physical, social, economic, and spiritual care together to help children in poverty fully mature in every facet of life and transcend the often generational cycle of poverty. Through this work, they have become the world’s leading authority in holistic child development through sponsorship with more than 1.9 million children sponsored in their program. If you want to help a child be released from poverty, visit Compassion.com/upandcomers or simply text the word, Change, to 83393. If you want to be the change that you wish to see in the world, I can’t think of a better place to start.
I am excited to share some thoughts with you. Before we get there, I wanted to remind you first. For all of you reading, I appreciate you being here. If you want to show some support and want to be a part of this community, we need your help. The best way to do that is to leave us a rating and review on iTunes. It’s super easy and simple. You have to scroll down on your phone if you’re on iTunes and click that five-star button if that’s what you want to give us and maybe drop a few comments. That would be helpful for helping others find us and we are all about human and personal connections.
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Father-Son Golf Tournament
This is going to be a shorter episode where I get to share a few things that I’ve been thinking through. One time, I got the chance to go down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and it is extremely humid there. If you’re living there, I feel sorry for you because I was sweating at 8 AM. I was drenched in sweat. I went down there for a father-son golf tournament. My dad and I both love the game of golf and we’re both over competitive. We get to play in this event and we ended up getting tied for second because we choked on the last day. We had a chance to win it and we didn’t take advantage of it by dropping several shots the last day that we shouldn’t have.Anytime we tell ourselves not to do something, we're actually going to perpetuate more of the thing that we don't want to do. Click To Tweet
We were excited and we had a lot of anticipation or expectation of what was to come. We were gearing up to try and get the title and bring home the championship. The cool thing about winning it is that you get to go to the world’s father-son tournament. That is the prize, the carrot dangling in front of us as we are getting ready to compete. I’ve been practicing a little bit more, trying to play at least once a week, and maybe getting up there once more. Now, that is not my job. It’s a lot harder to find the time, but I wanted to make some time to get ready.
In the tournament, we started the first day fairly strong but fizzled and managed this post something decent. We are seven under. The second day was a battle from the start and I missed a short putt to open up. It turned into a battle the whole day. We didn’t play well. We shot a couple over for the best ball. I knew that we’d do something special the last day. Honestly, the third day was flat out bad on both sides. Both my dad and I played horrible.
When you’re playing a team event and both players are playing bad golf, it’s ugly. What was interesting during the third day, there were times when the frustration I felt reached a boiling point for me that I wasn’t able to keep it. I wasn’t able to keep a drive in play. My tee shots are off the tee and I was hitting them about 30 to 40 yards right of where I wanted to, which is a big miss. That means I’m out of the hole and I’m in the pocket. I had a stretch about 5 or 6 holes where I was out of the hole from the beginning. This was frustrating to me.
Several times during the stretch, the only thing I wanted to do was either smash a crater in the ground from my clubhead or possibly break the shaft of the club over my knee. The third option would maybe even chuck it as far as it can fly because golf clubs can fly far. I knew that all of these “solutions” would leave me more embarrassed or ashamed of my actions than not. In those moments, I was able to withstand the temptation not foreseeing the future of what would come, but still, that frustration produced more of the poor shots and poor results that I was frustrated about.
This is an all too common downward spiral that happens in golf as much as it does in life. A bad shot will lead to anger and frustration that leads to a bad decision or another bad shot that then leads to trying to hold on or control the situation, which is ultimately turning you into operating out of a fear of losing. That fear is what starts controlling you. It’s a deadly cycle. When I was reflecting on the trip and reliving some of these experiences, even from my own professional golf days, I thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts on the two core emotions that we operate out of in life.
These two emotions are fear and love. These two emotions are diametrically opposed to each other, meaning they are mutually exclusive in most ways. If you’re operating out of fear, you can’t truly love. If you’re operating out of pure love, there is no fear. There’s a lot of middle ground in between, but you get the point. What does this look like in real life? How does it affect our daily interactions and decisions, not just on the golf course but in our daily living?
