Emotional Agility – Susan David Book Summary

Emotional Agility – Susan David | Free Book Summary

Emotional Agility – Susan David

Courage is not the absence of fear; it is fear walking.

Emotionally agile people are dynamic… able to tolerate high levels of stress and to endure setbacks… to act according to their most cherished values and pursue big, long-term goals

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Emotional agility

It means being aware of and accepting all your emotions, even the most difficult ones.

It also means getting beyond conditioned or preprogrammed cognitive and emotional responses to live in the moment with a clear reading of present circumstances, respond appropriately, and then act in alignment with your deepest values.

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Show up to your emotions, even the bad ones

Forced optimism can’t be sustained, which means it’s only a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

That’s because even negative emotions can have positive consequences, as long as you face them directly and draw the right conclusions. So don’t smile when you don’t feel like it.

Bottlers ignore, push aside, and avoid—sometimes getting repaid with unexpected outbursts.

Brooders complain, wearing out their friends, spouses, or themselves as they rehearse what might have been or what will be—but never moving on.

Set want-to goals, not have-to ones

  • Have-to goals are goals set for you by others under pressure, for example, your doctor telling you to lose weight.
  • Want-to goals are those you set out of conviction and after careful reflection on your true values. 
  • The ultimate social influencer is what causes us to pursue certain behaviors merely because we’re close to someone doing the same. 
  • This can be physical proximity or psychological relatedness through the media, for example.

Mentally create distance by imagining going above or far away from the thought you are having.

Your values will lead the way

Values are what help you make the small, conscious decisions that add up to a life well lived.

To help you identify your values, habitually ask yourself each day, “As I look back on today, what did I do that was actually worth my time?”

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