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Tag Emotional Intelligence

Cybersmart

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It’s expensive being a loudmouth. How about the Orange student fined $105,000 for badmouthing a teacher on twitter. Or the Sydney couple fined $15,000 for a facebook post that suggested a neighbour may or may not be related to Satan. And that’s just for starters.

 

The thing is being a keyboard warrior is a pretty dumb way of dealing with your personal issues. Because once posted those words are there for the world to see for a long, long time. And if you really p*ss someone off it can be very expensive.

 

With the world changing at lightening speed, now more than ever we need to develop emotional intelligence. And while teens with only half a brain really need to learn these skills, it seems quite a few adults do too. Because behaving badly online is just not smart. Not only won’t it sort out your problems, it can cause even bigger ones.

 

So what are some of the tools we can teach our kids?

 

What EQ tools can we learn for ourselves?

 

One of the most important tools to master is the GAP. Because when you’re being emotionally intelligent it means you take a gap before you act and consider the consequences. How the other person might feel for example. Or whether your words will come back to haunt you. Or what it might cost you in terms of your own reputation. Or how to work out a better way to deal with the issue. Emotional intelligence means you might stop to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes rather than just sledging them. Maybe they’re acting like a jerk because something is going on for them that you have no knowledge of. Or maybe you’ve just got the bull by the tail and haven’t got the whole story anyway. Being emotionally intelligent may mean that you deal with your dirty laundry privately and upfront. Rather than air it in front of the world. Emotional intelligence may mean that you find a way to forgive someone for being a jerk rather than let them get control over how you feel. After all, the way we choose to respond is always our choice.

 

Feelings come and go. But words sent out into cyberspace have the potential to stick around for years to come. Because mud sticks. And the only winners in the increase in online defamation cases are the lawyers.

 

Emotional intelligence is one of life’s greatest skills. Not only can it save you a lot of grief it helps you create a lot more happiness.

 

So how can you develop your emotional intelligence?

Inside Out

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Have you seen it yet? Inside Out? Such a great little movie about all those emotions we have running around inside our heads. And how important they all are. The ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. Turns out the ‘bad’ aren’t so bad after all and if you don’t know what I’m talking about you’ll just have to go see it for yourself.

With Disney in on the importance of emotional intelligence, kids around the world now have a chance to learn something better than the stiff upper lip of previous generations. And that’s a great thing. Because as Jill Bolte Taylor puts it we are feeling beings that think. Not the other way round as most of the world wants us to believe.

Just stop and think about that for a moment.

We are feeling beings – that think.

So we really need to learn to manage our emotions if we want to succeed in life.

The thing is when we stick our heads in the sand or up the proverbial trying to pretend we don’t feel something it doesn’t work. Because the basis of our biology is emotional. Which means incoming information that enters your body every second of every day is processed by your emotional brain first. Only then does it hit our conscious awareness so you can think about it. So trying to pretend we don’t have emotions is no different to pretending we don’t have legs. And unless you’re a double amputee, we all have them. And we all have emotions. So it makes sense to learn how to manage them. How to master them.

It will be a great day when our kids report cards measure EQ as well as IQ. Maybe Disney has taken us one step closer. Our emotions, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ are there to protect us. They need to be felt. Not rationalised. Not ignored. Not suppressed. Emotions need to be felt.

How’s your EQ?

What are you teaching your kids?

 

True Genius

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We (like millions of others round the world) were at the Apple Store on Saturday to check out the new Apple watch. And with true Apple genius, the marketing made sure that the April delivery was sold out in record time. Come lunchtime Saturday, our designated appointment time, and less than 24 hours after the sales gate opened, we now have to wait until June to get the goods. They only started selling these babies at 5.01pm the day before.

It seems the world can’t get enough of technology. Devoting hours to waiting – online, in queues, on the phone – to not only get the latest and greatest in the world of technology but also devoting hours to learning how to drive these things. And they are incredible, aren’t they. The world in your pocket. Now it’s on your wrist too.

