The Unacknowledged Reality

We live in a world where it’s sometimes hard to see reality as it is. This is due to many reasons, such as our curricular systems, culture or the “general truths” that are become less and less true when you look at them closely. One of these “truths” is that your IQ determines how successful you are as it allows you to study better, get better marks and thus get a better job. To make my position clear and straightforward, that is simply not true. In this article, I want to talk about the importance of our emotional intelligence (EQ) and how it provides us with enormous benefits in many areas of life.

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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

EQ is something that most people ignore, which might be the greatest mistake of their life. The physical source of our EQ is the communication between our emotional and rational “brains.” Our brains are hardwired to give our emotion an upper hand. However rational you are, if you don’t understand your emotions, you are in a great disadvantage in every area of your life. According to the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, most people with an average IQ, but a high EQ outperform those with high IQ and lower EQ. This is because good decisions require far more than factual knowledge. They are made using self-knowledge and emotional mastery when they’re needed most. Ever since we’re young, we’re taught rationality, which essentially means that we’re taught to grow our IQ. But IQ is actually not very likely to grow during our lives anyways. What we completely ignore is our EQ, which has a huge potential as it is something that can be developed (as opposed to IQ).

Emotions

Our emotions are derivations of five core feelings: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and shame. It is a fact that these 5 emotions are the core influencers of our decisions as our first reaction to an event is always an emotional one. When you learn to understand how you can control your emotions, you’ll also understand how your emotions affect your performance, how you can control and break the transition between emotional states or how you can influence others through your emotional expressions. Learn about your emotions and a whole new world of possibilities will unfold in front of your own eyes.

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So How Does Knowing My EQ Help Me?

If you’re still wondering why should you care, let me give you some numbers. According to the book, EQ accounts for 58% of performance in all jobs. This means that most of your tasks are based on something you can choose to develop or to ignore. Which way is the correct one is up to your choice. The link between EQ and earnings is so direct that every point increase in EQ adds $1,300 to an annual salary. Further, EQ is the single strongest driver of leadership and excellence. Still think that you can afford to ignore your EQ? 

Factors Of EQ

Your EQ consists of 2 fundamental areas – personal competence and social competence. Personal competence includes self-awareness and self-management. Self-awareness is very much your ability to accurately perceive your own emotions at the moment and understand your tendencies across situations. Your self-management is your ability to use your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and direct your behaviour positively. Based on these 2 factors, you can very effectively control your own personal emotions and their influence on your behaviour. The other side of the coin, social competence, consists of social awareness and relationship management. Social awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on with them. Relationship management is your ability to use your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully. You can see that these two factors help you control and affect your environment, the people around you. Focus on these 4 specific areas of your EQ and you will see a huge boost in your general life success.

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Being Alone At Times Is Not As Bad As You Thought

In fact, I would argue that it can be positive. When I have asked about what areas you would like me to cover, I have got some questions about loneliness, which is what I decided to dedicate this article to. There is quite a lot of people who get depressed and anxious because they feel like they are too lonely. They feel like they don’t have many people around. I have been through this experience myself with the difference that I brought this on myself. It was the time when I realised that most people in my life are simply not the kind of people I want to stay around. This happened because I finally understood how important and how influential our associations can be. I have spent a lot of time alone, focusing on personal growth and actively seeking like-minded people. Even though I was alone, I knew that there are people who will support me in every situation. They might not have been with me physically, but I felt their presence inside. Although I was alone for most of the time, I never felt lonely. This was also because I understood that I was going through a process of growth and development and that I would eventually attract like-minded people into my life. In this article, I want to talk about why being alone and being lonely is not the same thing and about how being alone can actually benefit us.

