Aristotle…And Everything After

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“Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way, this is not easy.”

Currently reading “Emotional Intelligence” by Dan Goleman. Wow, what an awesome concept! And one that has rung true with me for so long!

See, Goleman’s idea is that IQ only measures academic intelligence. Yet, we put so much emphasis on intelligence by judging someone by his/her I.Q. Goleman says…this is bunk! True, IQ has it’s place, but in the big picture, one’s IQ/academic intelligence only accounts for so much. Say, 20% of a person’s ability to be successful in his/her humanity.

What does this mean? Well, E.Q. is combined of several aspects; self awareness, tenacity, the ability to control one’s emotions, etc. What we’d normally call someone is “mature.” Think of an immature spoiled brat who can’t fill any piece of the previously mentioned Aristotle’s Challenge. Know any adults like that, too? Sure you do! They’re everywhere! And they’re all low on the E.Q. scale! After all, there are a lot of adults who act like spoiled brat children!

A person with moderate intelligence who is able to feel, understand, articulate and control his/her emotions is bound for a much more successful life than someone with a much higher I.Q.

One of Goleman’s examples is from a case that took place here in Florida. A student in a high school physics class receives 80% on a quiz. This is the lowest score said student has ever had. He feels the low grade is the fault of the teacher, so he carries a butcher’s knife to school to kill him. In the student’s mind, this B grade will keep him out of Harvard…and it’s all the teacher’s fault! For this, in the student’s mind…the teacher must die. The student succeeds in stabbing the teacher, but the altercation is interrupted before anyone dies. The student was tried and found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. That’s the story in a nutshell. How could a student with a weighted GPA over 4.5 make such a stupid summation and choice? Easy, says Goleman, low E.Q.

Know anyone like this? Sure you do! I know several people who are potential members of Mensa, but can’t hold a steady job. So, what’s all them smarts really doing for them? They can win at Jeopardy if they ever get on, I guess!

Long before I’d heard of E.Q., I’ve pondered that successful people aren’t always the smartest people. Degrees don’t necessarily determine whether or not someone is smart. Hell, I know a few M.D.s who I wouldn’t trust to watch Carson – they’re just that irresponsible and flighty. All part of E.Q.? Maybe… and you’ll mostly be able to tell someones E.Q. by conversing with them. If they can articulate what they are feeling in a calm, controlled manner and search out solutions that make sense, balancing the feelings of all parties involved, then you’ve got someone with high E.Q.

I don’t claim to have high E.Q. Okay, maybe I do. Somewhere along the way, I chose to make every major decision in life built on logic and rationality. Do I always do this? Maybe not always, but close… I really try. Why? Because to do anything less is a certain way to get one place: no where!

If you’re the cerebral type, pick up a copy of “Emotional Intelligence.” I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the things you learn!

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