The Power of Emotional Engagement: Why Not Everything That Works Helps, But Everything That Helps Works

In a world filled with advice on how to improve our lives, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of tips and tricks promising success. However, not everything that works necessarily helps, and therein lies a crucial distinction.

Imagine being told to budget your money better for financial success. On paper, it seems like sound advice, and indeed, it works for many. However, the missing link often lies in the emotional engagement of the individual. It’s not enough to know what works; one must feel compelled to make a change.

Why Feeling Better Comes First:

  1. Emotions Drive Action: Emotions are powerful motivators. When people feel better emotionally, they are more likely to take positive actions in various aspects of their lives. Whether it’s improving financial habits, adopting a healthier lifestyle, or pursuing personal development, the emotional connection serves as the driving force behind meaningful change.
  2. Overcoming Resistance: Resistance to change is a common human trait. Simply providing information on what works might face resistance if it doesn’t address the underlying emotional barriers. By focusing on making individuals feel better first, we can create a more receptive and open-minded audience, ready to embrace positive changes.
  3. Building Sustainable Habits: True transformation often requires the establishment of sustainable habits. When individuals are emotionally engaged and feel better about themselves, they are more likely to commit to and maintain positive habits. This emotional investment acts as a foundation for long-term success.
  4. Enhancing Mental Well-being: Mental well-being is a fundamental aspect of overall health. By prioritizing emotional engagement, we contribute to improved mental health, creating a positive ripple effect on every facet of life. This, in turn, lays the groundwork for a more resilient and adaptable mindset.

Case in Point: Budgeting with Emotional Intelligence

Let’s return to the example of budgeting. Instead of simply instructing individuals to manage their finances better, a more effective approach would involve fostering an emotional connection to financial well-being. This could include:

  1. Understanding Personal Values: Encouraging individuals to identify their values and financial goals helps create a meaningful connection to the budgeting process. Knowing that their budget aligns with their values makes the task more purposeful and emotionally fulfilling.
  2. Celebrating Small Wins: Acknowledging and celebrating small financial victories reinforces positive behavior. Feeling a sense of accomplishment triggers the release of positive emotions, reinforcing the idea that budgeting is not just a task but a pathway to success.
  3. Cultivating a Positive Money Mindset: Shifting the focus from restriction to empowerment, individuals can be guided to develop a positive money mindset. This involves reframing the way they perceive budgeting, viewing it as a tool for financial freedom and the realization of personal aspirations.


In the pursuit of a better life, it’s crucial to recognize that not everything that works necessarily helps. The missing link often lies in emotional engagement. By prioritizing the emotional well-being of individuals, we pave the way for transformative changes that truly make a difference. Everything that helps works, but the key is to ensure that individuals feel better first, setting the stage for a journey of growth, resilience, and lasting success.