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I Am Alone All The Time…

Saying I know how you feel is an understatement. As I have said above, I have experienced the same feeling. When I moved from China to the UK many things in my life changed. I left all the people I knew, I went through a relationship crises followed by a break up with the girl I loved and that all happened in the time span of a few months. Although I might have gone through some hardships, looking back at that time now provides me with many important lessons I would have not learned if that wouldn’t have happened. I understood a lot about how a relationship should work (in my eyes) and I have learned a lot of stuff about myself I did not even realise I didn’t know before. Even though things were pretty hectic, I was able to get up and start running again (metaphorically). All of this learning that has happened in the last half a year or so would have never happened if it wasn’t for that hardship and if it wasn’t for me staying alone for most of my day. The “alone time” truly provided me with an incredible opportunity to learn. I was able to understand the meaning of fighting the battle within, rather than the battle without. This experience has shaped me and continues to shape me into the person I am becoming. It taught me how to be happy from within, it helped me learn about what I really want in life and what I really value in people.

The reason why I am pouring out my struggles and my learnings here is to show you that although you might feel like you’re stuck now, there is a way out that can actually turn this experience into a huge learning for yourself.

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This Is On You!

Before I get into how I utilised my “alone time,” I want to make sure that you understand that staying alone and feeling lonely are two separate things. When you are alone, you are physically on your own, but you are mentally aware of the fact that there are people who love you and who support you no matter what – be that your parents, your friends or in some cases you. Feeling lonely is a completely different case. When you feel lonely, you have consciously put your subconscious mind into the state where you practically believe that there is nobody around you, not even you, who believes in you and who cares. This is a practical result of your own thinking. Nothing has caused this other than your own perception of the way things are. If you want to change the way you think about this issue, you need to change your words and your thoughts. That is what I did. I understood that I can control how I feel and what I think and shifted my thoughts from negativity and “loneliness” to positivity, blessings, love, gratitude and happiness.

It’s Your Time!

When you spend a lot of time alone, you either give up and turn into short-term self-satisfying procrastinator who is always depressed, or you stand up on your feet and build yourself up. If you try to look at your situation from an objective perspective, being alone can sometimes actually help. All the attention that you would have given to others can now be redirected to you. That can be good, but it can also ruin your confidence. This comes down to whether you compare yourself to some idealised model out there, or whether your only point of comparison is you yesterday. I understood that it was all about me, about how I thought and about how I made myself feel. That was the time I understood that I had something amazing in my hands. I understood the purity of life, the colossal power hidden inside. I understood that the happiest people are the people who love themselves first and I understood that those people are also the ones who can share the purest kind of love with others. I learned probably the most important lesson of my life. I learned that we all possess the power to influence what is within, which then allows us to influence what is without.

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Birds of A Feather Flock Together

“Birds of the same feather flock together.” This saying is known by many but understood only by few. The importance of our associations and the people we “hang around” with and spend most of our time with is one of the two major influences we have in our lives, the second one being the books we read. In this article, I will be focusing exactly on that, our associations. I will talk about why they’re important to our life, how they affect us and also how we can control whether our associations influence us positively or negatively. This is one of the most crucial influences you will have in your life, it can be the factor determining your victory, or your doom and I strongly suggest that you do take a proper interest in this area of knowing if you want to take full control your life.

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Why Should I care?

The associations you create in your life, a.k.a. the people you spend your time with, play a very important role in your personal development. Your associations are probably the single most important influence you have in your life. Ever since you were born, you’ve been around people. Each and every one of these people has left some kind of experience, some kind of impression with you. This could have had a short or a long-term effect on your personality and on your perspective on reality. Considering the fact that nowadays you spend more time with your classmates than with your parents, you can see why people get into trouble when they find the wrong group of friends, or in other words, associate with the wrong people. On the other hand, spending more time with dreamers can help you tremendously in developing a dream of your own. You are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with.

How Come? I Have Never Felt Any Influence…

Here’s the thing. You often don’t consciously realise that you are being influenced by others, but you are. This, like most of the long term influences in your life, works on the bases of regularity. You can meet a negative person a couple of times and feel no difference. However, after some time, you will start complaining as well, because that’s what you get used to if you spend more time with that person. When I am around specific people regularly, I can sense that my vocabulary changes. When I speak to the people who swear, I end up swearing more often. When I leave that association and hang around my business partners and my mentors more, I speak less vulgarly and more to the point. This is all because of the influence these people have on me. Think about this kind of situations in your life and try to analyse what effect they have left with you.

