Woody Woodward is a bestselling author and success strategist who works with top business professionals and organizations on achieving peak performance. Having interviewed over 2,500 people around the world for his research, he is the pioneer and founder of “Your Emotional Fingerprint™.” This cutting-edge human technology allows one to strip back the layers of excuses and build a proper foundation for personal responsibility and top achievement in one’s personal life, relationships, and career. Woody’s Emotional Fingerprint techniques have been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX News. Woody’s business clients have used the Emotional Fingerprint principles to increase their profits, build stronger teams, and boost customer acquisition and retention. For this issue on the Power of Emotion, we invited Woody to walk us through the Emotional Fingerprint process and show us how to use it in our business.—Ed.
To build your business, it does not take money to make money. Instead, it takes an exchange in currency. After studying the lives of over 1,000 prominent entrepreneurs, I created Relationships to Riches™ which identifies the five currencies every entrepreneur can use to build his or her business. They are Mental Currency™, Emotional Currency™, Spiritual Currency™, Physical Currency™, and Financial Currency™. Society rewards you based on the currencies you exchange and the value you create. Top athletes, CEOs, inventors, actors, musicians, and entrepreneurs make millions a year when they exchange their currencies by creating value in the marketplace.
Money follows Value. How do you create value in the marketplace to make money? You use your five currencies to solve other people’s problems. Oprah Winfrey exchanged her Emotional Currency with her audience to create billions. Warren Buffet exchanges Financial Currency through buying and selling companies. Jillian Michaels exchanges her Physical Currency through her DVDs and workouts. Deepak Chopra exchanges his Spiritual Currency through his radio show and books. Billionaire Elon Musk exchanges his Mental Currency through the development of his companies, from PayPal to Tesla Motors.
The currency that is most overlooked, but has the potential to give you your greatest reward, is your Emotional Currency. What drives someone to fail or succeed? What gives someone the ability to beat unbeatable odds? What makes someone extraordinary? It’s their Emotional Currency. There is one thing that drives us more than anything else. Dale Carnegie illustrated it in How to Win Friends and Influence People by quoting Dr. John Dewy who said, “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be important.” This feeling of importance drives our behavior. It is at the root of our Emotional Currency.
Through my research I found many sages besides Dr. Dewy who knew about this secret. For instance, psychologist Dr. David Schwartz wrote in The Magic of Thinking Big, “Man’s strongest, most compelling, non-biological hunger is the desire to be important.” Even industry titan Mary Kay Ash said, “Every person you meet has a sign around their neck that says ‘Make me feel important.’” Further studying this topic, I discovered everyone has a unique and individual Emotional Fingerprint™ that makes them feel important.
What is an Emotional Fingerprint? It is the driving force behind why we do what we do. It is our custom coding to why we have good and bad days. It influences our habits, hobbies, conversations, perspective, fears, our resolve to succeed, how we interact with other people, how and when we feel love and affection, and it provides us with the emotional capacity to press forward when all seems lost. Our individual Emotional Fingerprint is the driving force behind what governs human behavior. It is this unique Emotional Fingerprint that gave George Washington his perseverance, Ray Kroc his tenacity (McDonald’s), the Wright brothers their ingenuity, and Hiroshi Yamauchi his creativity (Nintendo).
There is something that fundamentally drives you differently then what drives me, your friends, your parents or coworkers. By understanding this concept, you will be able to harness untapped power to transform your life or the lives of others. When an Emotional Fingerprint is used properly, it is the secret ingredient that empowers people to do great things. I want you to discover your Emotional Fingerprint so you can increase your Emotional Currency, which will allow you to have the strength and endurance to build Relationships to Riches—and not “relationships to ruin.”
There are basic patterns, algorithms, and formulas all around us that describe and bring order to the complexity of life. Consider this example: of the estimated 753,971 words in the English language, a mere 26 letters comprise each and every possible word. Of the infinity of numbers that can be created, all of them can be generated from only 10 digits, zero through nine.
