Small Steps To Being Emotionally Intelligent

Please consider this as my very personal Christmas Gift to you. You do not have to do all that I recommend in the list, but those you do, do them in a committed conscious way, with a purpose. I welcome all your feed backs and comments and also encourage you to share your experiences and the outcomes of those activities.

As a first Item, I would request right down your decisions as a commitment to yourselves. Call it your New Year resolution if it pleases you.

Dr. JP Bonnifay
CEO & Lead Consultant
HPI Sdn. Bhd.

So many times we see in our year end resolutions the same “I’ll start Monday” promises. Today, I want it to be different. Today I would like for us together to work at one of the elements that will in time become an invaluable commodity; that is your Emotional Intelligence. Unfortunately, there are no quick fix to become Emotionally Intelligence, however, we need to decide to start. And today might be just the right timing. As it is, when  our Global Environment will look better, you will need to have that edge that will make you more attractive, more likeable, and eventually more valuable….

So turn your PDA on, go to 31 December on your agenda and list down the following list.

BZW, DO IT!!!!! Write it down….. If you don’t write it, you don’t own it!

Write your own personal season greetings cards

The task: Delete all those e-card provider websites you preciously keep in your keychains, list down all the people

You wish to send  Season Greeting Cards to ( don’t forget to source their addresses). Do 3 separate lists: Friends, Family, Work / Other. Tally the number of peole on your list, then, either design  a card and print it, or buy the cards, envelops, stamps. Write down BY HAND ( Not by computer generated stickers) and then feed every card in an envelop, after having personalized and signed each card. You do not include your signature in the printing of the card!

The reason: Think about the last time you received a post-card or a greeting card. Did that not make you feel good? Did you value the fact that the card is addressed to you personally and is hand signed with eventually a personal word?

Do you anytime see on the fridge door or on the partition of a cubical the print out of an 2-card?

Make the effort. Chances are you will actually write less, but the result is going to be so much more! Predominantly because you have implemented one of the fundamentals of EI: Manage Relationships. I personal card will give you a great amount of mileage where as en e-card will make you be part of the pack, no differenciation, no attractivity.

Catch some ZZZZZZ….

The task: Get a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark, learn some deep relaxation techniques, and avoid alcohol and caffeine after noon.

The reason: Scientists believe that our brains consolidate learning and memories during sleep. Studies have shown that people who don’t sleep enough have more trouble learning new information — while sleeping well after learning something new helps the brain effectively put that information into long-term memory.

Choose the rocky road

The task: Take a walk on a cobblestone path. 

The reason: Scientists believe that walking on uneven surfaces like cobblestones improves the vestibular system of the inner ear, which plays a central role in balance and equilibrium. Cobblestone walking challenges the vestibular system in ways that improve its function, which translates into better balance — the key to preventing serious injuries. Don’t hesitate to transpose this activity into your every day life. Don’t not opt systematically for the easy path. Challenge yourself.

Do a jigsaw puzzle

The task: Put together a jigsaw puzzle that will be challenging for you — no fewer than 500 pieces.

The reason: Mundane as they may seem, jigsaw puzzles can provide real help for your brain. Completing one requires fine visual judgments about where pieces belong. It entails mentally “rotating” the pieces, manipulating them in your hands and shifting your attention from the small piece to the “big picture.” To top it off, it’s rewarding to find the right pieces.

Exercise your peripheral vision

The task: Sit in a place outside your house, such as on a park bench or in a café. Stare straight ahead and don’t

move your eyes. Concentrate on everything you can see without moving your eyes, including in your peripheral vision. When you have finished, write a list of everything you saw. Then try again and see if you can add to your list.

The reason: Scientists have shown that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is crucial to focus and memory, falls off with memory loss and is almost absent in Alzheimer’s patients. This activity should help you reinvigorate the controlled release of acetylcholine in your brain through a useful visual memory task.

Learn to play a new instrument

The task: If you’ve ever thought about learning to play an instrument or take up an old one, now is a great time!

The reason: Playing an instrument helps you exercise many interrelated dimensions of brain function, including listening, control of refined movements and translation of written notes (sight) to music (movement and sound).

Get exercise

The task: Brain health is another reason to get on your bicycle, to the swimming pool or to wherever else you like to exercise your body.

The reason: New research indicates that exercise has positive benefits for the hippocampus, a brain structure that’s important for learning and memory. Some studies even suggest that regular exercise is related to a delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn to use your “other” hand

The task: If you’re right-handed, use your left hand for daily activities (or vice versa). Start with brushing your teeth left-handed, and practice until you have perfected it. Then try to build your way up to more complex tasks such as eating.

The reason: This is an exercise in which you know what you’re supposed to achieve but must do it in a new and demanding learning context. Doing such an activity can drive your brain to make positive changes. Think of millions of neurons learning new tricks as you finally establish better control of that other hand!

Memorize a song

The task: Choose a song with lyrics you enjoy but don’t have memorized. Listen to the song as many times as necessary to write down all the lyrics. Then learn to sing along. Once you’ve mastered one song, move on to another!

The reason: Developing better habits of careful listening will help you in your understanding, thinking and remembering. Reconstructing the song requires close attentional focus and an active memory. When you focus, you release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical that enables plasticity and vivifies memory.

Turn down your television

The task: Set your TV volume down a little from where you normally have it set. Concentrate and see if you can follow along just as successfully as when the volume was higher. As soon as that setting gets easy, turn it down another notch!

The reason: Think of this: You can’t get rid of radio static by turning up the volume. Many people raise the volume because their listening has become ‘detuned’ — a little fuzzy. Matching TV volume to a conversational level can help you catch every word when talking with others.

With this, I would like to address you all my very warmest wishes for the year 2009, wishing full hartedly it will bring you closer to Emotional Intelligence.

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