“Experience is not what happens to you it is how you interpret what happens to you.”
Emotions and decisions have always been a part of us. But the challenge is to decipher whether we take emotionally rational decisions or irrationally emotional decisions? Even before we understand the intricacies of decision making, let’s explore whether we are aware of our emotions in the first place? Well, we do acknowledge that we take several decisions in a day but are we aware of the number of emotions that we pass through in a day, in an hour or every moment that may impact the decisions? When did you last do your emotional inventory check to see how you are feeling at any point of time in a day? When did you last stop to check why you are feeling the way you are? What makes you feel that way?
It is pretty ironical that when we ask someone what is that you want in life, we generally get a conditioned revert as ‘Happiness, Peace, Satisfaction…’. This seems easy. The challenging part is to answer what exactly makes you happy, feel at peace or satisfied in life? And the worst part is to self-check whether we are leading a life that takes us to that path? Are our actions in sync with our thoughts? If not what stops us to be the way we want to be?
If this is making you think a few questions that you had not thought before, well keep exploring these questions which of course would lead us to be aware of ourselves. That’s the first step towards being emotionally intelligent.
But the question that is likely to come up in our minds is regarding the meaning of emotional intelligence? In very simple terms, emotional intelligence is all about ‘awareness’. Simple yet intriguing! However, we just need to take a step further to understand that emotional intelligence is being aware of your own emotions and emotions of others. It is our ability to use this awareness to manage our emotions and build relationships.
Emotional Intelligence is all about Emotional Awareness. The more we become aware of our emotions, better we become at making decisions, building relations, improving our health and of a course developing our personal influence.
Well, if rationality is stored in the left side of the brain and creativity and emotions in the right side, then we need to use both the sides of the brain to claim that our decisions are proper and complete. Using one side of the brain will result in an output which is both rationally and emotionally incomplete.
Practicing Emotional intelligence will help you to identify the right emotion/s from the pool of emotions that you store at any point in time, which helps you to take emotionally rational decisions.
Few thoughts to introspect…
- Is my emotional maturity with respect to people, situations and life commensurate with my age?
- Do you forgive people because they deserve it, they asked for it or simply because you think that to move forward you should learn to forgive?
- What kind of people do you value more in your life? Those with high materialistic value or with those with higher intrinsic value?
- How do you deal with overwhelming emotions in your life? Not being aware of them, ignore them or use them as a tool to know more about what’s underlying them?
- What’s your take on anger? Does it come instinctively or you use it judiciously for a rightful cause, at a right time, in the right degree, for the right purpose and in the rightway?
- How do you differentiate between fear and danger? What is it that you are mostly trapped in and how do you handle it? Dangerous real but fear is False Images appearing real. Isn’t it a figment of the imagination of our mind?
- What made you angry last time? Was it humiliation, hurt, rejection, frustration or fear? Whatever be the cause, Buddha says it well: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
With this, I think it’s time for us to explore our emotions, become aware of them and work towards them. This emotional awareness will help us to control emotions rather than allowing emotions to control us. We need to think who needs to be a master and who needs to be the slave. If emotions become our master than we will lead a life of being it’s slave. But if we choose to be their master, through emotional awareness we can then use them as tools to help us navigate and attain our relationship goals. The choice is ours!
Would love to hear more from you about your journey to emotional maturity. Share your experiences!