Adage II | Emotional Intelligence and Spirituality

Introduction | Prelude

It’s difficult to describe emotions in words, isn’t? The first word that springs up in our head is “feelings” after hearing the word – emotions. The simple reason being – emotions are intense feelings which are better felt than expressed. Even a person who is tight-lipped will express a lot of emotions to the people across him, as a person who loves to prattle. Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ states, “In a very real sense we have two minds – one that thinks and one that feels”. In my previous blog, I explained the importance of why thinking is vital to one’s life but, on the other hand, thinking and emotionalism are like 2 sides of the same coin. This other side is labeled as Emotional Intelligence. Therefore, as thinking is to IQ so feeling is to EI. Not all the balls bowled in a cricket match turn out to be legal, in spite some of them are wide which invites penalty on the ballers side. In the same way, not all the situations that we deal with in our mundane lives are intellectually driven, rather most of them are emotionally driven. And so, emotional competencies revolve around personal and social aspects of our life. Personal aspects relate to self-confidence, motivation, self-awareness etc., while social aspects deal with our attitude towards other people, especially when we are in a group or hanging out with our friends. The truth as a matter of the fact is that handling these emotions requires experiences while overcoming challenges. None of us, I assume have learned everything from our mother’s womb and so learning to revere the people around us comes through Emotional Intelligence (EI) rather than Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

Spirituality | Why does it matter?

I recall reading a quote written by C.S. Lewis which stated, Education without values as useful as it is, seems rather to make man cleverer devil”. The profound meaning of this statement can be easily understood through an allegory. D. L. Moody’s illustration is exemplary, states that If a man is stealing nuts and bolts from a railway track, and in order to change him, you send him to college, at the end of his education, he will steal the whole railway track. I ask, what is missing in this person’s life that makes him commit such an act? The answer is – values. Values which find its ground in a moral framework. The moral framework finds its derivative in a moral law giver and moral law giver in turn relates to the supernatural. An infinite being responsible for the creation and moral framework of our human system. So, defining spirituality in simple terms is reformation and reshaping which aims to recover the originality of a human soul with strengthening the spirit”.
Relation between EI and Spirituality | Bridging the gap The greatest struggle for a human soul is to make certain choices in their life to be intellectually driven rather than emotionally bolstered. Parenting, working with colleagues are some of the exceptions from a sea of challenges that waits for a pity soul. Parenting – Parenting can be one of the most exhaustive experience a couple can go through. Easy it may seem but is one of the strongest example of love and care injected in a person through values. If this goes missing at the early stage, an individual will always struggle in his social life. And, managing social life finds its root in Emotional Intelligence. One such example is about late Chester Bennigton who was a victim of drug abuse. He was sexually abused from the age of 7 till 13 until his parents were divorced when he was 11. This left him desolated of what he considered his world. At a very early age, he tried almost all the drugs that he could find. And finally, he was so puffed up with all the drugs, he took his own life. So, the inversion again goes back to values where it continues to find its root in Spirituality. There are numerous examples where such suicidal cases are reported. One such was Tim Bergling (better known as ‘Avicii’) took his own life more than a couple of months ago. Working with our colleagues – Nothing can be more challenging than working with the people with different age groups and different worldviews. Often we find ourselves among people from a motley of cultures with different backgrounds and different experiences. What matters the most in such a situations is not how much knowledge we acquire or efficient we are in competition, but how do we deal with the people around us. Working in a corporate sector or an academic field can cause us to be in a lot of stress and this in turn can act as an impetus for hate, anger and different feelings for those working with us. These feelings which are emotions for a while if so nurtured will tend to break the thread between us and our colleagues. Humility to one doesn’t comes easy if there is no providential understanding of these matters. One of my favorites from Hollywood will always be “The man who knew infinity”. Albeit, being an intellectual Dr. G.H. Hardy (cracked the Tripos examination) , he was not in touch with his emotions because he simply believed that God doesn’t exist. The plot of the movie stretches the mind of the viewers to think that it was love and affection of S. Ramanujan that worked for such a relationship between both of them. Where does this love & affection come from? It comes from our Creator where spirituality is at the roots and so it is deeply connected with our Emotional Intelligence which helps us to realize our social behavior and the way we deal with people. Conclusion | Coda It was back in December 2017 when Anand Pillai (MD of Leadership Matters) came to give a speech during the Christmas celebration at my college. We were allowed to meet him personally the next day at the guest house where he was staying. I took this great opportunity of meeting him personally. So, I cycled a few miles to the place and entered the hall where we were supposed to meet him. At that time, he was giving a speech and he made a marvelous statement that still retained to this day in my mind. He said, “You know I’ve been working for 35 years in the fortune 500 companies and managed almost all the post from CEO to CLO. What do you think will get you a job or success here after passing from this Institution? All our faces were blank as he asked that question with such audacity. Even some of the great intellectuals in the room hesitated to answer. He replied, “it’s not your IQ or knowledge but the way you deal with people with patience, love and respect”. So, as stated earlier about the strong bond and relation between values which will always knock the door of spirituality and spirituality in turn will affect our emotions, those if we learn to mange will not just be a people of strong Intelligence Quotient IQ but strong Emotional Intelligence EQ too.