# 48 on my, 99 Life Tips – A List is: Emotions cannot be directly controlled by the will. Try to be scared now. You have to first think of something scary, right? All emotions are this way. They are the fruit of your thoughts.
You Will Never Un-See This Truth
There are some truths that, once presented to the mind, become irrefutable. The truth that emotion cannot be directly controlled by the will belongs to this class. Try it. As demonstrated in the example above, feelings don’t respond to your will. Your mind and thoughts must play an intermediate role. This role is indispensable. Your will cannot control your emotions. It cannot produce fear on its own initiative.
If you try now to be joyful, say, as an act of will, you will encounter the same obstacle. You must think of something joyous first. Once you do, the emotion is easy to produce. In fact, it is impossible to feel any other way for as long as you keep the joyous thought in your mind.
Likewise, unfortunately, this quote is also true:
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.~Michel de Montaigne
If you cannot make yourself feel a certain way by willing the feeling into existence, neither can you will the feeling out of existence, once you’re feeling it.
While I am a staunch advocate of controlling everything you can. The linked discoveries that my will cannot control my emotions, rather, that my emotions come from my thinking (which I can control), has proved of incalculable worth to me. I hope you will find the same benefit.
Exactly How Does This Help You?
Knowing the general rule of where your emotions come from, allows you to know how to change them. And it will keep you from wasting time and energy listening to bad advice like, ”Don’t be (angry, afraid, anxious,)”
Your will doesn’t control your feelings. So you can safely stop trying.
Sometimes, knowing what not to do is an important step in discovering what to do.
Now, you realize the following:
- Your will does not produce your emotions, instead;
- Emotions are the products of your thoughts, and;
- Thoughts can be controlled by a conscious, willful choice (in the absence of mental illness of neurological pathology), therefore;
- You can change how you feel by changing how you’re thinking (or what you’re thinking about).
Your will cannot control your emotions, but if you change your mind, you can change your world.