But have you ever stopped to think that your brain trumps a smart phone, tablet, fancy watch hands down? How crazy is it that we have the most sophisticated piece of technology ever designed sitting right here between our ears, at our disposal 24/7, but few people ever really think about it. Let alone learn to make the most of it. I often wonder what would happen if we spent the same hours using our brains to their full capacity as we do downloading apps and catching up on facebook? I reckon we’d be unstoppable.

After all, there are so many things the brain can do that a bit of man-made technology could never do. Emotional intelligence for instance. Gut instinct has saved many a life. And what about imagination? Mentally rehearsing what we really want in life makes it so much easier to achieve. And while they may be intuitive, these little devices will never be as switched on as the real deal. It’s probably important to remember that the brains behind the leaps in technology are actually real people.

So if you want to learn to make the most of your brain then come, spend a few days with me. I promise you’ll never see the world the same way again.

What are you waiting for?

Resolving the Mindset Riddle is in your capital city soon! Click here for dates.

Trust the universe

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I spoke with someone struggling last week with an unjust situation. It’s been going on for a while now and was coming to a head. Not surprisingly feelings of powerlessness and being out of control were letting resentment in. And while that’s just another feeling and needs to be validated, in my experience it’s not one we want to hold on to for very long either, because it can cause us massive damage internally.

My words to her – let the universe take care of him.

Not always easy I know. And I don’t mean do nothing. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and those you love. But know that the other person in the situation is here learning their life lessons too.

When we trust the universe to take care of things it takes a whole lot of load off our own shoulders, doesn’t it.

In trusting the universe to take care of them we can also protect ourselves from the damage that comes with resentment and anger. Not to mention the fact that the other person is already getting their just deserts… they have to live with themselves. And while the consequences of that may not be apparent at first, when you treat another human being with anything less than respect and love in the end it takes its toll.

I remember reading about a man in an horrific situation. One of the worst you could ever imagine. It was war and he watched helplessly as his family was shot dead while he was left alive. But he refused to hate the people that took his family from him. Instead, he practised love. Just how he did that remains to be told. But somehow he did it through all the years that followed while he was kept prisoner. At the end of the war the people that liberated him thought he must have only been there a short time because he was so much healthier than the others. But he’d actually been there for quite some time. The difference… those who felt anger and hatred, a very natural human response in those circumstances, aged more quickly than the man who despite everything, somehow found it within him to practise love.

Where can you let the universe take care of things?

Where can you practise more love?

The small things

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Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference, isn’t it. You know, those days that are going pear shaped but we come home to a loving smile. Or it might be a random act of kindness from a complete stranger.

In this case, it was a new pair of thongs. Sparkly diamante ones to be exact. Not my taste. Wouldn’t be a good look. But you should have seen the smile when the gift was given. Hers and mine. She’d been having a hell of a day but something as simple as shifting her focus to the gift of sparkles on the bottom of her feet lifted her out of it.

When we’re having a shocker, it’s easy to go from bad to worse, isn’t it. They don’t call it a downward spiral for nothing. But it seems that if we can pause for a moment to reset ourselves, reset the energy we feel inside, we can change what’s happening around us. That’s a pretty powerful thought, isn’t it. That just by shifting what’s happening inside of us we create the very best opportunity to change what’s happening on the outside. It’s basic psychology really. When we feel like s**t our focus is naturally drawn to more of the same that confirms the way we feel.  But when we’re feeling more positive, it’s easy to see the things that make us even happier.

What many people don’t realise is that the reality we experience is directly related to what’s going on in our heads, not what’s happening in the world outside. So I think there’s a lot to be said for finding the silver lining. Or at least something positive to fixate on when it’s all gone to crap. Maybe it’s as simple as taking time out to walk the dog, ride the bike or enjoy the garden. Or looking at a photo of someone we love.  Or making the time to pamper ourselves in some way.

