High IQs don’t always predict how successful someone will become because many times it’s the ones that can control their irrational emotions and who have high EQs that become more successful. Hey, smart people do dumb things all the time. We all do dumb things because we are still operating through prehistoric emotional wiring and then trying to back up the crazy out of date moves we make with self-created faulty modern day logic.
So what exactly is emotional intelligence? Well, it’s probably more than I have room for in this article. But, let me take poke at it. Emotional intelligence is being able to motivate oneself to persist in the face of frustration, to control impulse, and delay gratification, to regulated moods, and keep distress from swamping our ability to think rationally, and empathize with others and to never lose hope, even when the odds are against us.
Wouldn’t you agree that this list above is very important to us humans? Well, sadly, today, schools and our modern neocortex thinking culture is fixated on mostly academic abilities while pretty much ignoring emotional intelligence. I wonder if the modern day school shootings are a symptom of our society not paying enough attention to emotional intelligence in order to just etch out a few more points on some standardized test.
Hey, no one is saying that emotional intelligence is an end all. We all know that we need the complete package to be successful and well-adjusted in life where we don’t do dumb violent things anymore. After all, emotional aptitude is really just a meta-ability, although a very important meta-ability, which helps determine how well we can use whatever other skills we have, including raw intellect.
Emotional intelligence plays a big enough role that Howard Gardner has said that it is not uncommon for people with 160 IQs to work for people who have 100 IQs if the 100s have a good intra and inter-personal intelligence. Come on… We all know really smart people who are working for someone else, instead of themselves.
So, in short, being super smart with a super high IQ is not an end all in itself either. Hey, if we focus only on the intellect then we will miss out on what it means to be human, and never get to experience the higher values of the human heart of faith, hope, devotion, and love. Through focusing only on intellect we’ll never solve the real human problems of this world that really matter. This sounds kind of sad, doesn’t it?
One way that emotional intelligence helps us, if we let it, is through that gut-feeling. These somatic-markers, or gut-feelings can steer us away from trouble or unveil opportunities for us without us even knowing how or why. This is the way we are emotionally wired. If we are smart enough we can use it to our benefit. We used to either jump at food, or jump out of the way of some other animal trying to eat us. We didn’t have time to think about it. We just instinctually acted. Today those same pre-historic instincts are still there telling us to quickly move to avoid trouble or move to gain something good. Our thinking brain, hasn’t had a chance yet to fully formulate what this gut feeling is telling us. And by the time it does formulate a rational decision, it may be too late.
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, educator, a parent expert and certified life coach. Find out more about Dan at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com