Episode 75 of The Informed Life podcast features a conversation with my friend Hans Krueger. Hans is co-founder of internationally-renowned design agency MetaDesign, alongside Erik Spiekermann and Uli Mayer-Johanssen. Hans subsequently co-founded another design agency, FutureDraft, where he and I worked together for several years.

After growing MetaDesign into a global powerhouse, Hans was “absolutely depleted”:

I had not learned how to regenerate myself. I had always discounted that as a topic. That was a costly lesson, and it led to a multi-year process of rebuilding that foundation…

For Hans, the key to living in a more balanced way came from Nyingma Buddhist teachings. In particular, he became more aware of what he describes as his “operating system”:

when you shine a light on what actually drives your patterns — your thought patterns — and they become visible, that’s when the relief sets in.

Emotions are an essential element of these patterns.

What surprisingly few people realize is that there is like a real system behind this thing, this whole emotional complex. How they work, how they interact with each other, what leads to what, what you can do to actually cultivate your own emotional state. A state that allows you to perceive as clearly as possible what is real versus what you imagine is real.

Most of our conversation focused on distinctions about emotions: what they are, how they affect us, and — most importantly — how we may become more adept at managing our emotional states. This is an important subject that affects us all — and it’s especially important as we head into the holiday season, which can be a time of heightened emotions for many people.

Having worked with Hans, I was already aware of many of these ideas. But managing emotional states is a lifelong undertaking, so it was refreshing to hear from Hans again on this subject. I hope you get as much value from our conversation as I did.

The Informed Life episode 75: Hans Krueger on the Cycle of Emotions