Emotional Investments

Emotional Investments


When we discuss investments, we typically refer to financial investments. How much money we put into something and what returns we expect to receive. When we invest as leaders, we invest more than financials. We also invest our time and effort. On top of that, we make emotional investments in our teams and our projects.


The emotional investment we make can be very taxing on us. We stress over it, we dwell over it and we anguish over our emotional investments. My personal thought is that if you’re not emotionally invested, you are not fully in it. Yet the difficulties with emotional investment is that if you let it dictate your decision making process, it will do more harm than good.


To be able to be emotionally invested while able to control those emotions is difficult but not impossible. Understanding what your emotion is telling you and separating it between feelings to facts will help you better make decisions. Decisions which will drive success.


Each time our emotions are involved, the following comes into play. Understanding these issues will help you determine which emotions may be detrimental in your decision making process

  • Past– All of our emotions are taken from our past experiences. Positive past experiences will motivate us to continue to pursue on the current path. Negative previous experiences will strongly deter us to proceed. Relying or personal past experiences isn’t necessarily bad. But it should not cloud our judgement. Put into perspective of our previous experiences and does that really apply to the current situation. Being able to separate that will help you be more confident in your decision.

  • Future– Every decision we make, we do so with the future in mind. As much as we want to experience success, we too want to avoid failures. When we make decisions about the future, we often do so with the mindset of pain avoidance. This often happens subconsciously. While we do want to make the right decision to arrive at our goal, we also do so to avoid failures. Sometimes, as long as our decision doesn’t lead to complete disaster, we accept a limited level of success. Limited success doesn’t get us fired. Complete failures do. Therefore, many of the decisions we make is geared towards this avoidance of failure, of pain in the future.

  • Present– Recognize that the decisions you’re making today are drawn from your past experiences and made for the future. But realize what’s happening at the present moment and don’t forget that the present matters. What’s occurring right now can’t be dismissed as it will dictate your future success as well as improve on your past experiences. As the present will soon become your past.


Be emotionally invested in what you do. That gives meaning and purpose to the decisions you make. But understand that your emotional investments must be understood and managed. Don’t let your emotions dictated your decisions. Allow your emotions to help guide your decisions. Yet be in control of your emotions and separate between feelings and facts.



Photo by: Nathan

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