This is one question I get when speaking to Leaders on Emotional Intelligence, why would a facilitator say lack of Emotional Intelligence can impacts one’s life adversely when they have been able to record some level of success even though they’ve always sustained this Emotional Instabilities or Emotional Weaknesses.
Why would a former minister and elder states man Godsday Orubebe that can be described by observers as “successful” who disrupted the collation of election result in Nigeria’s 2015 pools by shouting and talking down on Atahiru Jega be said to lack Emotional Intelligence and be compared to Atahiru Jega who kept calm in the midst of the “Emotional Bullet”.
Why would several wealthy footballers be identified as emotionally unstable with the level of their success or wealth? How come the emotional instability has not affected their ability to be successful?
Why would you say a husband or a wife lacks Emotional Intelligence when their marriage is successful?
We can have several examples of people like that who can be defined as successful and yet sustains traits that can today be defined as emotional weakness or not emotionally intelligent and thus the big question why do they need Emotional Intelligence when they are already successful irrespective of their Emotional Weaknesses.
This is an innocent justifiable logical question.
My first point of call in attempting to answer this question would be “what exactly do we mean by success” and on what basis are we measuring it?
In one of my Emotional Intelligence Classes, the man said “I am an impatient man, but I am successful, I have built 2 houses, my children go to good schools, we travel for holidays and I am still impatient how come I am successful, why didn’t my impatience hinder me from being successful”
In answering his question, I asked him if there has been situation where his impatience had affected him negatively, he said yes, that there are numerous situations, he gave me example of the position he did not achieve because he was not patience, he told me about powerful business relationships he has lost as a result of his impatience, and some examples of financial loss as a result of his impatience. Then I asked him on what basis he is measuring his success by, is it by what he has now or by what he could have possess…
I have learnt from my mentor that success is not defined by what you have but by what you have as compare with what you could have had, by what you achieve as compared by what you could have achieved.
If you sustain a particular emotional weakness, for example you are impatience or you are aggressive to people, you procrastinate, or you keep malice a lot, or you are arrogant or you are easily angered, or you are hot tempered, or you are highly negatively affected by disappointment, or you hardly forgive etc. whatever you have achieved with such emotional weaknesses in your life is your possible achievement at your weak state (of course you would definitely have certain strength). Imagine what you can could have achieved or possibly achieve if those weaknesses are strengthened.
Conscious Loss vs Unconscious Loss
Again, there are two types of losses in life, Conscious loss and unconscious loss, conscious loss is the loss you sustained and you are aware of or can identify, so my participant who can identify the losses that his impatience has caused him in life is explaining conscious loss, but conscious loss cannot be compare to unconscious loss, unconscious loss is obviously the kind of loss your life is experiencing and you are not aware about, decisions not to promote you as a result of impatience that you are never aware of, businesses that you could have been invited to partake in but you were never invited because of your negative character, people that you could have met, but you were not invited to meet them because people in charge are avoiding your critical personality, a husband you could have married but silently refused to take friendship to the next level because of your greed, investment you could have made and recoup grand returns that you missed because of your procrastination, building project that you could have completed years ago, but still at 50 percent level because you keep giving out money not knowing how to say no to people, a job you could have kept and have enough money to grow a healthy family but lost because of annoyance; I can go on and on and on…unconscious loss can be a million times more that conscious loss, and we can be recording this continuously and yet be counting “successes”
Again success is not defined by what you have achieved, success is defined by what you have achieved as compared to what you could have achieved.
The Feelings you create in others vs the “success” you have achieved
Another aspect to talk discuss in defining your success even though you sustain certain emotional weakness is the people side of your success. Have you considered the people factor in defining your success? How does the other person or people feel based on your behavioral impact on their life?
Can a man’s life really be defined as successful when he has wealth but his wife is being battered by words or physically or generally being maltreated?
Can a woman really be defined as successful when her character has created a huge distance between her and her children?
Can a teacher be defined as successful after teaching for 20 years and has material things to show for it but also has a long list of students that he or she has negatively influenced?
Food for thought really;
Take Away(s) or Leave Behind(s)?
Which is more important really, is it about what you take away or it’s about what you leave behind? From my little experience in life, I have come to understand that it’s not about what you take away, it’s really about what you leave behind. Secondly, is it about the “things” you leave behind or the experience and memories you leave behind with people? Again from my little experience I have come to see that it’s all about the memories and experience you leave behind, with people, with colleagues, with your spouse, with your children, with a student.
A research study shows that when people are close to their death, they do not think about their wealth and material think anymore, they spend their time building relationships and mending relationship fences, they want to spend more time with friends and families, they want to forgive, it’s no longer about their material accumulation, relationship becomes very important.
True success is wholesome and as you celebrate what you have achieved today (which is a very important gesture) you should not forget that you have the power to do more if you can strengthen your emotional weaknesses and your impact on people matters in your measure of success.