Personal Development: Reetika Gupta-Chaudhary looks at the notion of ’emotional intelligence’.
Ever heard yourself saying: “I am not feeling great about this place/person.’’ And when asked why you say so, your intellectual mind is blank and you cannot come up with any logical reason for why you feel that way?
In this moment, your feelings are being guided by your emotions. Not many of us know that apart from the intellectual (thinking brain) intelligence, human beings possess another form of intelligence, an intelligence that is connected to the emotions we feel. Yes, that’s right, there is a second type of intelligence, called ’emotional intelligence’.
What is intuition? The concept of intuition has been a subject of interest for many famous writers and researchers. Intuition basically is that small inner voice that guides you when your rational mind cannot find solutions to a problem. It is basically the source of our emotional intelligence.
Imagine a situation where you have to make a difficult decision in your business, such as hiring a particular candidate, signing an important business deal, or assessing the risks while sanctioning huge budgets for your business marketing. Think about the decisions in your personal life, such as making a personal commitment to a long- standing relationship, or a decision about what kind of parenting is required for your children etc.
We have all had to make these tough decisions in our lifetime, and most of the time we have been perplexed by the equally relevant balancing arguments that we come up with for both sides (for and against).
The reason why our intellectual mind can’t figure out an answer with certainty is because the result of this present decision will only be seen in the future, and we humans are not equipped with the power to foresee the future, unless of course you claim to be clairvoyant.
It is at this point that we need to rely on our emotional intelligence and take a decision based on feeling rather than intellect. The challenge here is that, in the fast-paced world we live in, we hardly get a chance to connect to our inner self. What is your inner self?
Some people call it innate, others refer to it as spirit, divine, soul etc. The easiest way to explain it is that your inner self is the pure consciousness with which you were born. When a child is born, what they experience inside their mind is pure awareness – there is no intellect, experience or judgement in that space of pure awareness. It’s the art of just being and not thinking, judging, worrying etc. This innatism is the source of intuition and emotional intelligence – it is the art of connecting with it that generates intuitive thoughts.
Innatism, intuition, emotional intelligence: We are conditioned by society to believe in only rational thoughts, but in doing so we are not fully utilizing the powers of the human mind. Imagine buying the latest version of a laptop and only using it for typing. In order to achieve a high level of success we need to use both these powers (intellect and intuition) in our everyday life – one without the other is incomplete.
Albert Einstein said: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.’’
How to practise emotional intelligence
Step 1 – Become aware: Most of us are completely unaware of the fact that we have another tool that can help us take better decisions in various aspects of our life. Simply being aware of the fact that intuition exists helps us focus on it. Have you ever noticed that when you intend to buy a particular car, you see more and more of that model of the car on the roads? This is because we are now more aware of the presence of that car, not to say that these cars weren’t there on the road before. They were always there, it’s just that we never noticed it as much.
Step 2 – Believe in it: For those who are still finding it hard to accept the concept, please read the following books: The Field – Lynne McTaggart Ego-Less SELF – Cardwell Nuckols; Holographic Universe – Michael Talbot Best Evidence – David Lifton. This will help you understand the concept of intuition. And the more you understand the more you believe in it.
How intuition shows up in everyday life: Intuition is a very gentle voice that manifests itself as a thought, irrational because you are unable to justify this voice with analytical reasoning. For example, your intuition suggests that you should leave your current job, now you might ignore this voice as your analytical mind can’t find a single argument why leaving this job is a good idea. Your rational mind might argue that it pays for your bill, how this will look on your CV and affect future employment etc.
But having said that, your intuition knows more than your conscious mind right now. Say, for example, you left that job and you went for a holiday as this has given you time. You might encounter someone on this trip that leads to a bigger and better opportunity, such as a better job or a new business idea. And for those looking you meet your life partner on this trip.
Now the rational mind says: “But that’s a risk, it might or might not happen, how can I quit my job based on uncertainty?”
Become comfortable with the unknown: This brings me to another important aspect of emotional intelligence: becoming comfortable with the unknown or your ability to take risks. People with high emotional intelligence are also risk takers. They trust their intuition to guide them even, if they don’t have a clear idea of how it’s going to happen.
“I believe in intuitions and inspirations… I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.” Albert Einstein.