Emotionally intelligent people are introspective thinkers that genuinely seek to do good and give back to the world. Their inner-life is filled with analytical, curious thoughts, authentic being, and a desire to give their gifts to the world. They care about other people and as a result, their actions are reflected in love, altruism, and social good.
A great example of an emotionally intelligent person is Gary Vaynerchuk. The man is a master of motivation, highly self-aware and compassionate. He’s growing his business, surely, but he’s also giving his knowledge to many entrepreneurs and future leaders. Clearly, he’s not only thinking about “what’s in it for him.” He’s thinking outward and giving to others.
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” — Marcus Aurelius
Another emotionally intelligent person is Sara Blakely, the billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Spanx. She's used her platform to promote equal opportunity for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen. She knows herself well, is highly self-motivated, and thanks to her great business background, very able to handle adversity. She’s confident and comfortable in her own skin.
I thought it would be helpful to phrase this post in terms of things that emotionally intelligent people don’t think. Our thought life regulates and influences our emotions and thus, our actions. So, as a result, it’s important to eliminate negative, harmful thoughts. Here are three negative thoughts emotionally intelligent people don’t have:
“I’m So Overwhelmed I Don’t Know What to Do”
An emotionally intelligent person is able to “slow the game down” and self-manage their anxiety so that it doesn’t harm them. This is not to suggest they don’t experience stress. All of us do and none of us are immune to it. They’re able to process these emotions, understand they aren’t helpful, and focus on what is most fulfilling for their lives.
Emotionally intelligent people are able to recognize, understand, and manage their emotions in a way that enables them to keep going with confidence and courage.
One way to slow down aggressive, anxious thoughts is to quiet your mind by spending time in solitude. Using an app like Insight Timer or Headspace to practice mindfulness and meditation is a great start. You can listen to calming, soothing music. Speaking positive words of affirmation will help you in times of crisis. Don’t fall victim to feeling overwhelmed.
Realize how empowering it is that you have control over your thoughts, words, and actions. When you know what you want and the way this makes you feel, you’re best informed to live each day with joy and confidence.
“Nurture your soul with positive thoughts and internal happiness will blossom before your eyes.” Melanie Koulouris
“I Don’t Even Know Myself”
Think of self-awareness like this: it’s the art of knowing yourself. So, how do you know yourself? You get clear on what you’re passionate about — what lights the fire inside of you and motivates you to live the life you want. You have a bedrock foundation of values and principles like honesty and discipline.
You have a purpose that gives you clarity about what you want to do. This purpose is informed by the basics of knowing yourself and being clear about who you are — and who you’re not. Emotionally intelligent people get to know their actions in an intimate way. They don’t live in despair about past mistakes, failures, or frustrations.
They don’t live a frustrated life by not even understanding their true self.
Emotionally intelligent people live in the present with a clear mind focused on achieving goals and living with a positive attitude and persistence. They practice self-care and know exactly what motivates and inspires them, as well as what is in their best interest. They know how important it is to figure out who they are and what they want.
Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. — Dale Carnegie
“I Don’t Care About Anyone Else”
The antithesis of empathy is a focus only on ourselves with a lack of care and concern — both for ourselves and for our fellow woman and man. Self-centered thinking defies an open-minded, authentic approach to living. Empathy, at its core, is a willingness to take the position of another person and identify with their emotions and feelings.
If we’re only focused on ourselves, we’re unable to do that.
If you only want to stay focused on yourself with no regard for your neighbor, friends, or colleagues, then you’ll find life to be very challenging. We live in an interdependent world where our success, happiness, and fulfillment lie in our ability to build relationships and create opportunities with others.
Empathy means that we must listen and give our attention to others in an effort to lift them up. This investment in another person is well worth it.
Remember — self-awareness, empathy, and self-management are the keys to living an emotionally intelligent life. Adapting to change and finding the motivation each day to live your best life will help you avoid the negatives.
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