Tuesday, April 24, 2018

John C. Maxwell on Leadership #9 Disciplined Emotions

People have just two choices when it comes to their emotions: they can master their emotions or be mastered by them. That doesn’t mean that to be a good team player, you have to turn off your feelings. But it does mean that you shouldn’t let your feelings prevent you from doing what you should or drive you to do things you shouldn’t.

A classic example of what can happen when a person doesn’t discipline his emotions can be seen in the life of golf legend Bobby Jones. Like today’s Tiger Woods, Jones was a golf prodigy. He began playing in 1907 at age 5. By age 12, he was scoring below par, an accomplishment most golfers don’t achieve in a lifetime of playing the game. At age 14, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship. But Jones didn’t win the event. His problem can be best described by the nickname he acquired: “club thrower.” Jones often lost his temper – and his ability to play well.

An older golfer who Jones called Grandpa Bart advised the young man, “You’ll never win until you can control that temper of yours.” Jones took his advice and began working to discipline his emotions. At age 21, Jones blossomed and went on to be one of the greatest golfers in history, retiring at age 28 after winning the grand slam of golf. Grandpa Bart’s advice comment sums up the situation: “Bobby was 14 when he mastered the game of golf, but he was 21 when he mastered himself.

[Taken from The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player: Becoming the Kind of Person Every Team Wants (2007) by John C. Maxwell. Published by Thomas Nelson Inc.]

Have you mastered your emotions?
Or are you mastered by them?

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