Meaning Making

cf.: Adaptation Reflex

Why are the terms Sense, Emotion, Thought, and Feeling so often mixed up?

Because they are so tightly inter-related. Some stimulus comes into our awareness through our senses (see, hear, smell, touch, taste).  After that, it gets messy, and both thoughts  (Neocortex) and emotions (Amigdala) kick in.

Thoughts (Neocortex) by means of. Emotions (Amigdala) by means of
  • Preconceptions
  • Judgments
  • Interpretations
  • Attributions
  • Memories.
  • Avoidance of physical pain
  • All aspects of the fight/flight response
  • Pleasures
Often, we become aware of our emotions, which are sensed just like anything else by means of monitoring our own physiology:
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing rate
  • Flushed skin
  • Muscular contractions / tension
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Smiling, Laughing
Through that awareness (thoughts) of our own physiologic state (emotions), we are able to assign words and meaning to label our emotions.  Feelings are words that describe our emotional state.  Click here for examples of basic feeling words
The problem keeping them separate is that the exact same stimulus can produce different emotions based on our thoughts.  For example, lets say my boss just walked in…
I’m about to get chewed out again…
Elevated Heart rate
Sweaty palms
I just closed a huge deal.
Deep breaths
cf.: Observable Data


So what difference does it make?

Unless we can increase our awareness of our emotions, in real-time, then they will continue to have a disproportionate impact on our thoughts, and thus our emotions (over which we have little direct control), will end up influencing our actions far more than we are aware.

The purpose and goal in becoming aware of our emotions is so that we can be increase the conscious, deliberate, thoughtful choices we make regarding our actions.
cf.: Awareness Wheel


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



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