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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Controlling emotions

Friends, recently came across a wonderful book on Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman and found it extremely well written and very practical given the order of the day. This afternoon I was thinking about how this could be relevant in the Indian scenario. It was only last evening while I was returning from office that I found two rickshaw pullers fighting on the slightest pretext of who was overtaking whom. Ultimately one of them lay bleeding on the road. Horrible !
Think about it...
What was the reason for such primitive behavior? Yeah readers might argue that they are illiterate and do not possess the knowledge and education needed to handle such problems relating to ego clashes and controlling primitive male aggressiveness.
But my question is: Are we, the so called educated genre, adept at it?
The obvious answer is: No we are not.
So what can be done? Let me dissect the case discussed above. The notable negative factors working in the background are:
1) Ego clash
2) Jealousy
3) Superiority complex
4) Frustration
There might be others. But these are the main ones. [Readers might as well suggest more]

The fourth point relates to the job pursued by the guys. So we won't discuss that.

But the first three could have been handled if they could have kept their cool.
Here comes the question of emotional intelligence. A guy could be super smart and talented and might even possess a very high IQ. But to be able to succeed in life, he has to have a very good emotional intelligence or emotional quotient as some call it .

What is emotional intelligence? In short, it is how you handle your emotions, be it of any kind, without showing erratic behavior. Is it easy ? I would say, "NO"
But not impossible. Think about a few scenarios in addition to the one I spoke before.

1) You propose someone and get rejected. I am sure many of us have had that experience. Tell me how did you feel? This question also goes out to those few unfortunate souls who could not stay with us and decided "Enough is enough... Got to leave this world..." ha ha ha... poor souls...

2) Again, you have a great friend for whom you could give your life. And he betrays you. You are left shattered. You feel, "Hey lets teach the guy an unforgettable lesson". And many of you did just that... Didn't you? Ask yourself... "Am I happy after doing that?" For those of you who answer, "Yes", ask yourself again and again and again... Do you feel something wrong? I bet,by now you understand what I mean.

3) Another one, you lost a very near and dear one. You felt as if you are alone, none to care for you, none to love you. You are unhappy, you are lost. But the same YOU have changed after one year. You have almost forgotten about it. You have been able to come to terms with the loss.

There are hundreds of other situations which test your ability to control emotions. But if you are able to do it, nothing like it !!!
I have heard people counting from 100 backwards when they sense they are losing control. But if you ask me, I would say, in any situation we need to think about the worst case scenario. Ask yourself a few questions What is the worst thing that could happen to me if I do this? Who are the people who would feel the pinch if this is done? And most importantly, before jumping to the conclusion and taking the important decision, give yourself at least one day to think and ponder upon it. At least give yourself as much time as you can.

This is all the more relevant in today's corporate scenario, when a single decision based on whims could ruin your career whereas a well thought out plan could see you reaching for the stars.

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