Operating On Fear
Operating on fear means that we’re making decisions within our day to eliminate the downside. We’re saying, “What will eliminate the most downside in this situation or scenario? How can I limit my losses?” It means that we aren’t saying what we mean or what we want to because we’re afraid of what the other person might think in situations. Maybe saying what they want to hear instead of what we need to say. It also means we might be telling ourselves not to do something instead of telling ourselves what we’re going to do.
Negative affirmations are what these called, whether it would be eating too much dark chocolate at night and saying, “Don’t eat dark chocolate.” If I tell myself not to eat dark chocolate, what do I want to do? I want to eat it even more. It’s maybe we’re saying, “Don’t sleep past my alarm this morning.” Lo and behold, we wake up about fifteen minutes past what we’re supposed to and we’re rushing out the door. Maybe it’s saying, “Don’t check social media,” and then you find yourself scrolling through Instagram again. Maybe it’s, “Don’t stay up bingeing on Netflix,” or whatever it may be. Anytime we tell ourselves not to do something, we’re going to perpetuate more of the things that we don’t want to do this.
This is similar to driving down the road. When you see something in the road and you fixate on it, you end up going towards the thing that you don’t want to go towards. This is especially true if you’ve ever ridden on a motorcycle or a bicycle when there’s a pothole or maybe it’s an animal in the road or some trash or debris that you’re trying to avoid. The most important thing is that you look towards the spot or the direction where you want to go and not at the thing you’re trying to avoid. When you look and fixate on the thing that you’re trying to avoid, you will inevitably go towards that.
That is what negative affirmations do. On the golf course, it’s similar. If there’s water on the right side of the fairway and I’m on the tee box, and if I am telling myself in my head over the ball and if I’m telling myself, “Don’t hit it right in the water,” then we are going to inevitably go towards the water. Believe it or not. That negative affirmations never work. They never produce the results we’re looking for. These operations out of fear lead to us trying to hold on to something and control something that isn’t within our control. We’re trying to predict the future and play out all the possible scenarios. We’re playing not to lose, instead of playing to win.Operating on of love means that we're making empowered decisions in light of what we truly value. Click To Tweet
At its core, we’re operating out of scarcity and fear. Scarcity means that there’s a limited amount of resources or limited amount of X, Y, or Z and I have to do all I can to control, grab it and hold onto it so that I can get what I want or what I need. Also, to control everything that is important and protect myself from out of fear. This is something that leads to more of the same. Over time, it perpetuates that fear and makes it grow bigger. It also leaves us increasingly frustrated with bursts of anger that come through.
Operating Out Of Love
This is true if you’ve been in the sports realm or even in the performance realm. Anytime you’re trying to control the outcomes, you start hurting your performance or your potential within any sport or performing art. That leads to more frustration and poor results. This is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is operating out of love. It means we’re making empowered decisions in light of what we truly value. We’re being honest with others about how we feel or what we think in ways that are loving and not hurtful to ourselves and to them. We give ourselves positive affirmations of what we are going to do and why we are committed to doing them. This is similar to the way I structure my day, to be honest. Some of those prior examples of whether it be not checking social media, bingeing on Netflix, eating too much chocolate or sleeping past our alarm.
To help me do things that I want to do versus not want to do, I infuse my day with what I’m committed to doing. For example, I’m committed to waking up at 4:50 to go to the gym and be in the gym by 5:30 to get a morning workout in 3 or 4 days a week. Because of that, I make the empowered decision to go to bed at night 9:30 or maybe 10:00, instead of staying up later so that I can get enough sleep and I can make sure that the next day, I’m being effective in what I do. That’s a positive affirmation to me saying, “I want to go to bed this time so that I can do this tomorrow and increase the effectiveness of my day.” I’m not saying, “Don’t stay up too late tonight, Thane, because then you’ll be tired.”
