Here you’ll find a shortened guide to what it means to be emotionally defined.
If you are new to Human Design, or struggle living by honouring your strategy & authority, it may help you understand it a little more. The emotional definition can feel confusing not just in the beginning of your experiment, but throughout your journey, because the mind is so eager to be in control of life.

I’ve tried to summarise the basics here.
The basics are really the starting point and an anchoring point throughout this experiment. There is nothing else you need to know in order to live correctly as yourself. Everything else is “nice to know”, but not a necessity. The basics are really like a survival guide; like food, water and shelter. They are the essentials that we need throughout our life. Everything else is “nice to have”.
If any of the basics are lacking, then it affects the whole quality of life.

The two basic things are Inner Authority (emotional definition) and Strategy (based on type).


The defined emotional center overrides any other defined center in the design. So whenever the emotional center (AKA Solar Plexus) is defined, it is automatically the inner authority. Even if you have other centers defined. The emotional definition is unique also because it takes priority over any type (Generator, Projector, Manifestor) strategy.
I would like to stress that it doesn’t mean that it eliminates the strategy, it’s just that it takes priority over it. For example if your strategy is to wait to respond as a type of a generator, you’re better off waiting out your wave before you respond. Meaning, you don’t react immediately.

Waiting out the emotional wave can be a tricky thing to understand.
The following is an attempt to explain it a little more in detail:

Imagine a scenario where someone asks you to go out at the weekend and you immediately say yes because you feel good about it. Or maybe you feel energised and happy and it is you who comes up with a suggestion to go out with your friend at the weekend and you put it out as a spontaneous idea.
The following day you wake up and think about it and don’t really feel like going anymore. Come Friday, and you’re really fretting it.
Your emotional “wave” has moved. In other words, your mood has changed since that feel good idea of going out at the weekend.
So what do you do? You might go anyway because otherwise you would feel guilty or bad or something. You know deep inside of you that it is not what you really want, but you do it anyway. This is acting against your inner authority, and doing harm to yourself. You didn’t allow enough time for your emotional wave, to make that decision about going out. You committed to something spontaneously, immaturely. And now you’re paying the price of discomfort.

The emotionally defined people cannot decide in the moment. We are not here to be spontaneous just because we have a feel-good phase in our wave, or just because someone is giving us external pressure to act quick. It’s just not healthy to make instant decisions. The awareness of a correct decision comes over time.
Sometimes that time is longer, sometimes shorter, but a good rule of thumb is, to at least sleep on it and see again tomorrow.

This is something that you can experiment with, if you feel like it. See if waiting actually works better for you, saves you from pushing against the grain, and frustration and anger that may follow that pushing.


Each type has a strategy that comes with two keynotes.

The PROJECTOR strategy is to Wait for an invitation.

The GENERATOR strategy is to Wait to respond.

The MANIFESTOR strategy is to Inform.

The keynote 1 is what happens when you don’t follow your strategy and inner authority, when you make mental not-self decisions.
So if you experience keynote 1 in your life, it’s usually a sign that you didn’t wait long enough for a decision. You can perhaps trace your steps back and see if you were trying to be spontaneous, acting or committing immaturely before feeling “right” (clear) in your body.

If you follow your strategy and wait until you feel clear about whatever it is you’re deciding about (which is hard, but it gets easier the more you do it), you’ll get to the ultimate reward of that correct decision making, the keynote 2. It really is a precious thing to experience, that reward. There is nothing quite like it.

So even though it might feel like a lot to take in, this is quite a simplified summary. There will be nuances based on our unique designs, but this is to get you started in understanding what it is to honour your life as an emotional being.

A few more points to add:

  • Whenever you feel NERVOUSNESS or sort of an unsettled feelings about something, it indicates that you are not clear yet.
  • You can also end up in the keynote 1 if you try to behave like a type that you’re not, and not apply your strategy (Generators wanting to initiate like manifestors, projectors trying to initiate or work endlessly like generators, or manifestors trying to be open and hardworking like generators…)
  • The Human Design Experiment is a journey to discover what it is to experience your life as YOU, the unique being that you are. The results of that correct decision making will take you closer to the life you were born to live, one step at a time.
  • HD experiment is an ongoing process and there are going to be ups and downs, missed steps and errors along the way. These are not there to make you fail in your process but act as valuable pointers that you can learn from. You can use the above keynotes to understand your own unique process, your own life. It is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight. Yet, it can be an amazing journey if you learn to honour your true unique nature and learn to become much slower than what the world (or your mind) would like you to be.
  • Forget about feeling bad for making others wait for your decision. If they don’t care about you enough to give you the time and space you need to decide what is correct for you, then why would you do anything for them anyway?

And lastly:
Human Design is BODY KNOWLEDGE. To experiment with your Design (strategy and authority) requires the willingness to put your mind in the background and let the body make decisions for you. Once we get aligned correctly to what is correct for our physical body, the mind will enjoy life much more. But it is important to understand that the mind will give you a lot of trouble, because it doesn’t like sitting in the background. That’s the real challenge.

Written by:
Hannele Behm 3/5 Emotional Generator