Goleman Ph.D., has written an excellent book called Emotional
Intelligence. In it he emphasizes the need for people to assess
and develop their emotional savvy as though it were a form of intelligence.
He gives a pristine example of the heights of emotional brilliance.
I was particularly impressed with this little analogy, because both
teacher and student have a profound experience, one that will never
belligerent Samurai once challenged a Zen master to explain the
concept of Heaven and Hell. But the monk, replied with scorn saying
Youre nothing but a lout, I cant waste my time
with the likes of you.
His very honor attacked the Samurai flew into a rage and pulling
his sword from its scabbard yelled, I could kill you
for your impertinence.
That, the monk calmly replied, is Hell.
Startled at seeing the truth the master had pointed out about
the fury that had him in its grip, the Samurai calmed down, sheathed
his sword and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.
And that, the monk replied, is Heaven.
is a powerful little story. Not only did the monk instruct the Samurai
and answer his question, he allowed him to emotionally experience
his words. Emotional intelligence is true understanding of what
is learned. Once learning is embedded in the heart, as well as the
head, the lesson is converted to wisdom.
University researcher Walter Mischel gave a test to four year olds
that is very telling of emotional IQ. He provided the test for these
children and marked the results. Then he followed their lives for
twenty years to see the significant correlation between each child's
test results and their measure of success in life.
the test he took each child alone into a room where a marshmallow
was waiting on a plate. He told each child, You can have this
marshmallow now, but if you wait until I come back, you can have
two marshmallows. Then he left.
cameras recorded each child's reactions. Some kids gobbled the marshmallow
immediately, unable to resist the temptation. Some lasted a few
minutes before diving in. However, there were some children who
were determined to wait until Mischel returned. They would sing
songs, play games, cover their eyes, and some even slept, to prevent
themselves from eating the marshmallow before he returned. He returned
about 20 minutes later. Keep in mind, that 20 minutes could seem
like an eternity to a four-year old.
is significant about this test is that in following these childrens
lives, it was very evident that those who could hold out for the
reward were much more successful in their later schooling and in
their careers. This is considerable emotional intelligence. The
children who held out were able to control their impulses and devise
clever ways to accomplish this.
also reveals that emotional intelligence can have an effect on IQ.
The mood of one taking an intelligence test can directly effect
their ability to reason clearly and therefore, score well.
is the premise of this web site that creativity is a function of
mental and emotional flexibility. And, most important, these attributes
can be learned and enhanced throughout life. Though some would argue
that intelligence is genetically controlled, we feel that no one
is restricted solely to his genetic, cultural or educational heritage.
It is the spirit of an individual that determines how intelligent,
emotionally or mentally, one aspires to be. No genetic endowment
or environmental influence has precedence over the human spirit.
could be enlightening to take an emotional IQ test to assess your
current IQ. Though all tests are somewhat prejudiced by those who
created the test, this one I found to be particularly effective
in gauging emotional IQ. Take this test now and print out your results.
You may want to take it again in a couple of months to see if you
can discern any difference over a period of time.
tests are merely indications of potentials in the moment. From that
point of potential we get a good idea of where we are headed. There
are no failures, or even successes, just meaningful experiences
which we can build on in this extraordinary adventure called life.