A different kind of retirement. Summary: "Slomo" used to be a doctor. An old man once told him to "Do what you want." As his eyesight started failing, he decided to "retire" and reinvent himself as someone who skates everyday down the San Diego boardwalk. He's perfected the art of skating slowly, tapping into the acceleration we feel as we glide on the earth's surface around the center of the earth (for an explanation, see about the 9:00 minute mark or so). He says he gets called all kinds of things, and thinks people react in different ways (mostly positive) to seeing someone doing exactly what they want to be doing. Pretty inspiring.
The exercise is relatively simple, although you will want to write some things down or have a patient partner there to listen and help trace the pattern. Here is the step-by-step process:
- Start with the intense emotion you feel. Name it, whether it's sadness, anger, joy, etc.
- Next, ask yourself what the emotion makes you want to do?
- After naming that action, ask yourself how you would feel if you did what you wanted to do?
- Keep asking yourself what emotion you are feeling and resulting action you want to make until you reach a state where you are completely content.
Think of emotions as layers of an onion. Each layer is peeled away to reveal another emotion until you reach a core state of being where you desire to be for a long time, if not forever. For most, this is complete and utter contentment, joy, peace, love or happiness.
The purpose of the exercise is to not simply uncover your core desire. It is to show you how your emotional reaction to a situation is actually in your own self-interest in getting what you want. Your core desire is just hidden in many layers. This helps in understanding your emotions and how they serve your ultimate purpose.
Try it out next time you have an intense emotion that you're not sure where it came from. What might initially appear as destructive behavior might lead to something more constructive.