As we shift our energy we shift the way we respond to the world. And while we may not be able to change the world, we can change ourselves.

There’s good and bad out there all the time.

What are you focusing on?

What random act of kindness will you do to uplift someone else today?

 

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.”

 

Plutarch

 

Don’t worry, be happy!

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I was talking with my good friend Nicholas de Castella the other day. And we were discussing overwhelm. You know, that feeling when it’s all too much and you’re just about to explode. Or perhaps you’d rather run away. I guess your response all depends on your default coping strategy.

But the thing about overwhelm, and stress in general, is it’s only a reflection of our feelings of being unable to cope. So it’s not really about the overwhelm. Or the things happening outside of us. It’s really all about our reserves within and how we perceive them. It’s all about our mindset.

Most people don’t realise it’s exactly the same for worry.

Because we only worry about things if we don’t think we’ve got the reserves to cope with them. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother us, would they?

The human species is quite amazing in its ability to conjure up worry out of nothing. The monkey mind they call it. Always busy. Makes stuff up just for the hell of it really. And we can create the end of the world right here in our minds, a thousand times a day.

Not really living is it.

And that’s why taking time out to be quiet is so important. Because it helps us to pull back. And gives us the headspace to see what’s really going on. To get things in perspective. And to realize that if we’ve made it this far, then we really do have some reserves in there, don’t we! I’m amazed how often people forget this.

And another thing… have you ever noticed how much easier it is to cope with what life dishes up when you’re feeling happier? Much easier, isn’t it.

So if we focus on creating happiness for ourselves and those around us, even our real worries are that much easier to handle. Makes sense then doesn’t it, to focus on what’s going right in your life, rather than what’s going wrong.

So what’s worrying you?

If you knew you had the reserves to cope with it, could you look at it differently?

And if you took the emotion out of it, what would your next step be?

As the man said… Don’t worry, be happy. It’s a great philosophy.

Learning to move forward one step at a time with emotional intelligence, helps to move us through the worry and back to a state of happiness.

Kissing the chicken

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There was an interview some years back on Enough Rope. And it was the kind of interview that just stays with you. Andrew Denton interviewing a former leader of the Klu Klux Klan. And he tells the story of how one old black preacher man defeated them all.

The Klan were out to get him, but he never missed a beat. When they set fire to a cross, he asked them if they’d like marshmallows. When they turned up in white robes outside his house, he just laughed and told them Halloween was still months away.

But the piece de resistance… the old preacher in a restaurant about to eat a plate of chicken when he was surrounded by 30 Klan members. Threatening to do him whatever he did next to the chicken.

And so he took a moment to think… before picking up the chicken and kissing it.

As MasterCard would say…. priceless.

The Klan leader didn’t know what to do as the rest of the members fell about laughing. And they never harassed him again.

One old preacher man who used his mind – and his heart – to defeat the KKK.

Such power to be found when you just stop, look around and think…

Where can you kiss the chicken?

 

The Fallacy of The Never Ending Story

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Your perceptions coupled with your mindset determine whether or not you achieve your goals. That is why it is in your interest to clear any hindrances that are not obvious especially the ones that lurk beneath your conscious mind; one such insidious game spoiler is The Story.

The Story is the wellworn narrative you tell yourself (and anyone who cares to listen) about why it is not possible for you to achieve your financial or health goals. Or why you will never find the partner of your dreams because you are convinced by the dreaded story about the lack of loving, dependable potential mates out there in the big bad world.

If left unchecked it morphs into The Burning Martyr Syndrome that looks to serve up the charred remains of what otherwise could have been a magnificent life of wealth, health and happiness.

How The Story got constructed may have been via some unpleasant/frightening experience where you felt threatened, vulnerable, diminished and certainly disempowered. It’s the feeling of helplessness, of not having the right of reply or being able to defend yourself that is likely to be at the root of The Never Ending Story.

