★ Rich Habit #10: Controlling Your Words and Emotions

yellow emotions

This is part of our Rich Habits series, by best-selling author Tom Corley.
Be sure to check out all previous habits we’ve covered!

Not every thought needs to come out of your mouth, and not every emotion needs to be expressed.

Successful people are the masters of their words and emotions. They understand that saying whatever is on your mind could damage relationships with individuals who could help move them forward in achieving their dreams and goals.

They do not fall prey to anger, jealousy, excitability, sadness or other petty emotions. They cast out all bad emotions. They do not allow them even a second of life.

They understand that negative emotions cause them to make bad decisions that result in bad consequences. They replace these bad emotions with positive emotions.

They use the following technique when faced with a difficult situation that presents itself: “Think, Evaluate and React.”  Thinking gives them time to understand the situation. Evaluating the situation buys more time to determine the correct course of action.

Reacting is the last thing they do and most likely will be the appropriate reaction, as they took the time to choose their reaction.

The Words We Use Every Day Create Perceptions

Words are like magnets, drawing to us all sorts of people.

Rich people figured that out long before they ever became rich. The more words you know, the better your ability to communicate what you know. If you want to create the perception that you are smart, you must increase your knowledge of words and use them in conversation. Learning new words helps you grow as an individual. They increase your confidence. They transform you.

Successful people are very much aware of the words they use when they communicate to others. They choose words that will not offend others. They use words to reinforce the perception they have of themselves and use their words to also reinforce the perception others have about them.

Successful people are too busy to allow themselves to sink into a negative emotional state. They engage in productive activities, which take their minds off their troubles. They are constantly engaged in projects or self-improvement activities that promote positive feelings about themselves. Successful people feel as if they have total control over their emotions.

Unsuccessful people are unaware of the words they are using every day. They unknowingly use words that offend others, damaging relationships. They use words that create a perception in the eyes of others that is not favorable.

Unsuccessful people fall prey to petty emotions.

They let their emotions rule their behavior. They become easily depressed and feel as if they have no control over their lives. They react before thinking. They have adopted the bad habit of “Ready, Fire, Aim.” As a consequence, there are many unsuccessful people sitting in prisons throughout the world.

In Summary

Successful people master their words and emotions every day. Unsuccessful people fall prey to them.

10 replies on “★ Rich Habit #10: Controlling Your Words and Emotions”

Hi Tom,

Great article!

Do you have any book recommendations for individuals who want to improve in this area?

Thank you,

Hey Brad. Here’s a list:
How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
15 Invaluable Laws of Growth (John Maxwell)
Think and Grow Rich (Napolean Hill)
The Power of the Subconscious Mind (Dr. Thomas Murphy)
Create Your Own Future (Brian Tracy)
The Psychology of Achievement (Brian Tracy)
7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness (Jim Rohn)

I couldn’t agree more with these sentiments. How do you rationalize the success of someone like Donald Trump that seems to break every one of these rules, and yet he is rich and successful and is now, arguably, the most powerful person in the world?

I’ve studied Trump for the past five years because, on the surface, he seemed to defy everything I learned from my study on millionaires. What I found is that there are two Donald Trump’s. The one we see on TV and the one behind closed doors. The one on TV is offensive, often says the wrong things and stirs negative emotions. The one behind closed doors, however, is the opposite. The one behind closed doors is adored by those who work with him, to the point of hero worship. Behind closed doors he is kind, considerate of others and compassionate. The TV Trump exists in order to address the angst of the majority of people who feel left out and forgotten by politicians. The closed door Trump is the one who works 14 hours a day and gets things done.

The choice of words often influences the direction of a conversation, regardless of the intent or content. Certain words and actions trigger feelings of resentment in others. Conversely the same thing happens when you listen to them. The key is to listen first, validate what they are actually saying, and then react. Reacting first is a recipe for disaster.

This is so true. My husband through a lot of time and effort has excelled in the area of emotional intelligence. I, on the other hand, have a long way to go. I have come to learn in the last couple of years how important it is to be self aware and to be proactive to your surroundings rather than be reactive. I have seen the benefits and my life is doing so much better because of it. Taking the time to evaluate and prepare your mind before responding leads to greater things than flying off the handle with your words and emotions. Thank you for sharing and confirming this type of thinking and acting is the way to go.

In my case I feel like I usually stay too silent. But often I can’t think of anything positive/important/useful/logical to say, so I keep my mouth shut. Naturally I find the best words for a situation after I sleep on it. 😉 Agh! But I do think that if you can’t find the best words, it’s okay to remain silent, too.

Hi Mrs. Picky. My wife is the same as you. After someone says something she did not have a quick response for, we talk about what she should have said. Oftentimes I give her some insight and she says, “I wish I said that.”
Here’s the thing. And I tell my wife this. ”
The problem isn’t that you didn’t have the right words. The problem is that you were associating with the wrong people.”
Stay away from those who diminish you. Stay away from those who make you feel less.

Having a strong vocabulary and knowing when and how to use it is certainly an important aspect of success. You may not actually be that smart, but if you have a good vocabulary, it sure does make you seem smart! Conversely, if you’re a genius but sound like you came out of the trailer park, people will never take you seriously.

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