“I am not a number; I AM A FREE MAN!” -Number 6, The Prisoner (1967-1968)

I was watching an encore presentation of “The Prisoner” the other night. This was not the 1960’s classic with Patrick McGoohan, but the re-imagination of that 1960 classic with James Caviezel as Number Six and Ian McKellen as Number Two.

In this re-imagined mini-series, there was a scene in episode 4 where Two is trying to break Six’s will by controlling his emotions through some kind of designer gene therapy. Two goes on to explain some of the TV pseudo-science behind the creation of this new therapy. He then explains why Six is attracted to 415, another member of the Village. He tells Six, “Your feelings have been manufactured.”

At another point in the film, Two admonishes the village doctor, 313, for betraying Two in his attempt to break Six. He tells her, “You will never know if your feelings for him were genuine or…” and then he looks skyward, shakes his head and walks off leaving 313 standing in the sun unsure of what is real.

What I found interesting about this episode was the idea that manufactured emotions were not genuine and that a random, raw, and unintentional emotion is more real, a concept that seems to permeate our current culture.

However, everything that we do affects our emotional state.  We create our emotions and they are all real, genuine, and manufactured by us.

It’s really a matter of who is in control of the manufacturing process.

Who’s Responsible for Manufacturing Your Emotional State?

Ask yourself the question, “What initiated my last emotional response?” Were your emotions initiated by:

  • Someone injecting you with some new pseudo-scientific gene therapy drug?
  • The last Zoloft pill you took?
  • Drinking too much coffee, RedBull, or Monster energy drink?
  • Consuming too much sugar?
  • Running one too many miles?
  • Getting a good shock by watching “Friday the 13th”?
  • Completing a project on time?
  • Making a big sale?
  • An unpleasant or pleasant memory you pulled up from the past and relived briefly?

Everything we do brings some type of emotional response to our attention. And since we control our actions and our thoughts, we control our emotions.

Get out a 3X5 card right now, or a notepad, or open your favorite text editor on your laptop, and write down the answer to these questions:

What am I physically doing right now?

Where is my mental focus at this moment?

What am I remembering right now?

And what are the feelings that I am experiencing right now?

Then write down the answer to this question:

“Am I doing what I’m doing because of my emotional state, or am I feeling the way I do because of what I am doing?”

You are the creator of your emotional state. Become aware of the events and activities in your life. Start designing and directing your emotional state to your benefit.

We are all prisoners of our own mind, which means we are about as free as we choose to be.

Be seeing you.