I am not for a moment making light of past events where physical or emotional abuse, bullying or intimidation was inflicted upon you usually by an authority figure. Nor am I condoning the behavior of the person against whom you felt powerless.

But, running The Story is choosing to be the victim (still)

Essentially you are saying that unless the perpetrator apologizes, makes amends, shows remorse, acknowledges their mistake or is punished and now behaves in a manner that meets your approval, you cannot move on or be happy.

You are saying your sense of happiness is dependent on another person. Since when has another person been responsible for your happiness and fulfillment?

What if that person is dead? What then are your chances of getting closure?

Buckleys

You have no control over that event; however, what you do have absolute control over is how you choose to think, behave and act from that point in time.

So why are we loathe to let go of the story?

1) Because it justifies our reluctance to move on, (moving on takes effort). It allows us to take the high moral ground and feel self righteous. All the while each precious second that otherwise could have been dedicated to achieving what we want is frittered away.

2) Because of the time, emotional energy already vested in keeping it alive. The Story thrives on this emotional charge it receives with each retelling and reliving and takes on a life of its own. In fact there is scientific evidence to suggest that neural pathways associated with the memory and feelings are strengthened with each repeating of the event.

When will you give up on telling The Story?

When you have a big enough reason to; it will happen when you decide that it’s time to let go. For me it was simple as making a choice after I attended Illuminations Bootcamp. I recall Paul saying that until we sort out our relationships with father, mother, self and Source it will be a case of one step forwards two steps back, snakes and ladders and any other metaphor that illustrates the self sabotage and treachery your story supports.

I let go when I decided I had bigger fish to fry i.e., I identified huge personal and social goals I wanted to accomplish. It was when I got clear about why I am here and what I am to do until the day I am laid to rest.

Besides, the axe grinding was starting to lose its lustre and frankly it was beginning to be tiresome replaying the same event over and over again.

Funnily enough I had thought that I could never let it go because of all the anger, pain, angst that I had nursed through decades. Nah, that’s over rated; it’s perpetuated by people who have yet to discover their raison d’etre, that’s all.

The ball is in your court. What choice will you make today?

Emotional Congruence

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So we know that emotions are contagious. But did you know our emotions directly affect what we see in the world? And our actual experience of it.

Take two people. One happy, one sad. Show them 50 slides of mixed emotional content. And then ask them to remember what they saw. The happy person remembers more of the happy slides. And of course the sad person… you fill it in.

Both potentials are there but the emotion is like wearing a pair of glasses that let’s you only see half the view.

And it’s because of this thing called emotional congruence. Which means we pay selective attention to our world dependent on how we feel. In plain English, we focus on the stuff around us that mirrors how we’re feeling on the inside. So if we’re feeling crappy we see more of the crappy dark side of life. Things look blacker so to speak. But if we’re feeling more positive, we see more beauty. And our creative self comes out to play. It’s quite something to think that we all live in the same world but our emotions determine what we see and how we experience it.

And instead of realising the world is just reflecting what’s inside, the temptation is to play the blame game. Gathering evidence to justify why we feel the way we do. Creating a story.  Giving away our power. Rather than seeing that it’s because we feel lousy we are necessarily experiencing more of the negatives in life.  And it can become a downward spiral.

Because these moods affect the way we think too. In a study out of UNSW, they talked to people who’d just been to the movies. Some people saw happy movies, some people saw sad or more aggressive movies. And then they asked them questions about things like the future, about their quality of life. Needless to say those who saw the happier movie were more optimistic than those who saw the sad or more aggressive movies.

And I’m sure everyone’s experienced  at some time or another how much how we feel influences our perception of ourselves and others…

So if you want the opportunities that come with a positive mindset, it’s important to get yourself around happier people and be aware of the mood you’re in when you’re making those important decisions. Because creating happiness is a choice that we make minute to minute and day to day.

So where can you bring greater happiness into your life?