Inside of every human there are trillions of cells and synaptic connections, billions of neurons, a million moving parts, and then thousands of thoughts and feelings passing through our heads every day. On top of all that, our experiences, traumas, and relationships all affect our thinking, feelings, and habits.
With all that going on, isn’t it possible that some of what we’re thinking, feeling, and even suffering at times could be a little bit off-base or even irrational? How would we even know? I mean, have you ever wondered:
- How can you make sense of what your feelings are telling you?
- How can you know which feelings to respond to or to ignore?
- And how can you know what a level-headed response is?
On today’s show, the difference between rational and irrational thinking: where reason and logic intersect with fear, emotion, and imagination.
Enjoy today’s show!
Chris LoCurto 0:00
On today's episode, a litmus test for your mind how to determine when your thinking is rational, logical and level headed and what it's not that is coming up next.
Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
Welcome to the show, folks, I hope you're having a fabulous day wherever you are. So here's something that you probably already know that we as humans are complex creatures. Now, if you're married, you've probably already figured that part out right? Men and women are the most complex creatures. In nature, there are around 200 different types of cells in the human body with a total count of over 37 trillion per person. The human brain is the most complex system in the known universe. And it's estimated that there are 86 billion neurons in the human brain, each neuron in the brain could be connected to as many as 10,000 other neurons, each passing signals to another through as many as 100 trillion synaptic connections. It's funny that there used to be a belief that when it came to DNA, there was most most of the DNA strand was pointless. It wasn't needed, it was just there randomly there. Now that they have mapped the human genome, they've come to a place of understanding that every single piece is needed used tied together, right? So with all that being said, where do emotions come from? Researchers believe that they originate in a specific region of the brain. So for example, from brain facts.org, the anatomy of emotions, the amygdala, which is a region in the limbic system of your brain, the amygdala, integrates emotions, emotional behavior, and motivation. It interprets fear helps distinguish friends from foes and identifies social rewards, and how to attain them. So it's also what I believe, the place that helps you to decide what your response is going to be to a specific situation. So one of the things we know about the amygdala is that if you get, let's say, frustrated, then your response of frustration, can last up to 20 minutes, like the amygdala resets every 20 minutes. Now, if you get refreshed rated, then guess what? You're going to be frustrated again. Or if you are continuing to be frustrated with that specific situation, then you'll stay frustrated. But I believe that that is actually a response that you set in your amygdala. Is it possible for you to overcome that responsible? Of course it is. But what do we think? Or what are we being taught nowadays, know that emotion is something that must happen? It must exist? Don't shut that down. Don't stop that emotion from existing that response from existing?
Well folks, many times that emotion is anger. And we're saying that we should just keep that there? Well, we're going to talk about that as we go along today. While emotions are universal, each person may experience them and respond to them in a different way. And this is where it gets a little more complicated. So how do you make sense of what your feelings are telling you? How do you know which feelings to respond to or to ignore? And how do you know what an appropriate response is with just one or two feelings left unmanaged? Our perception of reality can quickly go on tilt.
One of the things we talked about a lot and like Next-Level Life and in by the way, we've done 400 over 400, I think are at like 450 or something. Next-Level Life events. And I can tell you, people are complex, right? One of the things we discuss in Next-Level Life is is this a reality? What the thing that you're experiencing? Is the response equal to the actual situation? That is an important thing to be asking yourself all the time? Yes, maybe I do feel anger. Maybe I feel loneliness. Maybe I feel frustration, maybe I feel rejection. The question is, is the response that I'm having equal to the situation? How many times do you see people especially nowadays, going off on the social media, you know, somebody says something and somebody just loses their mind, it ruins their day. It messes them up for hours, whatever. And really, when you come down to it, it's like, it's, it's just a comment. It's just something that somebody said, right? Nobody cut your arm off. Nobody lopped your head off. It's a response that you're having. And right now, the question is, is it equal to what you're experiencing? Now, for those of you who don't know what next level life is, this is a powerful two day event, where we go through and help people to discover where a lot of this stuff is coming from their, what we call the root system, the deposits the experiences that they've had in life that have caused them to have specific decision making processes. Now, as we go through this, we don't make any victims we don't make any monsters, right? We come from a perspective to understand why do I make the decisions the way that I make them? And what can I do about them? Is there a better way that I can change my decision making process? What are the lies that I tell myself are the things that I'm experiencing are living in so every single person has a root system, everyone does. Our goal is to help them gain clarity through Next-Level Life.
