In life we are constantly faced with challenges. Anxiety and depression are on the rise and people are finding it more difficult to communicate their emotions in a healthy manner. Through emotional intelligence, we can develop the skillsets to build a strong foundation for every aspect of our lives: personally, health & wellness, relationship management, professionally and financially.

Emotional Intelligence is defined as the ability to be aware of one’s own emotions and the emotions of others and manage relationships empathetically. Since Daniel Goleman brought it to the mainstream back in 1995, emotional intelligence has been gaining more popularity and importance in businesses, sports, corporations, schools and personal development. Once looked at as only as soft skill set, it is now a requirement for success.

When Doug Pederson, coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was hired, owner Jeff Lurie stated that he wanted an emotionally intelligent coach. In his second season of coaching, Pederson brought the Eagles to their first Superbowl win! The World Economic Forum stated by 2020, emotional intelligence will be one of the top 10 job skills managers will be looking for in their employees. The Harvard Business Review printed a cover story stating, “Emotional Intelligence – The Ingredient to Success.” Most recently, my son who graduated from Cornell University with a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering was required to take a class on emotional intelligence to fulfill his degree requirements.
While I have personally been fascinated with studying human behavior for the last two decades, it was only through my study and practice of emotional intelligence that I really spearheaded my personal success in life. It gave me the tools necessary to learn how to think critically, deal with complex problems, learn how to eliminate stress effectively, and learn to understand other people’s perspectives without taking anything personally.

Emotional Intelligence is the combination of psychology, physiology, metaphysics, neuroscience, and spirituality. It is the number one practice that will change this world and impact the thought patterns of our lives. Most importantly it teaches us how to live in an abundant mindset as opposed to a scarcity mindset.
Compassion and empathy are two main components of emotional intelligence. Many people assume that this is just common sense, when in reality, people only know what they were taught growing up. If you grew up in a household where yelling and screaming were ways of getting what you want, chances are, you will grow up thinking this is how to behave. If your parents put you down when you failed at sports or academics as opposed to helping you achieve better results in the future, most likely you will not see failures as a way to grow in life.
Once you begin to practice the skills of emotional intelligence, you will soon see the positive changes take place in your life. It is important to practice each day, until it becomes your new way of life. You will find yourself less stressed, more innovative, happier, and finding the positives in life.

Here is a list of five tips to help get you started:

1. Wake up with GRATITUDE – each day, start your morning by saying three things that you are grateful for. It can be just waking up and being blessed with another day in life, the sun shining, having a bed to sleep in… there are no rules on gratitude, just be thankful!

2. Remove TOXIC media from your life – this includes television shows such as “reality TV” that shows constant fighting, screaming and negative behaviors, negative news feeds on social media (we all have that friend who wants to vent and start trouble online), and even the news. Unfortunately, most of what you see on television is either violent, doom and gloom or people treating others with bullying behaviors. Replace this free time by reading a good book…I have plenty to recommend!

3. Stay away from DRAMA – gossiping about co-workers, friends, family, etc. only leads to negativity in your life. When people see that you do not get involved with their gossip, they will eventually stop discussing it with you.

4. Do the PERSPECTIVE test – guess what, not everybody is going to have the same opinion or view points as you! Too often people get into heated arguments busy trying to convince each other that they are right. Rule to live by: there are no truths only perspectives! Each one of us grew up with our own life experiences. It is impossible for everybody to see something the same way. Instead of getting upset when someone disagrees with you, take the time to understand their perspective and recognize why they feel the way they do. You don’t have to agree, but you may learn something new!

5. LOVE YOURSELF – there is a difference between being conceited and truly loving who you are. Too often people are so busy taking care of others that they don’t give themselves the self-love they need. When you love yourself, you take care of your own personal needs first. This means taking time for yourself, exercising, eating well, doing something that makes you happy, etc. Remember, “you can’t pour from an empty cup, you need to fill yourself up first.” Too often, when you put yourself last, you become tired, resentful, stressed, and sick. You need that massage this week, go for it!

Living a life of happiness is possible for each one of us! True success is waking up fulfilled, harmonious and giving to others. Start by trying the tips I listed above. We are all capable of living an abundant life. You just have to want it and be willing to make the change!


Inez Barberio – Emotional Intelligence Leader

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