My dad always says, "The first person to lose their cool always loses.” The underlying principle driving this truism is that losing your cool means that your emotions have taken over your decision making ability. Emotions are a part of everyone's life, but those who have control over them will be in a much better position to make sound decisions. Here are a few ways you can control your emotions:
1) The best thing to do when you feel your emotions rising is to sleep on the situation. There is rarely a decision that cannot wait until the next morning. Taking a step back from the situation will allow you to revisit it once the emotional seas have calmed.
2) It is rare that anyone ever wins an argument, largely because both sides at that point have succumbed to their emotions. But, when you are able to stay calm when others have lost their cool, you have total control over the situation.
3) One place that people often lose their cool is when it comes to investing. The market is a bipolar sea of emotions driven by fear and greed. When you have the ability to step back, keep your cool and make decisions based on sound fundamentals, you can make the market your servant rather than your master.
The other day I scheduled an out of town equipment demo for a research and development project. Since I had coordinated several people to be there from out of town, I was quite frustrated when the group we were meeting with showed up with the wrong piece of equipment. I was in the process of calling the whole thing off when my team members kept their cool and found a way to try the incorrect machine. To my surprise, it worked beautifully and we made a huge R & D discovery that day. Next time you feel your emotions rising, take a deep breath and see what happens if you keep your cool.