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Emotional Intelligence in a World of Artificial Intelligence

Updated: Mar 21

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom"

Since time immemorial, the focus of education has been on the development of the intellect. Ironically, teaching students to handle emotions has really not been the focus of the curriculum barring one odd moral science class that probably no one wanted to attend unless made compulsory. I'm sure my readers can relate to this.

A three-year-old child is made to study and practice 'abcd' and '1,2,3,4' get admission in a reputed 'play' school. The same monotonous system continues and academics, with other school activities, become the area to concentrate upon; academics being surely the priority.

Ah! then comes class tenth, the dreaded time in every student's life... BOARDS...naam hi kaafi hai, to keep the students on their toes. With all the hard work, he clears boards and gets his stream of choice, and the cycle starts again focussing on academics and getting admission into a college of choice. Seems like it just goes on and on...; in the entire process, when and where are we taught to handle emotions, our reactions, and conducting ourselves except for a few classes here and there added in the curriculum just for the sake of it.

Finally, after an extensive ordeal, that same three-year-old, sweating his life out in academics, lands THE JOB of his choice and most times, not even of his choice. Here finishes the role of academics per se.... really? The answer is 'NO'. Academics have made us what we are today, enriching our lives and giving us bread and butter. I raise a question here again... Is that what life is all about? Earning a living and settling down? If that's what you think, then I'm sorry, you shouldn't be reading this piece of writing.

If I ask you to define yourself in one word, I am sure you would have a lot many adjectives to express yourself but if you ask me, I'll say I'm ALIVE...I ask another that enough? The answer again is NO... a big NO this time. Why? Because that's not the purpose of our lives, just to remain alive and enjoy the resources of Mother Earth and drain the planet. I would say that I'm ALIVE and KICKING...

Penning down my thoughts reminds me of the song "mei zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya ..har fikr ko dhue mei uraata chala gaya"... Mind my saying dhue mei uraata chala gaya... and hopefully not the word 'dhua' is taken literally...on a lighter note indeed...but in order to live a life like this and give meaning to our lives and making it a worthwhile experience, it's important to become a person like takes me to these beautiful words:

dekhna hai toh Shakhsiyat dekho

Ki surt-e-noor mei kya rakha hai..

Soorto ki chamak toh feeki par jayegi

Shakhsiyat hi rehti hamesha jawaan hai...

But to actually become a 'Shakhsiyat' like this, the important ingredient and one of the most beautiful aspects of life is building our Emotional Intelligence.This is good news that just by building on our emotions, our lives will get some purpose, will keep conflicts at bay and turn fantastic.

Good news indeed, but will it be an easy journey? Another question raised!

So, what is Emotional Intelligence? Is it intelligently handling our emotions? Yes, maybe. Surely reading this makes one think that matters of the heart can be handled intelligently. The topic is close to my heart and has taught me that emotional intelligence accounts surely for 80 percent of success in our lives.

So, what is Emotional Intelligence that the world is talking about NOW whilst the previous generations knew nothing about the name too.Your academic performance, your intelligence surely take you places, but your right conduct gives you a place in people's hearts. Few may contradict the view here that if it is so important to be in people's hearts or just perform 'technically' right by any means, just PERFORM and not be considerate about emotions and feelings. It's after all mutual existence.

Matters of the heart must matter in a world driven by artificial intelligence. I thank Mr Goleman to bring this concept to the world.The knowledge of the concept of EI can heal the world, after all, it focuses on how you feel, and what you feel, taking charge of your and others' emotions, keeping yourself motivated, empathetic, aware of yourself and bringing some regulation in your conduct.

Humans go through a gamut of emotions in a single course of a day. Recognizing the varied emotions and intelligently working on them can go a long way in healing the oh-so-torn-apart world. It can unite people by just an understanding of communicating considerately. The topic has gained so much significance that it is being taught now to all the professionals, thanks to the caretaker of the organizations to realize where the world is going and trying to reach.

As late Shri Manohar Parikar ji on his deathbed said, "It's not the money that you earn but the hearts that you capture and live a beautiful life that counts towards your final journey...". be continued.

Dr Anuja Thakar is a mentor, an avid reader, a corporate trainer, an editor, a teacher and a travel enthusiast with a life-long commitment to the betterment of mankind.

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