Friday, March 28, 2008

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Research is showing that one of the best predictors of success is emotional intelligence rather than just left brain intelligence(ability to gather information). Some of the competencies in emotional intelligence include self awareness, managing yourself and giving yourself.

1."Self awareness" is knowing yourself ... clearly without wishful thinking or blinders. Are you of a generous nature or do you tend to have trouble trusting there will be enough? Do you hold a grudge or let go easily? Are you warmly affectionate or more reserved?

2.Part of "managing yourself" is developing your intrinsic motivation. This means following your inner guidance based on your own values, rather than being externally driven by constant motivation from your fear of being excluded if you don’t follow the herd – peer pressure, TV, drinking habits,values, etc.

3."Giving yourself" means connecting your daily actions with your larger sense of purpose.

You can connect one of your own personal actions with a larger sense of purpose this weekend by participating in Eath Hour. On March 29, 2008 at 8 p.m., join millions of people around the world in making a statement about climate change by turning off your lights for Earth Hour, an event created by the World Wildlife Fund.

An interesting discussion about developing your ability to be motivated by your inner values rather than the external “I should do this” kind of voice.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happiness-What is it?

Well, what is your answer to that one? What is happiness? When I was younger I thought happiness was just a sappy capitalistic plot to numb the mind. Ha! I wasn't very interested in being happy. Or so I thought. Now that I am older and wiser, I can see that it is an essential part of the human condition. The word gets tossed around but have you given it any personal attention?

There is short term happiness like sex, drugs, rock and roll or screamo; shopping, a car or a better job. After a while you start to notice the short termness of these kinds of things, however. And some of those things have nasty side effects.Not that they don't have their place. But as far as offering real and solid refuge from the bumpy road of life, they don't cut it. At least that's what I think.

I'd love to hear what others think about happiness. Here is what the Dalai Lama says about it.

“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear. Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think the very motion of our life is towards happiness.” Dalai Lama

It's tough to know what specific changes can bring more happiness. The following self test can enable you to pinpoint what areas of your life may be adding to or detracting from your sense of happiness.

You can go to this site to take the Happiness Self Test. The questions themselves will get you thinking about what consitutes happiness.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's Smart to be Happy

Another day of classes is over but you have assignments due and tests to study for ; your brain is overloaded, you feel overwhelmed and tired. And tomorrow will be the same.

Creating a good life for yourself requires learning to balance each of the aspects that make up a human being. This includes physical, emotional, mental and emotional health. Form positive habits starting now.

Thoughts of failure and repeated procrastination actually cause chemical and electrical signals in the body that put your body in “protect” mode rather than “growth and integration.” That literally means that if you feel stressed the blood is flowing to the back of your brain and not to the lobes that help you learn and retain new information. So, making sure you are working with a brain that is relaxed and happy makes you smarter!

Being organized to get tasks done, alternating study with short breaks to stretch or get some water and taking time out for fun, physical activity and relaxation all promote learning.

Getting great marks but ignoring the important relationships in your life; being extremely physically fit but not leaving time to nurture friendships or spend quiet, reflective time to nourish the spirit leaves you feeling unbalanced.