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Having Emotional Intelligence (EI) to Optimise HAPPINESS!

Having Emotional Intelligence (EI) to Optimise HAPPINESS!

“If you can change the habitual patterns of your mind, you can change their resulting attitudes and emotions and find peace and inner happiness”                                                                                                                                           Dalai Lama

Chade-Meng-Tan in his book “Search Inside Yourself” beautifully describes the benefits of Emotional Intelligence in the context of the work environment about how EI enables three important skill sets:

1.Stellar Work Performance,
2.Outstanding Leadership and,
3.Ability to Create the Condition for HAPPINESS

On the happiness part, while reading this book last weekend, I was able to recall one of the stories shared by my Professor on the last day of my college.

The story goes like this…….                                                                                  

In a village there were two washer-men, they had one donkey each….. Bholu and MoluBholu’s Master was very hard working and diligent in his work, took care of his customers well and made delivery of properly washed and pressed clothes on time. Most of the residents were his customers. Based on his years of hard work and increased earning, he was also able to save some decent amount. Finally, he moved to the nearby city to fulfill his dream of starting an automated laundry. While leaving the village he arranged good facilities for Bholu, so that he can live with comfort in the village and also kept visiting him every week. Bholu was like a family to him.

On the other side, Molu’s Master was still struggling as his services were not good, customers were also not very happy. He never made delivery on time and was not regular in collecting clothes. As villagers had no option so they themselves sent clothes to his place, did regular follow up to get their clothes delivered on time? Sometimes he sent Molu to collect clothes alone, it made his life more difficult and he had to listen to all the complaints the people had for his master.

But there was a stark difference between these two donkeys. Bholu despite having all the good facilities in his life with no work at all was always sad. While Molu despite getting only a one-time meal in a day and being overworked, was always very happy. As both donkeys were staying in the same village, so they also became friends.

One day Bholu asked Molu, “Dear friend I am not able to understand how come you are always so happy? My master has provided me all the amenities here, I also do not have to work but I am always sad, after all I am a donkey. Your master has no food to offer you, you sleep outside in cold nights, still I find you always happy and smiling. Tell me what the reason is? I also want to be as happy as you.”

Molu was initially reluctant, but after Bholu’s promise that he will not share with his master, said, “see my master has a daughter; she does not like to go to school. Every day my master gets very angry at her for this. Many times I found my master saying – if this continues one day I will marry you off to a Donkey. You know he is anyway so poor that he cannot afford to buy a new donkey so one day he will have to marry his daughter to me only. That is the reason I am always happy”

Though Molu’s reason of happiness is quite distant from reality, the point my professor was trying to make (beyond the funny story) which he clarified during the debriefing was how we can keep ourselves in a positive frame of mind in spite of adversities and not get bogged down.  The story was to encourage us to be highly positive in life, which may turn hurdles into opportunities.

But last weekend after going through this book which I quoted in the beginning, I recollected this story and could clearly see, that Molu was emotionally more intelligent than Bholu. And perhaps that was the reason he was always HAPPY.

Martin Seligman, who is considered the father of modern positive psychology and the creator of the idea on learned optimism, in one of his studies showed that insurance agents who are optimists outsell their pessimist counterparts by 8 percent in their first year and 31 percent in their second year.

To have the perfect blend of Happiness & Success is to cultivate certain qualities which are more than scores, grades and CV points! Daniel Goleman in his book “Working with Emotional Intelligence” based on his years of work and research sums this up beautifully. He says “For star performance in all jobs, in every field , emotional competence is twice as important as purely cognitive abilities. For success at the highest levels, in leadership positions, emotional competence accounts for virtually the entire advantage.”

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