Thursday, May 30, 2013

Juggling the Quotients.

This is a note from yesteryears, but lately have been thinking a lot about intuition, intelligence, happiness and does this all connect or is it random. 

The question is "What is more important EQ or IQ?" Before I comment on this.. lets go down to the basics.

What is intelligence? Traditionally we have definied intelligence (or IQ) as our capability to solve problems mentally. It includes capability to think, comprehend ideas and language. So imbedded is IQ in our system that across the world we have chosen to design the entire education system around this concept of having a good IQ.

Current education system, which is desperately calling for a major disruption, leads us to believe that if we can solve mathematical problems, remember our facts and read at lightning speed then we are intelligent. Majority of the population is born with a basic level of intelligent needed to succeed in life. There was and has been only one Einstein and Newton. All of us cannot be geniuses. So where does that lead the rest of us .. on the path to success or failure?

Success I say! IQ alone can take you nowhere. A person with high IQ can end up with a killer resume and a very comfy job and that's about it. How many of you know someone who is a brilliant jerk? Yes, being intelligent is not enough.

Mother nature is great.. she has blessed us all with the basic level of IQ needed to succeed in life. She is also very good in creating a balance. A high IQ does not necessarily mean a high EQ.

When I was in college, my dad gave me "Emotional Intelligence" by Daniel Goleman. And in a subconcsious way that book has stayed with me. I am not saying that I have a very high EQ.. but that book did teach me to listen and empathize to some extent. EQ or emotional quotient makes us aware of our feelings and that of others. It teaches us to empathize and encourages us to respond to happyness and sadness in a rational way without hurting others. In today's world, that's a very difficult task. Another interesting fact that I learned from the book was that IQ is a subset of EQ and not the other way around. 

Think about it.. when we are sad, grumpy or angry.. does any task get completed. No, not even the simplest tasks get done. It is only when we get a grasp on our emotions does our "thinking" come back.

So having a high IQ with minimal EQ does nothing. 
There is a third component, well at least in my mind; it's SQ, the spiritual quotient. Some argue it's the easiest to acquire as it can be practiced at home or just about anywhere
. I once again disagree. It all depends on how u define spirituality. Spirituality to me is not about going to a temple or church everyday. Its about believing in the good of life. Its about positive thinking. Its about looking beyond the profit loss equations and thinking more holistically. In a sense both EQ and IQ are a subset of SQ. Spiritual quotient is what allows us to move on when the going gets bad. It is the presence of this Q that allows us to pick up the scattered pieces and put the puzzle of life together. ( For those of you who like different but good movies Jim Carrey's movie "Yes Man" delivers the concept of positive thinking in a very interesting subtle way) 

The good news is SQ and EQ can be acquired very easily. You are not a slave of your personality or atttitude and with the right approach they both can be changed for the better. I am saying this from personal experience. What path you choose to improve it will be your decision. It will be different for all of us. For me it was the realization that I have to stay healthy and strong for my kids for a very long time to come. Being 40+ is no excuse for being tired, impatient, grumpy not running and jumping with them. How did it happen for me? Interestingly it is getting out and moving that makes it happen for me.  I don't battle the weight any more,  (thats a whole different topic :-)) but it did make me feel happier and more sound emotionally. Its intersting how trying to improve my physical health actually improved my emotional being. 

What about IQ? IQ unfortunately cannot be acquired that easily. It can only be acquired if one makes his passion his profession. If that is not the case, improving upon the IQ factor is a lot harder than SQ and EQ.

The question was which Q will be important in the new decade? The answer is obviously all three, but i SQ, EQ will have the upper hand for what succeeds is the individual and not the intelligence. 

Ciao everyone and as always thankyou for taking the time to read this. Keep your comments flowing and the converstation going. Its what keeps the grey cells active :-)

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