Ernő Rubik invented one of the most popular three-dimensional puzzles in history. It is undoubtedly the most well-known toy with over 350 million units sold. Well over a billion people have touched a Rubik’s cube at one time or another in their life. This simple three inch cube has over 43 quintillion combinations (43,252,003,274,489,856,000 to be precise). However, the cube can be solved by using only seven algorithms (a preset process for solving a problem). Children as young as four have been able to solve it by understanding the seven simple algorithms. When you learn these seven algorithms, which are really seven simple steps, you can solve the cube within two minutes.
Just like the Rubik’s cube, human behavior has a myriad of facets, mood changes, preferences, opinions, and habits. However, there is an algorithm that explains why we do what we do. It is what I call your Emotional Fingerprint. Just like the 26 letter alphabet makes up thousands of words, your Emotional Fingerprint consists of a mere seven characteristics that explain human behavior based on what in your life makes you feel important.
What a feeling of importance is:
It’s feeling on top of the world. It’s being connected, loved, appreciated, or significant in your own life. We all have peak emotional highs where we feel absolutely incredible. This is a feeling of importance. Our unique Emotional Fingerprint is created by what makes us feel important.
What a feeling of importance is not:
It’s not involved with being egotistical. It is not about being prideful, boastful, or self-centered. It’s not about being better than somebody else. It’s not about being better than your boss, better than your spouse, better than your children. A feeling of importance has nothing to do with thinking you are the best.
What makes you feel important is DIFFERENT than what is important to you. For example, work may be important to you, but work may not make you feel important. Paying your bills on time may be important to you, but most likely it does not make you feel important.
There are 35 universal feelings of importance strategically divided into seven groups.
Step 1. Without selecting any of them, read all 35 feelings of importance first.
Step 2. Go through them again group by group and select only ONE per group by answering the following question “I feel important when I am...”
Note: You may have the desire to select two from the same group. To correctly identify your Emotional Fingerprint select only ONE per group. They are strategically positioned in such a way that most likely a similar one is in another group. Chose the dominant one that makes you feel the most important.
After you have selected one from each group, you have just identified your Emotional Fingerprint. Just like your physical fingerprint, there are characteristics that may be similar to others (swoops, dashes, loops and indentations), but there are no two which are exactly the same. Our Emotional Fingerprint is just as unique. You may have listed similar feelings of importance as someone else, but how you interpret this feeling of importance is as unique and individual as your own fingerprint.
The seven feelings you just selected are known as your seven “I’s.” The “I” stands for Importance. To get the most out of your experience write them here.
Your Emotional Fingerprint
I Feel Important When I Am…
Group 1 ___________________________________
Group 2 ___________________________________
Group 3 ___________________________________
Group 4 ___________________________________
Group 5 ___________________________________
Group 6 ___________________________________
Group 7 _____________________________________
In the physical world, there are laws that will create set, exact, and predetermined results. For example, with the law of gravity, if you drop an object from any height, it will fall to the ground. Working within these laws are also special catalysts which cause a dramatic change. These catalysts have been described as tipping points, and once met, a complete transformation takes place. Consider the example of water. Water is a cold liquid at 33° Fahrenheit, but at 32° Fahrenheit it freezes into a solid. In addition, water is hot at 211° Fahrenheit, but changes into a gaseous phase, steam, at 212° Fahrenheit. Or consider the example of speed: you are going really fast at 766 mph, but at 767 mph you break the sound barrier. It is that extra degree or one slight increment of difference that can determine whether all is lost or all is gained.
Emotions are powerful. Left unchecked, they can rule your life, dragging you around like a puppet on a string. But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are Five Principles of the Emotional Fingerprint that dictate how to use your Emotional Fingerprint for failure or success.
Before I reveal the First Principle, answer the following questions. Write your answers in the spaces provided. As a reminder, the seven things that make you feel important are referred to as your seven “I’s.”
Emotion Elevator - Going Up
“If two or more ‘I’s’ are being met simultaneously, you will have a positive peak in attitude, more so than just a normal day.”
Emotion Elevator - Going Down
“If two or more I’s are being offended simultaneously, you will have a negative drop in attitude, more so than just a normal day.”
