Emotional Intelligence: a secret to happiness

One of the precious gifts a human being can have is the ability to have a strong willpower to love, care and accept situations as they come without questioning why they seem the way they are. It is something agreeable, and no doubt, our natural well-being can succumb to emotional ups and downs, showing different reactions and responding to both good and bad situations. Emotional intelligence is one such precious ways of averting conflict and living a happy and humble lifestyle that can potentially motivate others around us.

If we take a glance and stay calm enough, we realise that there is only one way of overcoming the challenges that we face – and that is emotional intelligence. Although many people have diverse theories and conspiracies about what emotional intelligence entails, in general, it is someone’s ability to evaluate, identify and control your emotions so that you better understand the emotions of others around you and relate with them in a peaceful and harmonious manner. It is this skill that is somewhat more natural and instilled within humanity and usually goes untapped in all the efforts to enjoy individual peace and mutual coexistence.

How can we have emotional intelligence and the ability to sustain it?

Self-Awareness: There is a general saying that you will not know where you are going if you are unable to know where you are. That is basically the same with emotional intelligence. The first area of concern is self-discovery and self-awareness. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses is very vital to deal with such situations when our soft spots are tempered or triggered. This also includes our ability to know things or acts that can easily expose us to stress, discomfort and unhappiness. Dealing with your stress appropriately instead of letting it control you will have you living a much easier, happier life.

Conscious Communication Skills: It is often said, “wars of this world were often caused by words left unspoken or spoken”, which brings to the issue of proper communication particularly with others. Our ability to manage and control our speech helps in controlling our inner state of emotions. No matter how we have wronged someone or have been wronged, happy or unhappy; the way we communicate ourselves is very significant in shaping our emotions, as well as how others respond to us. The five acts of self-discipline also cement the rationale behind peaceful speech towards the attainment of individual peace and that of our surrounding. Our emotional fragmentation can sometimes accumulate through guilt, anger and inferiority complex exacerbated by what we say about ourselves and others. The question is: how do we overcome this and generate emotional intelligence?

The answer: being with ourselves.

So often, we become emotional with what is happening within ourselves, families, workplace, and our countries, as well as in global trends and dynamics. We are so emotionally eager to change the status quo, but so often we do not know how. The answer is YOU. When you create positive energy, habits and self-restrictions to be yourself, develop self-reflective moments alone (INNER PEACE MOMENTS), you are able to realise that at times we want to fight wars that are not ours instead of fighting the inner conflicted self in dealing with life situations; that is the essence of EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.

How to Balance? A Passage to a Happy, Prosperous and Fulfilling Life

One of the important things in life is the ability to balance it, to maintain life activities in all its different facets and levels. So often, happiness is neutralized and swiped away. It is not because we as humans cannot be happy alone; it is because of our day to day routines and how we manage our work and private life activities. In as much as work-life balance is important towards a happy life, it is often that one of these have played second fiddle to the other, making life so difficult and unmanageable for many.

In general, work-life balance essentially refers to a meaningful daily achievement and enjoyment in each of the four life quadrants that include family, work, friends and most importantly the strength and conviction of the self. A balanced life is one where we spread our energy and effort – emotional, intellectual, imaginative, spiritual and physical – into all areas of our life and ignite consistent commitment, focus and willpower in achieving that. Sharing is a healthy ingredient to happiness, and below is a list of some of the key areas recommended to focus on for living a happy, prosperous and fulfilling life:

1) Time management
Time management is the opium of a balanced life. Every minute used or lost is never retained back in our lives. It is the time that allows us to balance and help us utilise every minute we enjoy on this earth. Time management, though difficult, is the only way that one can be able to gauge and evaluate their commitment to all the important aspects and commitments that life offers. It is through time that we are able to set our priorities right and manage situations of, for example, greater time being devoted to professional development at the expense of family and relationships or other life aspects, among them the spiritual life, as well as body care and health.

2) Goal setting
It is quiet certain that we can never know where we are going if we do not know where we are and how far we want to go from the current position of locus. Life without goals is like a vehicle without fuel, it will never move no matter how important the journey may be. It is through goal setting that we are able to know how far we want to go, at what pace and utilising what resources. When we go to work, we must be able to set the goal of why we commit our time towards that and how much time we would want to commit. It is that relationship between goal setting and time management that can help balance between life and work and other related facets of decent and dignified lifestyle.

3) Habit and willpower development
In life, there is no sweet without sweat. If we are willing to give, that is the only way we can get something; moreover, if we are to give without expectation for the favour to be returned, happiness and contentment is guaranteed. What is most important though is that work-life balance is very much connected to habit development: how much committed and willing we are to let go bad habits and work harder towards accumulating good habits.

