You would not be alone in wondering, how believing that statement could possibly make for a successful life!
Everyone that come to Emotions Anonymous will struggle with our first step, admitting powerlessness over their emotions, at some point in their recovery. It helps to know that powerlessness does not equal shame.
I've never heard the statement put better than Vincent Van Gogh did in 1889, "Let us not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it."
Perhaps our power lies in questioning authority, the governor in our own heads. To do that we use the skill of self-awareness.