Categorie: Emotional intelligence

The importance of Dynamic Quality for the Creation of Happiness

About: the Value of Quality in Life

The concept of dynamic quality cannot be defined. It can only be understood intellectually through the use of analogy. This is why the Dynamic beauty of a piece of music can be recognized before a static analysis explaining why the music is beautiful can be constructed. Dynamic quality can be poetically described as the force of change in the universe; however when an aspect of Quality becomes repeated, it becomes static.

Robert Pirsig, the writer of the famous bestseller “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” defines ‘static quality’ patterns as everything which can be defined. Everything found in a dictionary, for instance, is a static quality pattern. Pirsig then divides static quality into inorganic, biological, social, and intellectual patterns, in ascending order of morality (based on evolutionary order). These static forms, if they have enough ‘high’ or ‘low’ quality, are given names and are interchanged with other “sentient beings”, building the base of knowledge for a culture.

Robert Pirsig and son

To give an example of this. Look at your favourite shop, why do you go there and not to another one? Is it because the quality of the products they sell or is there something else that is important but almost indefinable. I think the dynamic quality is about the joy you perceive in a particular shop, in addition to the actual product that you buy. Having a more or less personal relationship with the owners is more important.

How does happiness relate to this? Very simply, it is about the small things that have to do with Emotional and Social Intelligence. Are you invited to have an espresso or cappucino just to taste the quality of the machine or it more about sharing a moment?

Robert Pirsig wrote another book called “Lila: an Inquiry into Morals“. This semi-autobiographical story takes place as the author sails his boat down the Hudson River, even meeting Robert Redford, Phaedrus, the author’s alter ego is jarred out of his solitary routine by an encounter with Lila, a straightforward but troubled woman who is nearing a mental breakdown.

The most important thing to learn here is that creating happiness is all about small things. And they are quite easy to create every day. Just by recognizing what is beautiful and simple to achieve.

Recommendation: focus on quality with everything you do, also small things, and reflect upon it regularly.

Emotional intelligence and the 30% rule: less is more

About: Focus only on the essential and the best

Steve Jobs already said it, after returning to Apple from Next, while being involved in Disney. Focus on the incredibly good ideas and leave the rest. He himself was an example of an abundance of creativity and focus on “beautiful things”. But maybe sometimes a little bit too much to be successful with them. Examples are the Lisa Computer, the original Macintosh and the Next computer.

But he was finally able to learn from his mistakes. This is were emotional intelligence comes to play an important role. He really learned from being fired from Apple after he made mistakes, and he also learned from the mistake he made with the Next project. But after returning to Apple, he did not make these mistakes anymore and discarded any not really excellent product on the roadmap.

Also, by correcting an another mistake made before during Apple times. Changing the focus on hardware to a focus on software. He brought in the software he created for Next as the next software platform for Apple products in general. To keep and make things simpler. Another example here is to change from the Motorola chip sets not to the IBM chip sets but to the Intel chip sets and finally to ARM chip sets. So, the focus on software allowed for flexibility on the hardware side.

The same is true for Elon Musk with all of his companies and products, simplicity and flexibility. He can change the rockets being built from carbon fiber to stainless steel foreseeing problems and difficulties while the concept stays the same. A rocket powered by methane and oxygen, because methane can be harvested on Mars. But what is really important in his concept is the focus on software not on hardware. The Tesla cars will get a completely new software soon for Self Driving, which he himself is already using and testing. This is because basically Elon Musk is a software guy, his first product was a game he created himself. And a focus on simplicity. If you look at all the ideas that led to companies than you can clearly see this.

Interestingly because both Apple and Tesla are known for their innovative and beautiful hardware. A Tesla is a driving computer or actually it is a driving big smartphone. The hardware can be adjusted to the needs of human beings. Made more beautiful or more comfortable, more usable. The focus on the human being is on the hardware side. This is what makes Apple and Tesla stand out. The focus on emotional intelligence, things that appeal to human beings and not only to nerds.

Another example that immedately comes to mind is Mozart. Maybe even the best example. He could create very complex music, as Bach did with his fugues. But his most well known pieces are simple such as his father Leopold created (the Children Symphonie). Think of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik composed right after his father died. But also Rondo Alla Turca and the melody for the Dutch national hymn Wilhelmus. And above all the Magic Flute which reached other audiences than just the elite. His Requiem is a magic and wonderful combination of complexity and simplicity which he wrote for himself when he felt his end coming near (Agnus Dei). Mozart had a very productive life next to being creative and having a lot of ideas all the time. He was able to create a vast repertoire by focusing on the really beautiful ones mostly driven by important things that happened in his life such as love and death.

It is not only about focus here, but to apply emotional intelligence into your everyday life. Jobs, Musk and Mozart are very good examples. Apart from all of their technological brilliance (Zu schön für unsere Ohren und gewaltig viel Noten, lieber Mozart). Just enough he replied). They were and are able to translate their talents into really useful products and solutions for the benefit of other human beings and humanity in general. This is the real genius and what can be called the 30 percent rule.

Why do you need the 30 percent rule? We live in an age of distraction. Never-ending notifications, instantaneous communication, and easy access to endless information. Fear of missing out moves us motivates us to try to do everything that our minds and hearts desire. But as we quickly move from one thing to another, preferably using our mobile phones (actually we have become computers more or less) we discover that we can’t do everything. If we try, we will not do anything well.

