Words and Music
Emotion Goes Where Energy Flows By John Milton Fogg
his issue focuses on the power of emotion, the right-brain instinctive or intuitive feelings we experience and express, as distinguished from left-brain reasoning or knowledge. Heart and head, music and words, both are important, but emotion tends to matter most, because it carries more energy. Take this sentence: I didn’t say she stole the money. The words (lyrics) are clear—until you add emotion (music). Now read the three sentences below, just emphasizing the bolded word. Notice what happens to the meaning of each sentence. I didn’t say she stole the money. I didn’t say she stole the money. I didn’t say she stole the money. Same words each time. Completely different meaning. That’s the music. That’s the power of adding feeling, because emotion goes where the energy is. “Ele,” I say to my 14-year-old daughter. “Please clean up your room.” “Yes, dad.” Words and music. The energy of emotion can go two ways. Negative emotion is focused on the problem, what’s wrong, fault-finding. It drains our energy. Positive emotion is focused on the ideal, what’s right, on seeking value. This increases our energy. Consider these two questions: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you in the past five years? What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this week? I’ve done this demonstration with audiences around the world. As culturally diverse as people from America, Iceland, India, and Iran tend to be, the response is always the same. If you fully consider each question, without employing some positive-thinking coping mechanism, you’ll feel how the “worst thing” question saps your energy, while the “best thing” question builds your energy. Whether you favor the Bee Gees or Destiny’s Child, “It is just emotion that’s taken you over,” because that feeling awareness is where the power is—over mood, meaning, motivation, and all else. We all choose our words, on purpose and by design—as did the contributors to this issue. When you read their articles, listen for the music. Yes, you can do that through your eyes, as well as your ears: as you travel with Armand Puyolt along dirt roads, “leading with love”; as you walk in the early morning with Tom Chenault and discover his “secret weapon”; as Carrie Dickie blows you away with her story of transformation; as twins Adrianna Markowitz and Jennipher Hagenmayer uplift you with their “Sister Power.” Doug Firebaugh nails it, “Emotions are the power.” Energy. Words and music. n John Milton Fogg is founding editor of Networking Times.