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So What Should I Do About This?

What you want to do with this, or more specifically who you want to associate with really depends on your situation and your direction. Do you want to become more positive? Search for positive people and spend less time with the negative individuals around you. Do you want to become financially free? Search for the people who are heading in the same direction. Best case scenario, you connect with someone who is already there and who is willing to help you, mentor you to get there as well in your own way. Use all your energy on this, because it will change everything. Remember, this is not only about adding new people into your life, but also about reducing the time spent with the people who affect you negatively. That is the second side of the coin. Think carefully about who you spend most of your time with and where are these people heading. If you’re heading in a similar direction (positivity and ambition-wise), then you’re on the right track.

 

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The Winner Mindset

We often hear about the few of us who have succeeded greatly in their lives. Faces of the people like Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg or Gary Vaynerchuk fill our social media feeds on a daily bases. What is so special about these legendary humans? How have they managed to succeed in such a great manner? They have something the average human doesn’t have. They have the winner mindset. Many will argue that they have been born with such great potential. But the last time I’ve checked, newborns don’t understand how investments and technology work. It is learned. The winner mindset can be developed, the winner skills can be learned and practised. So how come most don’t succeed? That is because we’re brought up to be average. We’re brought up to follow the herd and again, the last time I checked 99% of the people around you fit into that traditional average frame very well. The difference is that these successful individuals decided to step up and developed something you can call a winner mindset. In this article, I will talk about some of the major components of this mindset and how these components affect our success.

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Mindset Vs Skillset

Before I get to the qualities of a winner mindset that I think have to be developed in order to reach any greater success, I want to draw an important distinction between a mindset and a skillset. In short, a mindset is a set of attitudes you have towards life situations. I have recently written an article about how attitude affects our lives, so make sure to give it a read to understand attitudes more in-depth. You can check it out here. On the contrary, a skillset is more specific to what you do and to how you do it. It essentially gives you the ability to cope with problems. If you took a further look into the difference between these two concepts and the way they can be developed, mindset would be connected to mentorship, while skillset to coaching.

Winner Mindset

In the next part of this article, I will talk about some of the winner qualities I have personally learned about and then experienced first-hand. These are also some of the qualities I am focusing on personally, as I believe they can take you very far.

#1 The winner can see what others can’t before others can

This is a very fundamental quality of every winner and more specifically of every leader out there. The unique ability to cast a strong vision and then stick to it in the long-term. Whenever I talk about success and success principles, I always begin with the why, with the long-term direction, with the purpose that leads your decisions and ultimately directs your action on every step of the way. This is also the major difference between a winner and an average guy. The winner has a purpose that allows him to persist and consistently push for his goals, while the average person bases his or her decisions on the momentary satisfaction. Here, the next quality comes into the game.

#2 The winner understands and pursues the concept of delayed gratification

Every winner out there consciously or subconsciously pursues the concept of delayed gratification. The winner understands that he is in for the long game. Everything the winner does now is for the sake of the long term. The winner fights the battle now in order to live the life he wants to live later. In life, we all have a battle to fight. It is up to each and every one of us whether we take on the challenge now, or whether we keep postponing it until we are not able to win it. The winner understands this and fights now.

#3 The winner understands that he does not know everything and thus aims to grow through every experience

Every winner has this quality people usually refer to as the growth mindset. I have written an article on this topic quite a while ago. You can check it out here.

#4 The winner refuses to equate self-worth with rejection

This is a major problem with many people in our society. When they get rejected, they start questioning their ability and themselves in general. Am I good enough? Am I the problem? The winner understands that rejection is a part of the journey. The winner understands that he needs to fail his or her way to success. In the winner’s mind, rejection is not connected to his ability or his value, it is an opportunity to grow.

