The germ of this book began in 1990, give or take a year. At that time I read an article stating that scientists didn't really know what emotions were. That piqued my interest in the subject, and after considering it for some time I speculated that emotions were messages from the subconscious to influence behavior. I held that opinion for many years, but my thoughts on emotions have been modified during the last decade.

In 2003 I decided to put my views on various aspects of life into a format that I could see and edit. I also included in that work my theory of emotions. It only took a couple of weeks to compile, and I liked the results. I printed up a few copies of Seek Wisdom, Practice Kindness for myself and some friends, and I also tried to find a literary agent. The literary agency I dealt with charged fees for its services, and I didn't have enough money to continue with them for long. For the next few years I turned my attention to other things.

Having my thoughts in a tangible format made it easier for me to review and reevaluate them. In 2006 I updated Seek Wisdom, Practice Kindness, and I liked the new edition better. I self-published it, but I think that most of the sales were for copies that I bought to give away.

Around June of 2009 I had finished the outline for a novel and I thought that I'd once again rewrite Seek Wisdom, Practice Kindness. My plan was to update it and then send it out to some publishers. I estimated that it would take no more than a weekend to redo. More than ten months later I've finally finished it.

There may be a fourth edition of this book someday, but I think I'll keep that on the back burner until 2020 or so. I'll have a few more gray hairs by then, and hopefully a little more knowledge, too. If any of my theories in the third edition turn out to be wrong (which is a possibility to which I always want to keep my mind open) then I can correct them at that time.

One difficulty with language is that the same word can have multiple connotations. The problem arises when the person speaking intends one meaning of a particular word, but the listener interprets that word using a different meaning. In this book I've defined many of the words that I've used in order to convey more specifically what I was trying to say. These definitions were not meant to include all of the connotations currently associated with those terms.

Special thanks to my mother, Mary Wooding, for offering suggestions on both the second and third editions of this book. Thanks also to my brother, John Wooding, for his thoughts on the second and third editions. I'm indebted to John Kricorian for criticism regarding my excessive use of the word "positive". I'm also grateful to those who read the book and had nothing but positive — I mean, favorable — things to say about it; and to the person who didn't read more than a third of this version because he really didn't like it.

Some people may find this book to be thought provoking. For others, it may be nap provoking. Either way, thank you for taking the time to attempt to read it.

-Mark James Wooding