Life will deliver the value and balance that we desire when we are committed to achieving and enjoying something every single day as it comes in absolutely every aspect of humanity. The integration between one’s professional life and personal life is achievable if one is willing to lose some of the old habits and be equally mindful to live in the moment and accumulate routines that are positive and balanced in accommodation of all life facets. It is painful, time consuming but worthy committing towards. It is the willpower that is required in achieving it, and the willpower is the work of a clear and focused mind.

4) Self-development

One of the products of an imbalanced lifestyle is continued stress and unhappiness. Have you ever wondered why those seemingly successful business and professional people are always stressed and somewhat unhappy? The majority of people spend the greater part of their lives searching for success and trying to be better and more outstanding in a highly competitive modern world. Happiness comes from within, hence self-development and living in the moment are important to achieve a happy life. It is through a clear, focused mind that one can be content and closer to living an easy and simple life, inclusive of all facets, such as the financial, professional, family, physical and other related life aspects.

Be content and balance your life

A balanced, calm and modest life brings more happiness than the constant pursuit of success combined by constant restlessness. One of the most brilliant minds said that a peaceful mind and a peaceful life are the key to happiness. Let’s embrace a calm and modest way of a balanced life by living in the moment, taking one step at a time and moving each day as it passes!

5 Lessons I Took Home From A Meditation Training In Thailand

Life is a wonderful gift to those who pay attention to its features and all its forms. Paying attention is a skill that requires nobody else but ourselves to master. My second experience with the World Peace Initiative Foundation in Thailand has given me the power that nobody can take away from me. It is the power of being me at whatever scenario. I thought I would be selfish if I didn’t share how my experience in Himawan meditation sanctuary has transformed me. Here are 5 lessons that I took home:

1) Everything you need is you

My experience at the Peace Architect* training taught me one of the most beautiful laws of happiness that goes beyond the beneficiary of happiness of oneself. Detached from the fast material aspects of the world, the environment that gave me time with myself was enough to bring back the natural self in me through concentration, contentment and living in the present. The beautiful nation of Thailand gave me a tool that helped me be myself and stay happy naturally. Three weeks of mindfulness and meditation training were a miracle to realise and appreciate how human beings, as natural as they are, can discover the meaning of life through living with the present and moving with what is available instead of things and wishes of what should be available even if it’s not necessary for our essentials.

2) Witnessing is enough

At times, we can be happy if we just stay calm and witness events as they unfold. This is one of the lessons that I learnt in the peace architect training that I would be willing to share with others. Living in a very fast moving world, we are often tempted to participate even on those matters that do not concern us or that will bring no positive outcome even to those involved. I witnessed the beauty of the nature at Himawan, the calmness of the monks, the friendliness of all international participants, the kindness and love of the Peace Revolution stuff. All these observations were made possible by the spirit of observation and witnessing as events unfolded. If we are calm and observant, we are able to observe the goodness of others. Once we realise that, we respect them and share good memories with them. At times in life we put extra effort only to realise later that not everything needs urgency and power, and at times nothing needs to be done; just be a witness, and observe a watcher. Meditation is witnessing!

3) Success requires a strong willpower

The environment at the meditation and training retreat in Himawan was designed in a way that tests our willpower and endurance to do good. I would say that the willpower is the work with the mind and if the mind is not prepared or is not clear enough to stay focused and concentrate on one mission at a time, our willpower is prone to destruction. The experience gave me the willpower to work harder in every situation that arises and always remind myself that our ultimate goal was and still is to spread loving kindness and educate the world on sustainable peace, to share how to use meditation as a tool for self-development.

4) Celebrating diversity

The presence of different people from different parts of the world made me realise that the achievement of sustainable peace is very much possible if like minded beings come together, share experiences and strategies to implore in different parts of the world, in different contexts. Brought together by the quest to make a world commitment towards peace, the power of collective brilliance came into play through moments of meditation and knowledge sharing.

5) Self-Discovery

One of the precious gifts that comes with living in the moment, having time alone and with your mind focused is a possibility to rediscover oneself through inner peace and happiness. Continuous inner peace time does not only help us be peaceful but also make us discover the purpose of our life through deeper insight and meditation. This goes further to the understanding of others through our deeds and a way of life, and interaction with the universe.

*Peace Revolution Mindfulness and Meditation Instructor a.k.a Peace Architect is the designer of the ‘building plans’ for world peace, which is constructed on the firm foundation of inner peace. Peace Architect will devote him/herself to restore balance and harmony to human society, environment and the world. They are qualified to guide basic Dhammakaya meditation for beginners as well as present, design, and operate peace-building (PIPO) events and workshops.