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Emotional proactivity, or emotional intelligence, is to me a pivotal part of success, but one few are given to talking about. We preach proactivity in seemingly every facet of our lives and lifestyles (work, exercise, planning for the future., etc.) but too often neglect to set a strong emotional foundation — one that most other facets of proactivity depend and build upon.
I recently had a chance to explore various aspects and benefits of emotional proactivity with a good friend, Brendon Burchard. He is among the world’s foremost life and business coaches, a bestselling author and an all-around great guy. Among the most absorbing thoughts he shared with me is that when his clients understand, apply and master this characteristic, their lives change in profound ways. His observations, I recognized, would be of use to any budding entrepreneur, those who have management or leadership roles, those ready to raise their personal bar or anyone who struggles with emotional consistency.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Loosely defined, this term refers to how we want to feel, then making conscious decisions that help us continually feel that way — in the process realizing that we are greater than our circumstances… bigger than any given situation.
Burchard defines it this way:
“Emotions are fleeting. Feelings are then left behind by our mind’s interpretation of those emotions. When patterns of feelings increase, a mood is created, which creates more emotions. These begin to stick with us for longer periods of time, becoming our vision of self. Without proper emotional intelligence, this perception of self can go sideways, and quickly, damaging who we see ourselves as and becoming.”
It All Starts with “VIBES”
Don’t run away just yet… I don’t mean “vibes” in the Gen Z sense. Instead, I use the word as an acronym — one crafted by Burchard and which describes a step-by-step guide to building emotional intelligence.
V – Vision
I – Insight and Interpretation
B – Bring the Energy
E – Energy Management
S – Service to Others
“Vision begins when we define how we want to feel as we move with intention through our lives,” Burchard explains. “Establishment of this vision is more than saying, ‘I want to be happy;’ it’s a thorough inspection of what kinds of feelings we want to bring to each day. Insight and interpretation allow us to proactively inspect what’s happening. They allow us to separate how we’re feeling from what is occurring. Bring the energy speaks for itself: how we choose to apply personal energy every day. Energy management, meanwhile, allows us to monitor and manage outputs and inputs, and service to others brings positive feelings, energizes us and infuses perspective into our lives.”
Each piece of the acronym is cyclical and builds on itself. As you improve your ability to implement these practices, you will see improved mental resilience.
Who doesn’t want to be mentally stronger, and who doesn’t want that strength to remain day to day, year to year and decade to decade, no matter the difficulties or circumstantial inconveniences? These characteristics are just part of the payoff of enhanced emotional intelligence. Again, in Burchard’s words:
“My clients now see themselves in a different light. They’re not thrown off by other people’s actions. They realize that circumstances — negative or positive — are not a direct result of who they are as a person. They have an intention about their emotional state, and it allows them incredible autonomy and clarity in any given situation.”
Another benefit, he added, is that CEOs will have a greater ability to make decisions during tough times while also being innovative and creative, even when circumstances are stressful and strained. And, above all, overall happiness is enhanced, as well as energy and positivity, no matter what’s happening in their lives.