Emotional Intelligence: The Only Known Predictor of Future Success

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You know quite often I get asked,

“What is, like what actually is, Emotional Intelligence?”

And the answer is longer than those two words otherwise we’d already know the answer.

So, what it boils down to is this.

Way back in the early 1950’s, a group of psychologists studying children, gave them what’s now become known as the “Marshmallow Experiment”. Now the experiment has since been debunked, but just have a look at this concept. When they started to work with this idea, then what they discovered was Emotional Intelligence.

So what is it?

Well the original experiment involved giving six-year-olds a marshmallow and saying, “That’s yours, it’s never going to be taken away. You can eat it anytime that you want but I’m going to go and run some errands now, make some phone calls and when I come back if the marshmallow is still there, I’ll give you another one.”

And that was meant to be able to decide between which kids were able to resist immediate gratification in exchange for long-term satisfaction.

So it’s a very rudimentary measure and you know, like I said, that experiment itself has got some holes in it. But it started the whole Emotional Intelligence theory which still operates on that concept, which is, can I do what’s in my best interests rather than what I am compulsively led to do now?
Can I overcome the whole jumble of programming and habits that I am and do what I need to do for me?

Can I effectively self-parent?

Can I be the person who gets me to do the things that I need to do, that are in my best interests? That are going to give me the longest, best term results?

So that’s the fundamental basis on which Emotional Intelligence is built and I can tell you, most people are clueless about it because most of us are driven by what we want. We go from being controlled children to turning into being the boss. And now that we are the boss we can let ourselves have whatever we want. And that’s exactly what we do. When we feel like a beer, we go and get it. We feel like chocolate, we go and get it.

And no one is going to stop us.

And in fact, it’s kind of ridiculous, it’s kind of like there’s two of you in there. You know, there’s you saying, “Go to the gym,” and there’s another part of you saying, “No!”. Not because you don’t want to go to the gym but because you just need to say no because that makes you feel like you are the person in charge instead of being bossed around.

So a lot of us struggle with this concept.

When it comes to self-parenting, then we have to get past that level. We’ve got to understand more about ourselves.

So Emotional Intelligence has now been studied for 40 or 50 years. What they’re saying is that people who’ve got it to any degree are succeeding way, way more than people who don’t.

Of course, the more of it you’ve got, the better your life goes.
Intelligence as we know it, as measured in schools and universities, has now been thrown out the window.

And Emotional Intelligence is the only reliable indicator of future success.

So if you wanted more out of life, then you would go and study this field. Knowing that what you’re looking at is four simple concepts.

Simple to say, but perhaps they take a bit of grasping.

The first tenet in Emotional Intelligence is being able to recognize how you’re feeling, and I would say that 90% of human beings are not able to do that. In fact I’m married to somebody who doesn’t know when she’s cold. She ends up shivering but hasn’t thought along the way that she’s getting cold. And so she’s got to get a jumper and turn the temperature up and that kind of thing. So the first thing is knowing how you feel. Now that’s a physical example. We mean with emotions, am I feeling joy? Am I feeling peace? Am I feeling love? Am I feeling anger? Am I feeling sadness? Am I feeling fear? Whatever it might be.

The second key component in Emotional Intelligence is, can I adjust that? Can I change how I’m feeling or am I locked into it and can’t really do much until the circumstances change?

The third tenet of Emotional Intelligence is can you recognize what others are feeling, as opposed to you projecting it onto somebody else. So that simply means that I can read what you are feeling rather than assume that you’re feeling the same that I’m feeling given a set of circumstances. And you can see that most people are going to go for that one.

And then finally, the fourth one is… can you influence how others feel? Can you be persuasive? Can you be influential? Can you be a force for good in the world? Can you persuade people to do things that fit with your sense of morals and values?

So they’re the four concepts and you really, really want to go out and study those things because the more skills you have in that area, then the more life can deliver what you want.

So now you’d understand why I have spent the last 30 years studying Emotional Intelligence. I’m captivated by the idea that I can actually change myself into a version of me that I far prefer to be, and get much, much more out of life that I want.

And so can you.

So let’s capture all of that and roll it into a bundle by saying what I said at the beginning three or four minutes ago, and that is Emotional Intelligence has been proven to be the only reliable indicator of future success, no matter what the field.

If you want to be successful in your finances, in your relationships, in your health, in your happiness – you need to understand Emotional Intelligence and get on top of it.