Developing Your Emotional Intelligence
A few years ago, if you told me that someone could develop their emotional intelligence, I’d call you crazy.
‘Why was that?’
Because I didn’t even think emotional intelligence was a thing.
Thought it was a made-up term to make people behave a certain way.
‘Do you still think like that?’
Nah, I realized I was wrong.
A few years back, I was your traditional overly logical engineer.
I saw life thru facts, data & patterns.
‘Damn dude, that sounds like a very black & white way to live.’
It sure was…
I had an overly logical attitude with myself & the people around me.
Had no clue why people behaved the way they did at times.
What was the point of crying? There is nothing logical about that.
Seems like a waste of time if you ask me.
Needless to say, it was tough for me to empathize with others in their time of need.
I spent years and years like this.
Until one day something happened.
I hit rock bottom.
My girlfriend of many years & I decided to call it quits.
I got sued for having a certain picture on my website (more on this another time).
Totaled my car in an accident.
Got sued again by the person I got in an accident with!
My very predictable life started going haywire out of the blue moon.
I was feeling emotional pain like none other.
This emotional pain made it difficult to sleep, concentrate or get any other work done.
How do I get out of this mess??
Where are the facts, data & patterns to help me out of this?
Someone make this nightmare stop.
After weeks & weeks of going thru hell, I began looking up Google articles to find a way out of this.
Surfed all over the web & came across forums, blogs & articles.
Eventually, I was able to find the subject that was able to get me out of this pit.
‘Really bro?? What was the subject?’
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is when your mind is capable of understanding & regulating your emotions.
Also, emotional intelligence goes onto understanding other people’s emotions as well (empathy).
The 5 Factors of Emotional Intelligence are:
Why is Emotional Intelligence So Important?
The main reason emotional intelligence is so important is because humans are naturally emotional creatures, not logical ones.
During my rock-bottom moment, I learned that as logical as I was, life will still throw many situations at me where I have do be able to deal with emotions.
If you look into your life, you will notice one BIG pattern.
Most of your life is dictated by your subconscious mind, not your conscious mind.
The subconscious mind houses your emotions.
The conscious mind houses your logic.
‘So most of my life is mainly dictated by my emotions?’
Humans feel the emotion first, then justify it with logic second.
Now having most of your life dictated by your emotions can be a very negative thing if you are not aware!
Think about your fears.
Let’s use Public Speaking as an example.
A person who FEELS scared of public speaking will go out of their way to avoid speaking in front of an audience.
They will logically explain why this is the case afterward.
They think it’s not the right time, they don’t know what to say, public speaking is not their thing, etc.
But in reality? They are scared.
Emotional intelligence allows you to observe your emotions without judgment & make a rational decision, not an emotional one.
Developing Your Emotional Intelligence Formula
During my rock bottom moment, I was able to engineer a formula that will bring the mind & emotions to harmony.
It was a formula that changed my life forever & allowed me to get back on track.
Developing your emotional intelligence comes down to
- Emotional understanding: Theory.
- Emotional understanding: Infield.
- Emotional application on self.
- Emotional application on others.
For the best results, go from 1->4 in sequence.
Let’s go thru them one by one.
1. Emotional Understanding: Theory
Learning about your emotions is crucial because it allows you to understand the perceptions associated with your internal world.
The emotional world is much different than the logical world.
The logical world is black & white, the emotional world is gray.
I want you to use this stage to consume information regarding emotional intelligence & the frameworks behind it.
Two books that hit the fundamentals are:
2. Emotional Understanding: Infield
Now that you have an idea of how emotional intelligence works, you need to learn to sit with those emotions.
The best way is thru body meditation.
Want to know a secret?
Most people hate meditating not only because their mind keeps wandering, but also because they hate sitting with their feelings.
While you are meditating, you will notice that your body generates sensations based on your thoughts.
Some people find these sensations too overwhelming.
But not you. You will push forward regardless.
‘Why is this important bro?’
This is important because it allows you to clarify your internal world.
Body meditation helps you internalize the concept that:
Emotions = Physical Sensations + Perception
When you make yourself aware of the physical sensations, you grab a stronger control of your perception.
Now you get to choose whether you want to be angry, sad, bitter or calm, happy, optimistic.
For this meditation, focus on your body rather than your breath.
- Find a quiet room.
- Close your eyes & observe your body.
- When the mind wanders off to random thoughts, gently bring it back to your body.
- Begin with 2 minutes & work your way up.
Ex: When you have a negative thought that comes up, you may notice your neck & calf tighten.
Make yourself aware of all the sensations.
This allows the next step to be much easier.
3. Emotional application on self
Now that you are well educated on emotions & understand your own physical sensations attached to those emotions, we are going to apply it!
‘Yay I’m so excited.’
You should be.
For this step, I want you to consciously focus on responding rather than reacting.
Reacting is when you make your moves based off impulses.
Responding is when you make your moves based on logic.
Someone calls you a mean name on Twitter:
React: You get really angry and begin snapping back at this stranger.
Respond: You get really angry, but still decide to ignore the person. Now you take the anger and unleash it on a creative activity.
See what happened?
You channeled your emotion from destruction -> construction.
Emotions are energy at the end of the day.
Use this step to master your internal world by allowing your mind to control your energy at will.
It will be super tough at first but always aim to respond rather than react.
TIP: Controlled breathing is what allows you to maintain control over your emotions. So be sure to breathe very slowly when you feel like losing your cool!
4. Emotional application on others
Now that you know your internal world like you know the back of your hand, I want you to level up.
Understand someone else’s internal world AKA: empathy.
Aim to apply your knowledge from steps 1-3 on other people.
Don’t let them know that you are doing it, just do it.
Once you begin empathizing more, you will learn how much of a superpower it is in today’s world.
Most humans are self-centered & don’t give a fuck about others.
So if you can master empathy, you will begin to stick out like a lighthouse in a dark sea.
Learning to empathize has tons of benefits, few being:
· Less anxiety
· Enhanced likability
· Enhanced emotional control
· Mental toughness
· Not taking things personally
· Ability to see the bigger picture etc.
Remember this, empathy is a skill set, therefore it can be learned, practiced & mastered.
Keep grinding till you master it.
Emotional Intelligence = Modern Day Weapon
Once you have applied this 4 step framework, you will begin to see your life begin to change.
You have gone from emotionally unaware to emotionally intelligent.
You’d be surprised to know how many people let their emotions dictate most of their reality.
They just follow their feelings with little awareness to make their life decisions.
But why lead such a chaotic life when you have the power to change it?
Developing your emotional intelligence allows you to hack your wisdom & speed up your maturity.
You begin a lifestyle change that allows your mind AND emotions to work in harmony.
When you have internal harmony, you melt away the internal friction that was always holding you back.
Remember the famous life mantra:
Your internal world will shape your external world.
So if your life is not structuring out the way that you had hoped, then it is time to add emotional intelligence into your talent stack.
Soon enough, your emotions will go from being your worst enemy to your best friend.
And that is when you have gained access to a modern-day weapon.
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