Use “Intelligent Emotions” When Making Hard Choices

Screaming little boy in sun glasses

—by Janet Kellogg

Making hard choices at the pool . . . and in the check-out line . . . or even on vacation is inevitable. Will you choose to approach these situations looking like an imposter version of the Real You? Or will you equip yourself with the intelligent use of your most valuable summertime helper – your emotions?  Yes . . . I just said that emotions can be an invaluable help — as long as you learn to use the right ones: intelligent emotions.

This is officially the first week of summer. Whether you are a work-at-home mom with kids out of school, a very involved grandparent trying to connect with cell-phone obsessed teens, or a committed 60+-hours-a-week corporate citizen just trying to enjoy a much-needed vacation, you likely know that all-too-familiar perma-smell of chlorine and sunscreen! I call it “ChlorineScreen.” Without conducting any scientifically-sound research, my official observation is that this smell is often present when I’m making some of my hardest choices during the summer. The smell of “ChlorineScreen” is a reliable indicator that you are about to need a huge dose of intelligent emotions.

Any of these situations can represent a hard choice and require the use of intelligent emotions:

  • Other parents who are stressed out from “too much fun” at the pool . . .

Will you pause and let logic catch up to your angry emotions so that you can make an intelligently emotional but firm response to the parent who is yelling at your child for getting water all over their iPad? (Even if every reasonable person knows you take your chances with technology at the pool).

  • Over-tired kids at the grocery store . . .

Will you let your emotions run away with you and create the same embarrassing and loud scene you’ve witnessed from other parents who just want to leave with some food? (Even if your child is screaming “I hate you!” for everyone in the store to hear). 

  • Impatient vacation-goers just trying to get on to the next thing . . .

Can you diffuse your own mounting anxieties in the long line of ill-prepared travelers by focusing on the happiness you’ll soon feel in getting away with your family? (If you can ever just get through airport security).


Why do emotions both help me and hurt me?

You may be thinking that the very last thing you want to do is think about emotions. Perhaps they’ve only ever seemed to get in your way of making good decisions. But if you harness the power and energy of your emotions, they can lead you to being your best. Emotions are the key to reaching your potential — intelligent emotions, that is.

If you want to be in charge of these emotions and a good manager and controller of these powerful surges that live inside of you, stick with me. Using a great resource, Intelligently Emotional, as our guide, we’ll be exploring how to manage and maximize the power of emotions in your life, making hard choices the art form it can be.

What do the “MAGIC QUESTION” and intelligent emotions have in common?

Remember the MAGIC QUESTION I mentioned last week? You’ll need to tap into your most intelligent use of emotion to even be able to answer this question. That is because the process we use to identify the best choice for us to make in any situation requires our partnering with positive (intelligent) emotions that serve us well.

I hope you will continue to check in this summer as we explore exactly how you can work with your inner design to achieve the intelligent use of emotions. Whether you are being overcome with the smell of “ChlorineScreen” or safely inside a fragrance-neutral bubble, this is information you’ll want to know!

Teach your kids how to have intelligent emotions, too. It all starts with understanding.

Learn more about parenting according to your child’s design, with this new self-paced online learning.


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