Greetings Beautiful People!

I hope that you are all very well 😊

I have been having a wonderful break travelling abroad, spending some time with close family who joined me for some part, and mostly spending time with myself to explore places I have not previously been to. As I write this I am watching the summer monsoon rain sweep in briefly to cool the afternoon air. In a few days, I will be heading home and I must admit, it is “home sweet home “. I love travel and near the end I still feel the calling of good home cooked food and my very own bed to sleep in.

I have been reflecting on how elegant my travel has been, especially on the rare occasions where I have faced discomforting situations that can happen on overseas travels in a foreign country, and I find it is largely attributable to the practices and applications I apply and teach in Beyond Thinking concerning emotional intelligence.

When I was developing into a young adult in the 80’s emotional intelligence was a concept never spoken about. It was only in the early to mid-nineties that Daniel Goleman began producing articles and books on emotional intelligence. He claimed that emotional intelligence or “EQ” (Emotional Quotient) was more important than IQ (intelligence Quotient) in determining one’s ability to lead a fulfilling and successful life, a claim that has since been validated through neuroscience research.

The difference between EQ and IQ is important to explain and I will do my best using the analogy of a computer. Every computer has an operating system (OS). The effectiveness of the operating system determines the effectiveness of the application programs on which they run. For example, an effective operating system allows for effective uses of applications such as word, excel and accessing the internet and cloud technology. So too this principle could be broadly applied to us as humans. We have this “operating system”, and this operating system (EQ) determines the ability of how we use our “applications” (IQ).

If we have an unhealthy “operating system” our ability to use our “applications” i.e. communicate, be creative and come up with ideas for example, will be impaired. As proof, Daniel Goleman introduced the concept of the amygdala hijack (supported through neuroscience research), where the subconscious reptilian part of the brain (The Amygdala), hijacks our logical capabilities (The left pre-frontal cortex or “executive center”) when we face any potential threat, imagined or real, and we have not developed our sense of self-awareness to deal with these threats. We become highly reactive and susceptible to the flight, fight, freeze programs deep within our subconscious which may lead to poor decision making especially when the threat is perceived and not real.

Simply, this means that no matter how intelligent we are in terms of IQ, if we are not able to keep our operating system clean of viruses (such as negative thoughts) that reduce our ability to perform at our peak, and consciously work on upgrading our operating system, taking charge of what we think and feel, we will lose our IQ to the inefficiencies of the operating system, and our IQ will no longer serve us.

Developing or upgrading our operating system covers four areas of focus, according to Goleman’s EQ model. It encompasses developing self-awareness, without which we are unable to begin making the changes necessary to upgrade our OS. With awareness, we can become the gatekeeper to the viruses that can affect the efficiency of our OS (Such as negative thoughts, feelings and core beliefs) and as we become more aware of why we behave the way we do, we can then make some changes to those negative viruses that no longer serve us or make our lives less elegant and more importantly focus on what we do have that works for us. Goleman refers to this as self-management.

As we become to understand why we behave the way we do, we develop a healthier relationship with ourselves, and as a result, we can become more aware of why others behave the way they do. We judge less and become more understanding to others behavior. Goleman refers to this as social awareness. Through this social awareness we are in a better position to positively influence others more proactively – Goleman refers to this as social management.

Developing these four areas is a way of life and for me personally it is not something one can do part time as and when it suites, it is continually ongoing, and positively impacts all aspect of life, both in professional and personal capacities. I personally find this journey of self-discovery is never ending and there is more to learn about myself and others at every turn of life.

For example, on this travel abroad, my self-awareness and self-management have helped me stay calm when I have found myself in discomforting situations and appreciate the extraordinary in the ordinary. It has contributed to me appreciating my own company, alone, in a foreign place and I have found myself getting to know myself that much more.

The social awareness aspect on this trip is wonderful. I have met strangers from all corners of the world and connected with them on a level that I would not have, if I had not taken time out to see the world through their eyes and listening to their stories of where they come from, the culture they grew up with, and by simply listening and appreciating their “extra ordinariness”. I have made some friends I may or may not see again, and they have impacted on me significantly as I have learned so much from their life stories.

My home awaits, with my friends and family, and my journey will continue wherever I find myself, as I feel this work requires we be the traveler wherever we are, looking at the world through the traveler’s eyes….with a sense of “Wow”…..and it all begins with simple awareness.

Until we chat again dear readers, may a sense of “wow” be with you.

Take care and stay aware

With Love