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Emotions, Tech and Learning: Every emotion is a source of strength.

A wonderful gift given to humans is emotions. However, this same gift can be a burden if not used well. The key to emotional intelligence is to feel every emotion and use them to our benefit but not to dwell and let it rule us. In this piece, we see how we can channel our emotions into a source of strength in our learning. We would consider a person who is planning to learn DevOps. You may think your emotions do not affect your learning, but you would be surprised how your emotions are the main culprit in preventing you from learning. This article analyses and gives some tricks to creatively applying emotions to learning using Paul Ekman’s six categories of emotions.

1. Anger

Angry Learner
To be honest, this emotion seems to be the most powerful. It takes quite a lot of intensity to re-channel or re-use to your advantage. Maybe so much intensity as punching the wall or a punching bag. So hard that a punching bag would pity if that wrath was given to another human😨. An angry person has a lot of potential energy👊 to learn concepts at the lowest levels. When angry, it’s a good time to look at the most challenging topics in a course. For our DevOps use-case, that time may be the best to look at concepts such as a granular view of the Kubernetes architecture, the source code of Kubernetes, Prometheus, and other cloud tools, and other low-level concepts📖 or definitions peculiar to the concept in question. You need this emotion a lot if you want to have a deep understanding of a topic📖. If you are confident in re-channeling anger, it may not come to you naturally, but you may find your anger source. Maybe from getting hungry (a hungry man is an angry man), reading or watching annoying crime news, etc. Please, be careful. Emotions are purer when they come naturally. Assertive personalities have the best chances of re-channeling anger as they can think beyond the feeling and use it as a strength instead.

2. Disgust

Disgusted Learner
Just like anger, this emotion requires an extreme intensity to re-channel. Disgust leaves a distasteful taste🤢. When felt, it is like you never felt any other way ever. In physical circumstances, the most creative step to re-channel disgust would be to hold your breath for a while. That gives some intensity to your blood vessels and allows a new rush of fresh non-distasteful blood. This creativity can be applied to learning📖. When disgusted is the best time to read the same topic for a lengthy period📖. It could be the best time to watch a 5-hour-long video or webinar on cloud security or networking. Empathetic personalities are best in re-channeling disgust as they can be patient to dissect many sides to the problem.

3. Surprise

Surprised Learner
Yeah! Your mouths are wide open😮. You are surprised😮. You are overwhelmed😮. Now, your mouth being wide open is dwelling. You may want to fake a smile instead when you realize you feel surprised and stay smiling. It helps you think clearer, understand the situation, and not blow it out of proportion. When you are being pranked😮, been cheated on😮, or just won a million dollars😮: Do not open your mouth😮! Try to re-channel by faking a smile instead. I know. That’s a crazy thing to do. When it comes to surprise and fear (another type of emotion), it involves some craziness to re-channel as those emotions themselves are more illusions than other emotions. A surprise state may be a time to learn a quote, statement, or memorize a concept that puts a fake smile on your face. I see a surprised DevOps learner grasping concepts such as how being lazy could be profitable😀, and how you should strive to do less manual and repeatable work and automate as most of them are likely to be toil anyway. The free-spirited personalities find it easy to re-channel this emotion as they are unserious enough not to overthink and mold the situation to their advantage.

4. Fear

Fearful Learner
Oh. Yeah. You require a truckload of craziness to re-direct this as most times it is all in our heads. We are scared of what hasn’t happened or what we think can happen. And sometimes we are just afraid for no reason😂. The best way to re-channel fear is to hone a fake sense of confidence. Another crazy thing to do, right? For real? I am scared, and you want me to be confident. Yes! You could physically re-channel fear by running as fast as possible to nowhere. It gives a sudden rush of adrenaline and boosts your confidence. When fearful, this is a great time to skim through🏃🏽 as many high-level concepts as possible. You can learn multiple subjects at a surface level giving you more confidence. The scared DevOps learner could pick up the surface meanings of continuous integration and deployment, cloud computing, etc. It takes a creative personality to re-channel fear. As with creativity comes confidence. The end is unknown from the start.

5. Happy

Happy Learner
Everyone wants to be happy☺️. The most craved-for emotion. However, this emotion could have both positive and negative effects. Being retrospective is the best way to re-channel happiness. A physical activity to do when filled with overwhelming joy is to meditate. Meditation allows you better understand the situation and not blow happiness out of proportion. Likewise, a happy learner is good to revise jottings☺️, and notes made in the past. A happy learner should enjoy the moments and retrospect on past achievements and lessons learned rather than jumping to a new one immediately. A happy DevOps learner would benefit from revising topics never thought could be grasped and revising them over again. Critical thinkers do well to re-channel this emotion. They are logical enough to retrospect and keep this emotion in check applying it to their advantage.

6. Sad

Sad learner
Well, maybe the most hated emotion ever. Everyone tries to run🏃🏽 from being sad and would feel other types of emotion instead. It is one of the hardest😓 emotions to overcome as it could paralyze you from any brain or physical activity. Moreso, just like being happy, the way to re-channel this emotion is also by retrospect. A different kind of retrospection. A sort of retrospection that involves appreciation🙏🏽 till that which is being appreciated comes in a new or better light. A sad person might benefit by walking under the new early morning sun🌞. Just moving can also help, especially when going in an unusual direction. Such as taking a stroll to where you have never been before and appreciating the little things you see or feel. The method applies to learning. A sad learner shouldn’t revise, it’d be difficult to appreciate😐 old learning and achievements. Learning something new or partially or unrelated to a course is a good one for a sad learner. A sad DevOps learner might benefit from learning unpopular operating systems such as Solaris or how DevOps relates to machine learning📖. An appreciative person is the best to re-channel this emotion as they can view the situation in a new light.

However, you don’t have to wait till you feel an emotion before learning. Remember procrastination is not an emotion😐. Neither is laziness. So you have to tame your emotions and not let your emotions tame you😊.

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