So in today's episode, we want to use some of our tools from Next-Level Life, to put our thinking to the test, and we're going to discover solid methods that can bring clarity to a cloudy thought life. Now with that said, if you want to bring clarity to your leadership, then listen to this, we just finished a short but powerful miniseries teasing out some of the core concepts we're going to be teaching at this year's Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event. So go back and listen to the last couple of episodes with our leaders and coaches and get caught up the 2022 Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event is coming up soon in just a few weeks. And you do not want to miss this event. So here's what you need to know, if you're a business owner or leader, this experience was designed for you. This is our premier once a year event, and it's open to the public, so you don't want to miss it. And this year, we're going to have even more of what you love both leadership and life sessions. So go to Chrislocurto.com/nextlevelleadership to reserve your seats today, when we come back, learning to recognize when your perception is getting too clouded.
Speaker 2 7:32
Freedom, it's so powerful, I felt rejuvenated, almost renewed, I just felt so welcomed and loved and accepted for who I am and not an ounce of judgment. So I was very comfortable there that had a really big impact on me, that's going to be worth it. It's going to be hard. But it's going to be even better. On the other side. For me, it was just, it was very refreshing. And I'm gonna say life feeling for me, it really was, you know, I would go to next level life again. And probably again, and probably again, because it's so powerful.
Chris LoCurto 8:08
I want you to ask yourself a question. Could you hear the sense of hope and freedom and their voices just that I want you to know, that could be you. Look, it's easy to get trapped in old habits, negative thought patterns and unhealthy relationships, it's gonna take some work. But yes, there is hope for you. If you want to experience the same kind of life transformation, this same kind of self awareness and freedom that they have. Or maybe you're just curious what the process would look like for you, then head on over to Chrislocurto.com/nextlevellife.
Alright, we are talking about clear headed thinking today. Because it's so important to our everyday decision making and to our success in life. So it's also incredibly important to the quality of life that we have. So I want you to think about that every everything is coming from your decision making, right? We really aren't victims to very many things in life or, as a matter of fact, rarely ever a victim. So if we can recognize the impact that our decision making has, then we can also recognize that we can adjust and change our quality of life by helping our decision making so for example, some people suffer needlessly from faulty or rational fear driven, overly emotional thinking. Seneca said we suffer more in imagination than reality. It's so true. Ask yourself how many of your worries of your fears are about events that haven't even happened yet?
Jesus says in Matthew 634, so don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. So what is he saying? The stuff that you're experiencing now, focus on that. Focus on what's reality focus on what is happening right now. Don't worry about tomorrow. Take care today. Now he's speaking in a much further, much deeper process of handling, you know, making sure that you're keeping yourself out of sin right now, even if in in thought, word or deed, right. So rational versus irrational thinking. So let's distinguish between helpful and unhelpful thinking let's call them rational or irrational. So rational thinking is in line with reason. It's in line with logic, it's sensible. It's, it's, it's coherent, it's even wise, right? irrational thinking is not, let me say it again, not in accordance with reason or logic. It's often rooted in the imagination, it tends to be fear based, yes. All all of those times that you're super afraid of something that's going to happen. It's usually if not always irrational thought. And it has to do with our perception usually of control. So I want you to think about these three categories in the irrational thinking, description, imagination, fear, control, think of those three things, much of our rational thinking can be traced back to one, or even a combination of these situations.
So let's just take imagination, what is imagination, imagination is imagining something, it's not difficult for us to understand that, I can imagine that it's the weather super nice outside. I may not know that for a fact. But I can imagine it, I can imagine a beautiful landscape where I go and have a picnic with my beautiful wife. I can imagine building a house and what a look like on the inside. I can imagine riding a bike on a on a sunny day in birds true. I don't know, I can imagine all kinds of things, right? Our imagination doesn't mean that it's anything to do with reality. It's Imagine eating, right.
Let's take a look at fear. You've heard me say before, there's basically two types of fear, there is the legitimate fear of reality, like being chased by a lion. That is fight or flight mode fear that is based on reality, this is actually happening. I need to do something about it, I should be afraid of this situation, I'm about to get mauled, right? Or if you're in a group, then trip somebody and just get away as fast as you possibly can. Okay, that's a joke. The other fear is the one that is all based on what might happen, we're going back to imagination again, right? The other fear, which happens like 99.9% of the time, if you think about all the fears that you've had all the concerns that you experience, they're all based in what might happen. This could happen. We do a thing in Next-Level Life where sometimes somebody is really fearful about a situation. And I'll ask them the question, on a scale of zero to 10. How fearful Are you of this situation happening? Almost every time the answer is around an eight, right? This, this is how worried I am about the situation. Then we talk through if it actually did happen, let's so now let's, let's imagine that it actually did happen, or it's going to happen. When you look at the whole thing happening on a grand scale of your life, how much of an impact how much of a negative impact is going to have on your life? Almost every single time, the person says, oh, gosh, probably only a two or three. So this isn't something that's going to be you know, destroy your life. Now, this isn't something that's going to you know, ruin you for with all of your friends and family and people that you know, okay, but it's an eight in the fear level, but its impact is actually a two. We really need to recognize how much that's affecting us.
