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“What were you thinking!!?”

The teenager had been to a party and had driven home drunk. He had driven his dad’s car off the road. Luckily none of the four kids inside were badly hurt. Picking him up at the hospital the dad exploded,

What were you thinking!?”

Truth be told the kid had been using adrenaline instead of brain cells. Thinking was just not happening. Now he was struggling, still half drunk, to remember the point at which it all went pear-shaped.

He had intended not to drink (much). He had intended to walk home if he felt he was drunk (even though he was not going to drink). But the feeling of fun and excitement had overtaken him and even the best of thoughts (Maybe just one drink) had not been strong enough to make a difference.

He hadn’t felt drunk, he had felt relaxed. He had just felt happy and on top of the world. He felt perfectly capable of driving home. He had felt, he had not thought…

His dad meanwhile – what was he thinking?

He struggled between worry and relief and anger and self-reproach. His innermost thoughts were, in fact an expression of feelings.

“I should have driven him myself.

Oh, thank God.

I should have taught him better.

Thank God he’s OK

I’m going to give him a piece of my mind when we get home.

He’s never going to drive my car again.

Thank God.

He’ll pay for every cent of the damages.

What if he had killed himself and his friends?

Oh thank God. Thank God he’s okay. Thank God.”

You feel for these two, the teenager and that dad but what were you thinking?

Actually, there is no thinking at all. It’s all emotion.

There’s no reasoning, no careful consideration. Just feelings. That’s where people spend most of the time – in their feelings.

So that’s where you need to go if you’re trying to reach people. If you have a message to get across, don’t worry about what they’re thinking.  Focus on what the audience or your readers are feeling.

Access their feelings of the moment. Make them feel different and deeper emotions. You’ll get your message across more effectively.

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