Everybody wants to be successful in life. But what is success? How do you go about being successful? Is success only for people who have high IQ? How come there are intelligent people who are not successful in life? How do you measure success?
To be able to define success can be the first step in becoming successful. Someone has said that “success is the completion of anything intended.” Meaning to say, whatever it is you have planned or intended to do, you’ve got to finish or bring into completion. That is success.
If you plan to rob a bank and pulled-off the heist, does that make you a successful person? In this case, success should always be related to all things positive. Having this as a yardstick for assessing our lives enable us to say at the end of the day if we have failed or succeeded.
Aside from academic excellence, researchers believe that certain aspects of intelligence, such as logical reasoning, math skills, verbal abilities, and analytical understanding can predict to a significant degree professional and personal success of an individual. However, why is it that some of those with excellent levels of IQ are not doing successfully in life? A lot of people with so much promise and potential fall into anxiety and depression, and sometimes even end up in suicide? Something could be going wrong in the way they think and behave which hindered their chances to succeed.
According to Daniel Goleman, well-known psychologist and author of the book “Emotional Intelligence”, one of the major missing parts in the success equation is emotional intelligence. This concept is based on years of research by numerous scientists, such as Peter Salovey, John Meyer, Howard Gardner, Robert Sternberg, and Jack Block, just to name a few. They all agree that people with high emotional intelligence (EI) tend to be more successful in life than those with lower EI even if their classical IQ is average.
Scientific articles published during ’90s highlighted the importance of emotional intelligence, the human mental ability to validly reason with emotions and to use these emotions in enhancing thought patterns. It includes the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.
Emotional intelligence improves an individual’s social effectiveness. The higher the emotional intelligence, the better the social relations. Emotionally intelligent people can better perceive emotions, use them in thought, understand their meanings, and manage emotions, than others. These people are often the ones we consider to provide a shoulder to cry on. They do not only solve their own emotional problems, but they help others deal with it as well. They require less cognitive effort in solving emotional problems. They tend to be more open and agreeable than others, and are drawn to occupations involving social interactions, such as teaching and counseling, than jobs involving clerical or administrative duties.
People with high EI are less likely to develop emotional disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. They have the ability to avoid self-destructive and negative behaviors, such as smoking, excessive drinking, drug abuse, or violent episodes with others. They are more likely to have possessions of sentimental attachment around the home and to have more positive social interactions.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to discern and understand emotional information which is all around us. People communicate basic emotions from one individual to another. But only those with high EI can really appreciate and understand the more subtle messages of these emotions.
Emotional intelligence is crucial to help us through our emotionally demanding days. If we are not emotionally intelligent, we need people who have higher EI to rely on and guide us in processing emotional information. Emotional intelligence enables our thinking and behavior to become more focus in achieving our goals and to take hold of the success in life we are dreaming of.