I read an interesting article at Inc.com recently, called "True Secret to Success (It's Not What You Thing)".  The point of the article is summarized in the first sentence:

"I'm utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude."

This seems reasonable, and even on a larger scale, I think emotions in general are a key component of success, that is not currently specified in the Success Formula.  I have heard before something like having a high EQ is more important than a high IQ.

A general understanding of EQ is Emotional Quotient or maybe more specifically now, EI or Emotional Intelligence.  According to Wikipedia, EI is defined as:

"Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups"

I think the key words and starting point in this statement are "control" and "oneself".  One theory is that all emotions that we experience are ones that we generate internally.  It is all about how we interpret our surroundings.  Nobody or no external circumstances can make us feel a certain way.  This is difficult for some people to accept.

It is common for us to say "That person made me feel this way", or "Because this event happened I feel this way".  It is probably more accurate to say that "Because of my interpretation of that person's actions I feel this way" or "Because of the meaning I attach to this event, I feel a certain way".  If you accept the second two statements, then this means that it might be possible for us to choose different interpretations or meanings to events that are helpful.

This way of thinking of trying to find alternative, helpful meanings for events is a skill that we can develop.  How can we practice developing this skill?  One way is to ask questions.  When we experience destructive emotions, we can try asking "What else could this mean?"  or maybe "What is so great about this?"  If those don't work for you, then try questions that do work for you that help you to think of other possibilities.  I know I have used the question "Is this going to kill me?" before.  It at least can help keep me from going overboard and realize that "This too shall pass."

The author recommends spending time each day to be grateful.  I'm cautious about recommending adding too many things to your schedule.  If we add too many things, there isn't much time for a life.  Maybe you and I can start by trying 5 minutes of just asking something like "What is great in my life right now?"  Maybe we could also do some reflection about "What has been great about my life so far?"

What questions or methods do you use?
 


Comments

04/24/2015 6:08pm

Gratitude, thankfulness, gratefulness, or appreciation is a feeling or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.thanks

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