The quote said by Socrates, “Know yourself” was my main purpose before reading the book written by Daniel Goleman, “Emotional Intelligence”. I knew very little about this subject, a subject that raised my curiosity for a very long time. This book is filled with the most interesting facts which are explained crystal-clear.TThis book is very well structured and it is starting by asking us for what are emotions for? One response it would that our emotions guide us in facing predicaments and tasks too important to leave to the intellect alone, such as: danger, pain, loss. It also gives us a linguistic definition of the word “emotion”. This word comes from Latin (“motere”) which means “to move away, suggesting that a tendency to act is implicit in every motion.Furthermore, I discovered that we have two minds, in every real sense, one that thinks (rational mind) and one that feels (emotional mind).
Also, there is a steady gradient in the ratio of rational-to-emotional control over the mind: the more intense the feeling, the more dominant the emotional mind becomes.In the further pages is explained in detail how in the brain the emotional decisions are made which is quite fascinating (hippocampus is the main “actor” in this). Besides, emotions like melancholy, empathy, hope, anger, anxiety, the list can go further, are explained (from the root to how to overcome).
The third part of the book consists of practical pieces of advice on how to put the theory into practice.The fourth part is about the second chance regarding those who lack emotional intelligence and the last one named “The emotional alphabet” consist of all the consequences of lacking emotional intelligence and the answer to this problem.Reading this book like any other books, without taking notes is impossible because of all the amount of theory which can be overwhelming sometimes. I am grateful that before or after every abstract explanation was an example from real-life. This made me understand better all the emotions described.On the other hand, I found myself quite a lot in the situation of being incapable to read more than 20-30 pages in a row. It was too much condensed theory in a book which demotivated me sometimes. But the subject kept me reading till the end.
Through the process of reading this book, the main principles that stayed with me (without looking through my notes) is that IQ is not the same with EQ even though many people acknowledge only the first and in many situations EQ plays a far more important role in our lives than IQ (” The old concepts of IQ revolved around a narrow band of linguistic and math skills and doing well on IQ tests was most directly a predictor of success in the classroom or as a professor but less and less so as life’s paths diverged from academe”).Another thing that I kept in my mind is the basic definition of EQ given, expanded in five main domains: knowing one’s emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, recognizing emotions in others and handling relationships. Additionally, now I know the primary emotions from which the others converge: anger, sadness, fear, enjoyment, love, surprise, disgust and shame.In my opinion, this book can easily become an encyclopedia on emotional intelligence, it has everything about this subject. I believe this became my favorite book about personal development due to the complexity of it. I was surprised to read that so many schools have courses about emotional intelligence even from the first grade and I was so disappointed to realize that in Romania there is no knowledge of it. Even if it is, I did not hear of such things. I feel privileged that I had the pleasure to be in a workshop about emotional intelligence at the Entrepreneurship Academy which made me curious about this subject.
What I really want to apply is all the process of identifying and labelling my feelings, to manage my feelings, to control my impulses and to find a way of reducing my stress level putting in practice the theory from the book. My second priority consist of developing my cognitive and behavioral skills, especially self-talk, self-awareness and to learn to make my requests more clear.To conclude, while reading the book I had many “aha” ‘s moments and I strongly believe that I understand myself better now and I am also aware that I have so many aspects of my life to work on. But I am hopeful, I am young and I am surrounded by many open-minded people.
So I am confident that I will master my emotional intelligence.