How to Improve Our Emotional Intelligence

Growing up we were taught that our IQ score would determine how intelligent we are. The higher the IQ the more successful we would be in life.

However, there is more to intelligence than the intellectual level. In fact, most successful leaders, such as billionaire Warren Buffet does not have a higher IQ than the rest of us. Instead he shows a tremendous amount of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence, (EI) is the ability to control and express our emotions in a clear and well thought out manner, while also having the ability to recognize emotions in others.

Individuals who have high levels of emotional intelligence are good listeners who show empathy to others. They are a person that others seek out for support or advice due to their compassion and open mind. Due to having their emotions under control they are also adaptable to change and able to express themselves clearly.

Now, we may be asking, how do we improve our emotional intelligence?

The best method out there is to practice mindful meditation.

Mindful meditation is being aware and staying in the present moment. In other words, let go of the past and stop thinking about the future. Just simply enjoy and pay attention to this present moment we are in.

According to John Darwin from the Centre for Mindful Life Enhancement, “Regular practice of mindfulness meditation can enhance our ability to understand our own emotions” By calming the mind through meditation, our ability increases to recognize our own emotions.

As we begin to become aware of our emotions, we are able to recognize and control them under intense or upsetting situations. This allows us to think deeply upon our actions and words before subconsciously blurting them out.

This is one of the main reasons why highly emotional intelligent people are more successful in the workplace and build more meaningful and beneficial relationships with others.

The best part is that we can practice mindful mediation any time and any place.

Mindful meditation doesn’t require any special instructions.

Find a comfortable pose in a quiet space and choose any amount of time.

Relax the body, (including facial muscles) and close the eyes. It may be helpful to play calm music or concentrate on the breath, as a tool for staying in the present moment.

Think of daily mediation practice as important as preparing for a meeting or test.

This daily practice will lead to a higher level of emotional intelligence, which only increases our ability to find success and happiness in our lives.

Done is Better Than Perfect.

Done is better than perfect.

I wrote down this saying on a sticky note and placed it on my keycard for work, which I pull out and see at least 4 times a day. This is a nice reminder that sneaks into my subconscious mind to remind me that sometimes, it’s better to be done and turn in a piece of writing versus constantly revising it.

Sometimes I feel that I can go a little nuts about my writing piece. I’m never 100% satisfied or confident with what I wrote. Even my published pieces, I feel like I could do better. So, when I’m writing I want to constantly re-edit, re-write and re-edit my pieces over and over and over again. In a world of deadlines and time management, feeling this way is not productive.

man in brown long sleeved button up shirt standing while using gray laptop computer on brown wooden table beside woman in gray long sleeved shirt sitting
Done is better than perfect

Therefore, being done with the piece, is better than it being perfect. Because the truth is…is that it will never be perfect. I think that’s a hard but important lesson for creative writers to learn. It will not be perfect. But you got it to be pretty darn close to it though, right? Right.

While it is important to turn in your best work, you can’t wait keep revising. If you do, than while your busy trying to make it perfect another person is coming up behind you and going to get the spot before you did.

At some point you have just to realize it’s done, submit it and walk away.

Let me know, does this make sense? Is this also how you feel writing or are you able to feel satisfied early on and turn it in?

Managing Your Writing Goals

Creating and maintaining goals is a great way to stay on track with your writing. I don’t know about you but if I don’t force myself to write, then I probably would not write as much as I do.

So if you’re like me, you should try setting some writing goals for yourself.

adult brainstorming business career

When thinking about your goals, the first thing that you want to do is be realistic. Really think about it, before committing yourself to it.

Here’s why.

We, as humans all tend to become overly excited and extremely motivated when first setting goals. We envision who we want to be and then say that nothing will get in the way of our dreams. And for a few days, maybe even a few weeks it works.

We stay on track and hit our goals. Until…the inevitable happens.  You somehow manage to screw up your goal plan.

If your plan is too unrealistic, you’ll become overwhelmed quickly and when it doesn’t work out, you’ll feel like a failure. But, you’re not a failure. You just set your goals in an unrealistic way. But, kudos to you for your high ambition!

woman working girl sitting

To avoid this overwhelming feeling that do not serve us, it’s important to set realistic goals. In fact, set your goals low at first and then keep adding to them.

For example, I jstarted this blog about a month ago. It’s something that is brand new to me. I write for two other sites, I have a full time job and I need time during the weekends to mentally chill out. So, while at first I would love to write for this blog 4 times a week, I don’t think that’s really realistic at this point.

Instead, I am going to shoot for once a week. And, I’m able to hit that goal without feeling overwhelmed. In fact, I feel very satisfied with myself with hitting this goal, which in return, inspires me to keep up the work.  As this once a week post becomes an easy habit for me, then I will add 2 a week and so on.

So, once you have a realistic goal, the next thing to do is to write it down. This helps your brain to remember it better and also allows you to have a visual reminder. I like to place my written goal in an area on my desk where I see it numerous times a day. That way it’s a constant reminder and gets into my subconscious.

Another suggestion is to reward yourself every time you complete that goal. Our brain is hard wire to repeat actions that cause us pleasure. So if we do an action and expect a positive reward we are more likely to complete and repeat that action.

adult blur celebration close up
Rewards are a great way to reinforce hitting your goals

The last suggestion is to remain patient. Goals take time to achieve. And learning how to achieve those goals also takes time. In our society we are led to believe that success will happen overnight, but sadly that’s not true. Every achievement takes goal setting, small steps and time. So if you remember to keep on top of your goals and you don’t quit, you will ultimately get there.

Remember no human can stay on track with their goals all the time. But what separates successful goal achieves from non-achievers is how they handle themselves when they fall off. An achiever will always get right back on the horse and try again, no matter how many times it takes.

Questions for you:

When was a time where you set a goal and achieved it? What things helped to keep you on track?