You have just proven that the catalyst for emotional change is when two or more “I’s” are being met (validated) simultaneously, which brings us to the first of two important principles:
Knowing this principle can have a lasting impact not just in your own life, but also in those of your family, friends and coworkers. No longer do you have to wonder what it takes for you or others to be happy. Do you want to make someone feel important? Validate two or more of their “I’s.” Want a more intimate relationship with your partner? Meet two or more of their “I’s.” Want more loyal customers or more business builders to join your team? Meet two or more of their “I’s.”
Do you see how powerful this tiny nugget of knowledge can be, and how it could transform your life? The quality of a life is based on what we say yes to and what we say no to. When we know what makes us fulfilled and happy, we can say yes to those things more often. We can also say no to those things that are dissatisfying. This technique of fulfilling your “I’s” creates a laser-like lens through which you can focus your decisions. You can now effectively choose where to spend your time, energy, and resources based on a natural law.
The second principle of your Emotional Fingerprint dictates why our Emotional Elevators go down. It is the reason for our bad days and the catalyst for what makes us feel depressed, frustrated, and exhausted. The second principle states:
Your Emotional Fingerprint is offended when someone or something outside your control violates your “I’s.” For example, if you have an “I of Acceptance,” and someone is rude to you, this could offend your “I.” If you have an “I of Freedom or Independence,” and your job suddenly requires you to work more, this could offend your “I.” If you have an “I of Parenting” and your in-laws or friend tells you how to raise your children, this could offend your “I.” You can even offend your own “I’s” through self-destructive behavior like indulging in alcohol or overeating or procrastinating.
Take a personal inventory of your life by answering the following questions and see how your Emotional Fingerprint has had an impact on your personal life, relationships, and business ventures.
When you become aware of how your Emotional Fingerprint has affected your life, you now have insight in how to change future outcomes. No longer do you have to wonder why you are being hurt by someone’s comments or their expectations of you. You can consciously turn it around and get two or more “I’s” met.
When you plan your day, week, and month, consciously include when you will meet your “I’s.” At first it will require effort to think about them, but just like eating and getting ready in the morning, it will soon become a natural habit. And by taking personal responsibility for meeting your own “I’s,” you will walk through life happier and more fulfilled.
Going Up – Principle 1
Going Down – Principle 2
One evening an old wise Cherokee sat by the fire and told his grandson about the human experience. He described a battle which rages inside us all. “It’s a battle between two wolves,” he said, “one is Evil and a one is Good. The first wolf, represents anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The second wolf represents joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about the situation for a minute, then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed. What you feed grows, and what you starve dies.”
Since the dawn of time, there has been a struggle between two forces. Our inner wolves, which make up our Emotional Fingerprint, get fed through our associations. Our associations are the filters through which we see and interact with the world. The definition of an association is, “something linked in memory or imagination to a person, place, or thing; the process of forming mental connections or bonds between sensations, ideas, or memories.” Our “I’s” get met through our associations (mental connections) with people, places, and things.
Our Emotional Fingerprints get met (validated) through our associations, which are our filters to the world. To clarify this concept, I’d like to pose a question. What is your greatest memory? When you look back on your life, what is that one thing you are so happy you did? Let’s say it was getting married or having children. Because of this positive experience, your mind has created a positive association (mental connection) between you and them.
This process also works with negative associations. When you receive bills at the beginning of the month, do you get all excited and say, “I can’t wait to give all of my hard-earned money to my creditors!” Of course not. You likely think, “I just paid them last month. How am I ever going to get out of debt?” You have created a negative association (mental connection) to paying your bills. Knowing your Emotional Fingerprint, you now have the ability to shift your association from a negative to a positive.
Our Emotional Finger-print always seeks to be validated. It is how we experience the world around us. There are two ways your “I’s” can be validated. One is through External associations—people, places, or things outside our control. The other is through Internal associations—things within our control. Internal associations are mental or physical experiences created for you by you (this does not mean you must be alone or by yourself).
Your Emotional Fingerprint itself is neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong. It is completely neutral. No one exists in a bubble, so those things that influence your Emotional Fingerprint are neither 100 percent Internal nor 100 percent External. There is a constant flux, back and forth between your Internal mental life and your External social life. If you have an “I of Acceptance,” for example, in and of itself it is neither Internal or External. How you seek to validate it, however, whether you seek to fulfill it Internally or Externally, is what determines the quality of your life.