The control piece. Why do we struggle with a rational thought? Fear of being out of control. When we are not in control, we struggle with the fear that we will be out of control. And what happens when we're out of control? If I'm not in control of myself, or what I perceive to be other people, or other situations, what does that mean? That means that I am actually losing worth. Because if I'm not in control, and what is control, control is an illusion, you can't really control people, or most situations, right, you can only control you. So if I can't control people, and I can't control a lot of situations, then control is actually an illusion. It's what I think I can do. But what is being out of control? It's me believing and telling myself, I don't have control this person, this situation. And if I'm out of control, that I'm going to struggle personally, what am I going to struggle with? Lack of worth? I know seems like a hard time doesn't it? Doesn't seem like it's, well, how can I be? How can me being out of control have anything to do with my worth? Think about it. How do you feel when you're in control, you feel like you have control of you, you feel like you have control of people of situations. So if that's a concern for you, if that's a focus for you, than being out of control is going to say you have a problem. And if you're somebody who struggles with being out of control, then that's really going to plummet your worth pretty quickly. So much of our rational thinking can be traced back to one, or even a combination of these three things. Imagination, fear, control, up next, a solid method that can bring clarity to a cloudy thought life.
Folks, if you've been listening to me for any length of time, than you know, the number one issue, when it comes to business, when it comes to family, when it comes to friendships, is having a lack of high quality communication, to make sure that you are absolutely winning in every aspect of your life, it all starts with having great communication, the best way to get that communication is to understand your personality style, and to understand the personality style of the folks that you're spending the most time with, whether it be at work, whether it be at home, the best way to do that is to go to Chrislocurto.com/store. And get your personality profile and personality profiles for your team to day, get it for your family members. Today, as you go through that profile, you will begin to see the greatest ways to communicate. Go to Chrislocurto.com/store today.
Have you ever caught yourself saying something like I'm afraid blank is going to happen? You probably don't say blank? I'm afraid this situation is gonna happen we all have right? Well, let's analyze this a little bit. So let's start with three basic questions. Is the thing that we are afraid of? Is it in the present? The current such like right now? Or is it in the future? Well, if we're saying I'm afraid this is going to happen, then it's most likely in the future. Once again, if you go back to the the logical fear of, I'm afraid I'm going to get mauled by this lion because it is three feet from the incoming fast. Well, that's probably a pretty logical fear, right? But what are the things we usually are afraid of? I'm afraid this person is going to judge me. I'm afraid I'm gonna look stupid. I'm afraid I'm not going to have the answer. I'm going to, I'm afraid I'm going to fail at this project. I'm afraid my boss is going to be upset at me. I'm afraid my spouse is going to be upset or whatever, right? All of these things are assumptions of something that will happen in the future.
Here's another question. Is it real? Or is it imagined? Oh, again, same concept. If we can see it happening, then it's real. If it's something we are assuming, then it's imagined. Third question. Is it fact or feeling? Is this something we know to be fact? If it is, we wouldn't say, I'm afraid it's going to happen, right? Therefore, it must be feeling. Feelings versus facts. Is something that mess people up all the time. Now ask yourself, what can you change about this session? situation, and what can't you change about the situation? So for those of you that remember, you've probably seen the Serenity Prayer in somebody's house on a block, or you know, on a wall somewhere. The prayer goes, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. There's so much power right here, folks, if you will apply this to your thought life.
Now let's, let's kind of distill those three things, those three statements, three questions and incorporate them as part of change in our lives. Right? So focus on what's present, what's real, what's factual, and what you can actually change. So I want you to think of a situation that you're worried about right now, what is it? Is it money problems? Is it relationship problems? Is it someone in the hospital? Is it kids going off the rails is it life feels like it's out of control? So just take any one of those situations and ask these three questions. Is this something that's in the present? Or is it in the future? All right, so let's say I've got money problems, I could be totally in the present, what's my fear? My fear is that I'm not going to be able to put food on the table, or my fear is that I'm going to get kicked out of my house or whatever the thing is, here's the question. Is it actually happening? Right, the second? So let's say you are legitimately getting evicted, because you haven't paid your bill. Okay, great. That's a real money problem and not correct. But that's a real money problem. But what do we usually experience when it comes to financial fear? This thing may happen? What's the truth? Rarely, it does. Now, if you are struggling with finances, and you've got a problem that you can solve, fear is gonna keep you from getting to solution.