#5 The winner keeps his integrity no matter what

Methods change and develop, but values and principles always stay consistent. This rule is the core quality of every winner. Every person who reaches any greater level of success understands that integrity is who he or she is and that integrity can take the person a long way. This is also one of the greatest reasons why most winners obtain a huge following along the way. They have values and principles that they promote through everything they do and people love that.

These are only a few of the qualities every winner has. There is so much more to talk about, but these few concepts are a good starting point. Incorporate and customize these qualities in your life and observe the change.

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Your Greatest Friend & Your Greatest Enemy

In the last couple of months, as I have been growing my business team, I have been speaking to a large number of people, my potential business partners. Whenever I speak to people, there is one specific area I want to tap into, in order to see whether they are someone I would like to spend more time with or whether they are someone who I should keep my distance from. That specific characteristic is the way they approach issues and more generally their life. In other words, their attitude. In my eyes, attitude is something that affects pretty much anything in our lives. If your attitude is rotten, it will be reflected in your life. If your attitude is pure and positive, it will be reflected in your life. Who you are, what you do and how you do it is all a reflection of your attitude, which is also the topic I’ll be looking at in this article.

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It Is Up To You

There is a saying: “God chooses what we go through. We choose how we go through it.” This means that whatever happens to you, your attitude decides whether it breaks you or whether it makes you. You are the only person who decides whether what happens to you turns out to be positive, maybe a lesson, or negative, simply something that gives you nothing and that you only complain about. It is not about what we go through, it is about how we got through it. Your life experiences are about your attitude. Whatever mistake you make can turn out to be a positive lesson. However, this can happen only if you have the right attitude in place. “In every adversity, there is a seed of an equal or a greater opportunity” (Bill Britt). Every hardship you go through is hiding a potential gain. The difference maker is whether you’re able to see it or not, which is directly affected by your attitude. You can’t see something you’re not looking for.

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Your attitude is the difference maker in your life – be it positive or negative. I’ll talk about a few core points that are directly affected by the way you approach your life, your attitude.

#1 Adversity

One of the major areas of your life your attitude affects directly is how you approach adversity. If you employ a positive attitude, your ability to deal with hardships and turn them into growth opportunities significantly increases. If you’re stuck with a negative attitude, you will only make things worse. You will speak negative, you will complain, you will refuse to look for the way out and you will refuse to learn from your mistakes because you will refuse the fact that you are the one who made the mistakes in the first place. Employ positive attitude and control the roadblocks you encounter!

#2 Your Environment & Relationships

I believe that a positive attitude is the basic building block for a healthy relationship. In fact, it is very simple, the people with positive attitudes stick to the people with a positive attitude and the people who are negative stick to the people who are negative. Why? Because both of the groups seek the environment that reflects them, they attract it. If you love to complain, you will most likely seek the company of the people who will complain with you. If you seek to grow through your struggles, the people who always complain will make you feel sick. With a negative attitude, you blame others for your mistakes, you blame everyone except yourself. How can you have a healthy relationship like that?

#3 Success

Your attitude ultimately determines the degree of any kind of success you will achieve in your life. It does not matter what area we talk about. You have already lost the big game if you developed a crappy attitude. Success is about growing through and overcoming problems. Can you do that when you refuse to accept the mistakes you’ve made? Can you do that if you refuse to focus on the positive aspect of your life? (Clue – NO)

Can I Change?

Absolutely. It is a marathon, but attitude can be changed or corrected if you may. I suggest using an old but effective method. You first identify the areas in which you want to improve (complaining, gossip, refusing to accept your mistakes etc.). You carry a notebook with you and whenever you do something you’ve decided to change, you write it down. This way, you’ll systematically annoy the heck out of yourself, which will then lead to a change on behaviour. That is only the first step, the next steps are finding more positive associations and consuming more positivity. This will in return start growing the positive in your mind, which is a crucial part of developing your positive attitude.

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