Here is just a little — or maybe a big — thing for you to think about today.
I recently heard the term second derivative (while, of course, listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversation podcast).
If you have taken calculus, you have heard this term. I took calculus in high school. I remember this term. I don’t remember what it means in that context. At all.
But on this podcast Sheryl Sandberg was talking about the second derivative with respect to emotions and feelings.
How if you are feeling angry, then you very often feel angry that your are angry. Or if you are sad, you feel sad that you are sad. When you feel depressed, you are depressed that you are depressed.
That second derivative, that sadness you might feel about feeling sad can make you extra sad. Or it can make the sadness last longer and take you longer to work through it.
After experiencing the death of her husband, Sandberg was talking to a rabbi, and he told her to lean in to the suck. Meaning, don’t fight the suckiness of a situation. Don’t fight the sadness. Lean into it. Let it happen. Don’t be sad about being sad. Just feel the sadness. Work through it.
On the other hand, that second derivative applies to happiness and joy and gratitude also.
When you are happy and you focus on how happy you are, you feel happier.
When you are grateful, and focusing on that, you feel more gratitude.
Gratitude builds on gratitude. Joy builds on joy.
There is that second derivative of positive emotions. When you lean into those, when you feel happy that you are happy,…
you feel more happy.
If things aren’t going your way today, you can be mad about it. This will help you to be even more angry. If you wanna be pissed of for a while, that’s a good strategy.
Or you can lean into it, accept it, learn from it, and focus on what you are grateful for.
Then, there is a good chance you will spend less time fighting the suck, and more time multiplying the gratitude. Which will, in turn, help you to process the suck.
How were you feeling this morning? How are you feeling right now?
Which second derivative are you working on?
I don’t know about you, but I want to expend my energy on the happy second derivative stuff.