If you have relationship problems, and there's something that you can do about it, fear will put you putting that solution on the back burner. Do you see where I'm going with this? If it's not present, and it's not real, it's something that could happen. It's something that's imagined, then those fears will keep you from getting to solution. I can think of a time during a relationship breakup. Oh, the days right? When I had friends that were like, you know, we love you both. We're going to continue to have relationship with you both. And you know, even as difficult as that is, sometimes, and I remember getting invited to a concert, and it was the day of the concert. And I'm like, Absolutely, it was a great it was a Doobie Brothers concert. Super excited about that love the doobies. And I remember, after saying yes, thinking to myself, they never asked de of, Oh, crud. They asked her first and she couldn't do it. So they came to me second on the second choice, and I had to literally in the moment, go knock it off. First off, you don't know that to be factual. You don't know that to be true. And what if it is, these are people who are loving both of you. So if they went to her first, so what you're not their second choice, they just happen to choose her first. Maybe they'll choose you first next time. And by the way, it doesn't even matter if you're chosen to be first. But what happened in the moment, because of a loss of worth a struggle, I experienced this feeling of almost rejection, right, which manifested itself in fear. Fear of what not being good enough, not being chosen first. Not being the one that came to being the second choice. Listen to how ridiculous all of that is. You know, the big issue is, we will live in that for hours for days. Unfortunately for a lot of people, for years. I have seen folks that have been through horrible relationship breakups that 20 years later, are still dealing with fears about the other person, anxieties about the other person. beliefs about the other person.
Folks, that's how much it can affect your thinking. And guess what happens when you live in that? It absolutely affects your decision making. So whatever it is to take a moment to think about your worries, take a moment to think about your fears. Are you staying present? Are you staying focused on real? Are you staying focused on what's real? Are you staying focused on what's factual? And is there anything that you can actually do to change the situation? That's the part you really once you get through those questions, that's the part you really want to go after. How do I change this?
One of the things that we focus on all the time in Next-Level Life is how do we overcome the lies we tell ourselves and it's, it's a great tool. It's a great process of being able to overcome the lies that we say the lies that we believe, the lies that we convince ourselves up. So now, you may actually have a good reason to think something bad is going to happen. So you can possibly be basing this current fear. On a past experience, what we discover is, most of the time, it's not, right. But it doesn't stop us from getting there. But what's the truth, sometimes it is based on something in history, it doesn't change how you should tackle this.
In fact, let me read the words of Jesus again from Matthew 634. And this is from the message, give your entire attention to what God is doing right now. And don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Even if you have history to base this fear on, do not get worked up on what may happen tomorrow. Focus on what God is doing right now. So to quote Seneca, again, how much of your suffering is imagined and not a present reality. I want to offer one more tool to clarify your thought, life, whatever is bogging you down, it can help to get it out. Now, I know a lot of you are not big Journalers. But I can tell you this, whether it's on paper, whether it's electronic, many times writing out what it is that you're struggling with, can be a mental release, right? It can help you to take a really good look at what you're, what you're struggling with what you're fearful about in evaluate it. Looking at it on paper, this is what I'm experiencing now. It can help to talk to somebody who's healthy about your situation, that's going to give you really good constructive criticism or guidance or tools. If you don't have that person, a lot of times it's really good to just write it down, take a look at it. Ask yourself those questions. Writing focuses you to put it into actual words. You know, what seems cloudy internally, and when you see it an actual word.
And so there's, there's so many times that again, Next-Level if we're helping somebody with a fear, and as I say it out loud, I summarize their fear they go well, when you say it, it sounds stupid. So think about that. Well, if me saying it makes it sound stupid, how come it doesn't sound stupid in your cloudy mind, because your mind's cloudy about the situation. So maybe write it out. What you may discover is when you write it out, and you read it out loud, or read it to yourself, it sounds really stupid. Another thing is writing forces you to look at the internal dialogue and evaluate it. What am I saying to myself? What is this dialog that I have in my head? How do I stop this crap that I keep saying, How do I stop these lies that I keep telling myself over and over again? Another thing is that writing forces you to reconcile with reality with what's ambiguous, right? Is it actually reality? Or is it something that because it's ambiguous, it makes it seem like it's reality? So use these tools today, folks start thinking through, what is it that I'm experiencing? Is this rational thought is this irrational thought? Is this fear based logic? Or is this fear based emotion, right?
As you go through these processes, what you will discover is, you actually have a heck of a lot more rational thoughts than you think you do. And as you use the tools, you can start stomping them out pretty darn quickly. Right? You do not have to allow every thought to exist, right? Every feeling oh, must be felt. No, that's not true. Like I shared when I started experiencing the emotion of rejection, from my friends, it was based on a lie that I told myself. Now it could have been true. Maybe I am maybe I was a second time But I don't know. And what if I was? So what? What I was telling myself was a lie. And I was believing it. And so no, you do not have to allow that emotion to live. I squashed it changed my thought process and went and enjoyed a phenomenal concert and laughed at myself for thinking stupid thoughts.
Well, folks, I hope this has helped you today. Make sure that if you want to get to the Next-Level Leadership LIVE Event go get your tickets right away. If you want more information about Next-Level Life go check that out. Either way, I want you to take this information as always, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai