The Emotion Organ

Imagine, if you will, that the human body contains a single organ (external to the brain) that is responsible for our emotions. Imagine this organ as a vessel that is full of a finite amount of fluid that represents our emotions. The organ is never empty. Our emotions are manifested by the proportion of the fluid representing a particular emotion- the larger the proportion, the more frequently and intensely we feel that emotion. As that emotion’s fluid is displaced by another emotion, we feel it less.

Continuing with this analogy, imagine that your emotion organ is full of the fluid representing fear. Comprising by far the largest proportion of fluid in the organ, fear is dominant and impacts all other emotions. It is as if you experience all other emotions through the lens of fear. As a result, it feels as though everything that you sense is contaminated by fear. When you see an opportunity, you feel scared and self-doubt, over-emphasizing the risk. When faced with a challenge, it feels insurmountable- larger and more menacing than reality. When you see others being successful, you feel only resentment and jealousy. When you stumble or fail, your confidence plummets and your self worth crashes. The fear in your emotion organ has infected all other emotions that you feel and twisted your judgement and perspective.

Now imagine if your emotion organ was instead full of hope. Imagine what you would feel when faced with challenge, opportunity, success and failure. Imagine how you might see the world differently if every other emotion were tinged with hope, instead of fear.

What if we can choose which emotion’s fluid fills our emotion organ?

Wanted: Mentorship

How do you connect with a mentor?

I often receive advice about how powerful mentorship is when connecting to a new career or a new role. When I have coffee chats with people in careers I am targeting, they almost always tell me about mentors in their lives that have played such an impactful role in their development.

I get it. I can understand very clearly the utility of having a mentor. A mentor from whom I can seek guidance to illuminate opportunities or gain a totally new perspective that I haven’t yet considered. A mentor who will challenge my understanding and approach to provide the stretch necessary for intellectual growth. A person whose advice and counsel will provide the clarity and confidence to encourage me to take risks and pursue opportunities aggressively.

But how do you find a mentor?

Mentors are certainly not just growing on trees. I’ve encountered people who speak of mentorship, but then can’t or won’t be responsive enough to truly develop into the relationship I’ve described. I suppose this is a variety of mentor, but not the deep connection I am seeking. In my mind, these kinds of profound mentor relationships would develop naturally between 2 people who have strong respect for one another and share many of the same values and attributes.

I wonder if perhaps I simply define mentorship differently than most. Or maybe there is some front end work I am not doing to develop a relationship into the type of mentorship I am seeking. Maybe I am not being direct enough with potential mentors…is at acceptable to simply ask?