I’m telling myself what I’m going to do or maybe the dark chocolate, which is a guilty pleasure of mine. Maybe it’s saying, “I know I love dark chocolate and I want some now after dinner.” I’m going to commit to having a slab of dark chocolate, not more, not less, but I’m going to reward myself for a good day with some dark chocolate. That’s some examples of ways that you can spin it into a positive affirmation saying, “What are you committed doing?”
On the golf course, back to that water on the right tee shot. If there’s water on the right, I recognize it and I see it. I don’t want the ball to go in there. I already know that. That’s clear. Now, what am I going to do? I am committed to hitting the shot at this tree with this shot shape that ends up in this place that’s in the middle of the fairway. Looking at your day and what you’re doing, I’m saying, “I’m choosing to eat healthy so that I can be more energetic and effective in my day. I’m choosing to intermittent fast so that in the morning when I’m doing deep work, I’ll have more clarity and focus and not have to spend energy-burning food or fuel.
Intention is the thing that gives us the ability to operate more out of love and it’s operating out of abundance. Knowing that there’s plenty to go around, I don’t need to hold onto this or try to control it or try to predict the future and be prepared for everything that may come. I get to be present, embrace and enjoy each moment in time that we’re at because each moment is unique. Each unique moment in time is a gift because the good and the bad and everything in between can be a gift if we’re looking for it. That’s what gratitude is. Gratitude is simply finding the good. Virtually every situation in life, we can find the good. Of course, there are always exceptions to generalizations, but you get the point. Gratitude is finding the good and the good in the bad. Bad is making us stronger. It’s helping us see what’s important in life and it’s refining our perspective. It’s connecting us to humanity. We can start operating out of love and abundance.
Two Core Emotions
I love to picture what my friend, Chandler Mann said, which has been on the show on episode 30. She said, “It’s walking forward with open hands,” which I love because a lot of times when I’m operating in daily life out of fear, I start walking forward, but I’m clenching my fists. I’m holding onto the things that I’m doing and the things I’m trying to create. What I possess with clenched fists trying to make sure that I don’t lose it or that no one takes it away from me. I make sure and control the outcomes.
That’s my default. It’s hard to open the hand and say, “You’ve got this, God. I’m going to walk forward and trust You. I’m going to walk forward out of love and abundance knowing that whatever I have is not mine. It’s a gift given to me and I get to use it and steward it to the best of my abilities. The best outcomes always come when I’m not holding on and trying to control it, but letting go and letting what may come.” That’s such a useful illustration of what this practice is all about.
Connecting you back to the Bible, 1 John 14 talks about how perfect love casts out all fear and we know that God is perfect love. When we’re operating out of a heart for Jesus knowing that all that we have is grace and once we receive grace, we get to respond with the lives for Him, then we know that it’s nothing that we do. It’s all a gift and that allows us to walk forward with open hands, especially in light of what God’s done for us. That is freedom in Christ that Paul talks about all through the New Testament. To practically apply, I’d love to leave you with a question and encourage you to spend 10 or 15 minutes sitting with it and maybe a journal. What areas in life are you operating on fear instead of love? How can you make the shift from fear to love in those areas? Sitting with those questions, examining, reflecting, and evaluating where these things pop up in your own life will be beneficial to free you from the bondage of fear. It’s a bondage that we can live underneath for far too long.
To break free from that bondage, we first have to discover where it is. We have to understand it and how it plays out in our lives. We have to optimize against it and we have to prime for love instead of fear. We have to replace it. I believe this is one of the most freeing things that we can do. We will be blessed by committing to operating out of love instead of fear, not to mention how much this can benefit others in our life as well. Those are the two core emotions in life. I hope and pray that we can all embrace and live lives operating out of love instead of fear.
- Compassion International
- iTunes – The Up & Comers Show
- Chandler Mann – Episode 30
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