This concept is so vital that I’ve created a graphic chart to represent it. Review it below to see the type of emotions and byproducts of being either Internal or External.
The purpose of knowing your Emotional Fingerprint is to show you how to make a conscious shift from External associations to Internal association and thereby increase the quality of your life and the lives of those you touch.
What does all of this have to do with business? It has everything to do with business and making money. If you are externally seeking validation, when you are selling your product and you get turned down, your “I’s” get offended and you quit trying. When we compare ourselves to other people, we are being external and we are planting seeds of self-doubt. Your Emotional Currency has no value when you are being external with your Emotional Fingerprint.
When we are being internal with our Emotional Fingerprint, meaning we are validating it through our own actions, then our Emotional Currency has enormous value. Actor Ryan Reynolds fought for ten years to produce Marvel’s Deadpool movie. If he did not have the emotional strength to withstand all the pressure, it would not have been made and shattered the box office. Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, was fired within two years and through his Emotional Currency he was able to leave and build credit card processor Square. The Board at Twitter asked him to come back and help rebuild it. His Emotional Currency helped him become a billionaire. This also applies to you: the stronger your Emotional Currency, the better you will be able to make calls, network, build relationships, and grow your business.
Here are five universal ways to validate our Emotional Fingerprint internally, which will increase the value of your Emotional Currency.
Gratitude The first and most universal way to be internal is to give gratitude. Giving gratitude makes you self-aware.
Creative Activities Creative activities spawn new thoughts. New thoughts lead to new actions. As you do new and creative activities, you are allowing your mind to solve problems from a new perspective.
Time Time is another universal way to validate what makes you feel important. With our busy schedules and our advanced technology, we are filling every waking moment with a task. Create 15 minutes a day to do nothing. This is not the time to think about what you need to do during the day; it is time to reconnect with your hopes, goals, dreams, and aspirations. Connect to your true passion.
Pampering Pampering is a wonderful way to slow down and recognize who you are. No one knows what you need more than you do. Take time to pamper yourself.
Play Playing will bring a youthful zeal back into your life. When you were younger you played. As children, we solved our problems by playing. Joseph Pearce said, “Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.”
When you are internal, then and only then are you in a position to give back to others. A starving man cannot feed another starving man. You must become self-sufficient to be able to help those around you.
Now that you know how to increase your Emotional Currency, you are able to tap into all of your Currencies (Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual and Financial) to Build Relationships to Riches. Below are the five steps to using your currencies to build your business.
Step 1 - Rate Your Currencies from Your Strongest to Weakest. What do you feel is your strongest currency? Is it Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, or Financial? What currency do you have the most of to exchange with others?
Step 2 – Get Clear on What You Really Want. Most people cannot answer this question in detail. They may say, “I want to be happy” or “I want more money.” But why do they want those things? Keep asking yourself “Why?” until you get to your core desire. You cannot hit a target you cannot see.
Step 3 – Identify Who Has What You Want. Who do you know who has what you want? Who could help you get an introduction to the person who has what you want? Too often, we go to the wrong person to get the advice we seek.
Step 4 – Exchange Your Currency with Others. When you are networking, find out what other people need, then solve their problem by using your currencies. This is how top entrepreneurs create wealth.
Step 5 – Reinvest in Your Currencies. The way to create massive wealth is through compound interest. Compound interest allows you to reinvest your gains over and over again.
You can strengthen any one of your Five Currencies by investing and then reinvesting. For example, if you want to increase your Spiritual Currency, you can pray, do something that builds faith, or read a spiritual book. To increase your Physical Currency, go to a gym, eat a healthy diet, or change your schedule to allow you to be more present and available to others. Financial Currency can be strengthened by saving a little more each day, paying down debt, or making sound investments. Mental Currency increases when you study new topics, memorize people’s names, or learn something new. Our Emotional Currency increases when we give service or offer gratitude. You can’t give what you don’t have. The secret to building Relationships to Riches is to constantly reinvest in yourself and in your Five Currencies, as this will increase your confidence, strength, and value in the world.