With the Blackberry permanently on and the work week growing ever longer, its little wonder that so many men define themselves by their job. The guys who typically have a midlife crisis seem to have given way to men who suffer perennially under the pressure to prove themselves.
The misguided pursuit of happiness through financial gain is why, for many people, the American dream has become a nightmare. Once upon a time, it was all about opportunity, but now its a voice that berates, criticizes, and hollers at you about your lack of success. Its belittling rather than inspiring.
He who dies with the most toys wins! Isnt that how the saying goes? It used to be that a successful man was defined by success in marriage, fatherhood, his contributions to community, his spiritual foundation, and his profession. Nowadays, its all about what you have instead of who you are. The car you drive, the house you live in, the value of your investment portfolio, the size and sophistication of your home theatermaterialistic things that will stroke any mans ego.
This is why men talk to each other about politics, sports, and cars. They can master knowledge, but not emotions. They go home from being robots and have problems being people. They are highly competent and talented at their jobs, but often lack the wherewithal to connect with their families, their friends, and their inner selfall because our society values productivity over humanity. If our society placed as much emphasis on the emotional intelligence of a man as we do on his financial success, the social issues that exist in the world today would be miniscule in comparison to their current crippling effect.
As a matter of fact, research and experience show that emotional intelligence is more highly correlated with success than IQ. According to Daniel Goleman, author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence, emotionally intelligent people are the ones who excel in life.
These are the people who step up to challenges and opportunities with courage, determination, and wisdom to win the private and public victories. They are alert, aware, and conscious, living in such a way that they notice what is going on within and around them. They are present and awake, recognizing and accepting what is as they live in a world of how things are instead of how they wish them to be.
There is no value in comparing ones own life to that of others. They learn to embrace and live in harmony with reality rather than complaining, regretting, wishing, comparing, and judging. The quality of their choices determines their ability to interact effectively with life, accepting full responsibility for the quality of their life and not blaming others. It is the means by which they live a life of endurance and survival or growth and mastery.
Tough to Master
The challenges many of us face in our personal and professional lives can make achieving mastery a somewhat overwhelming task. Yet, it is not impossible. Mastery does not happen by accident. It is a process that occurs as we interact effectively with the events and circumstances of our lives. It begins by embracing reality, exercising responsibility, and conquering our key moments (challenging or upsetting events). Once you have challenged your thinking, feelings and behavior, youll have the power to clarify your vision and define your true life-purpose.
Youll know you have achieved mastery when you are able to act with integrity, translating your purpose and vision into reality on a consistent basis, thereby valuing who you arecaring for yourself, accepting your weaknesses, and acknowledging and building on your strengths.
Thankfully, each moment of our lives provides an opportunity to practice mastery by expanding our visions, awakening the faculties of our minds and our hearts, and assuming full responsibility for living, growing, and contributing. The bad news is that not everyone can be beautiful, intelligent, rich, or famous. The good news is that everyone can learn to lead a life of emotional intelligence and thereby gain great personal satisfaction and meaningtrue measures of success that no amount of money can buy.