Jobs knew this. Elon Musk know this and acts upon this because he wants to achieve a goal. Mozart learned to do this from a very early age being asked by his father to perform for royalty. It could not only be a gimmick but hat to be really appealing music. The total becomes more than the sum of its parts. By focusing on the 30 percent, the best of the best, we can create a simpler and a better life that is really enjoyable and productive. How to make the 30 percent rule work for you? Find things that are fun and interesting to work on. But don’t forget that everything takes time and resources which are limited.

So, you have to ask yourself if you make the best use of your resources. Are you focusing on the best of the best you can do? Am I wasting time on useless things? What is the most important is to take time to analyze and reflect objectively. Do this every day or every week. Learn from your mistakes. They are not really mistakes but learning points. Make changes if needed, correct the mistakes or don’t take them anymore. If you think things through, choose wisely, and work hard–you can do it right and create the most beautiful, complex complex and simple things. As Einstein used to say: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Use your emotional and social intelligence. We are already smart enough anyway.

Recommendation: Make a list of things that you want to achieve, follow it the next days. Look at what you already have achieved and what is not important. Add more and better goals.

Salutogenesis: How to Be Happy and Healthy

About: Focus on health and well-being

Salutogenesis is the opposite of pathogenesis which means looking for issues, problems that need to be solved in order to become healthy and happy. Salutogenesis means to look for the positive things even when things are not optimal. Salutogenesis is concerned with the relationship between health, stress, and coping. It provides an umbrella, paraplu or parasol of many different resources that protect against unhappiness and in general to help being healthy.

The umbrella of health and happiness

Many people have the approach to look for eternal happiness by eradicating the negative things in life. We call this a focus on pathogenesis. To look for perfection in e.g. your house, your job, your relationship. Or just drinking 100 or 50 euro bottles of wine, that taste exactly the same as the 10 to 5 euro bottles of wine. People will find out that when these goals have been reached there are new goals of perfection have to be achieved. So maybe the problem is not to achieve perfection or happiness, but to continuously look for perfection and happiness,.

But why not focus on the good things already there? Even in difficult times as we experience right now.  That is a different approach and can be reached fairly easily. By just doing it. It takes less time and effort and it leaves less room for continuous improvement. Focus on things like gratitude, self-efficacy, hardiness, empathy and humor (the umbrella).

Jumping Salmons

In this view, happiness does not happen in the future. But it is there already and now. And to take action to make it happen in the River of Life. It was inspired by what wild salmons do. They are born in a river and then swim all the way to the Ocean where they feed and grow. Then they swim back to the river where they were born and even are able to jump up to high levels because they became very strong.

Health and Happiness in the River of Life

Achieving happiness is actually quite simple. Just use your strength and do the things that make you happy with the people that make you happy and with the person that you are and that you are with. Don’t wait for happiness. A list of things you can do today:

  • Being there, as in the story about the gardener who became the president (book by Jerzy Kosinski and movie with Peter Sellers)
  • Connecting with people. Develop your social and emotional intelligence.
  • Do what you love to do, whatever it is. Cook, walk, visit, listen, see, talk.
  • What are the good things everyday? They can be unexpected and paradoxical.
  • Only do work that you like to do. Are you good at text editing, translation, technology and you like to do it. Just do it and lose yourself in your work. It gives you a sense of meaningfulness especially if you can share this with others.
  • Help other people, it is not very difficult.
  • Reflect everyday, end of day before you go to sleep. Take it with you to bed.
  • Pay attention to small things. Such as reading, talking, walking, breathing, listening to the birds or the wind in the trees.
  • Taking care of other people, whoever they are. It is simple and easy.
  • Express gratitude. Also an easy thing to do once you start paying attention to small things.
  • Become a lifelong learner. Read more.
  • Simplify your life by eliminating unnecessary things and creating chaos. The minimal lifestyle.
  • Make a small change, fix or repair in your house. Get it from the list.
  • Slow down. Not everything can or will happen quickly. You can take a day off sometimes.
  • Exercise every day and develop your own little program. Walking in nature is an easy thing to do, as are simple yoga exercises.
  • Accept that things not always go the way you want them to go. The world is less than perfect.
  • Be aware of wonderful things in life. This can be something someone else is doing, such as launching a rocket to the Moon or Mars. Or it can be a great book, recipe, wonderful music or knowledge or person.
  • Go to the water to swim, sail, walk or just take a boat. Listen to the sounds of the water, the wind and look at the sky, the sun, the blue water and the blue sky.
Magical Moments

Don’t do all of these things at the same time. Just pick and choose what makes most sense to you. And above all it is not necessary to achieve perfection. Actually this will make you unhappy, which is the paradoxical truth. A great book to read about this topic is: The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness by Paul Watzlawick. A blog post will follow soon about his psychology.

Recommendation: It is easy to focus on negative things, such as anxiety or a high pulse rate and seek for immediate relief or attention. But it is better to have a mid-term or long-term view on the positive things such as feeling well and to have healthy, positive thoughts.

Developing Talent with Balance

About: The balance between skill, motivation and personality

The word talent comes from the Greek word Talenton, which means scales or balance. Later, this word has come to take on a different meaning, in general aptitude, giftedness. It stands for what someone has in their luggage to be able to successfully execute a certain job and grow within the organization. But that original meaning is interesting. It is not just about the ability itself but about the balance between the three components: being able, wanting and being. In other words, competencies, motivation and personality. If this balance is and remains in order, then talent can be dynamic and a person can grow into a position and the talent can continue to develop.

Talenton: Balance

It is a prerequisite in today’s economy. Society and technology are developing at a very rapid pace. Every year there are new developments in the fields of energy, sustainability, communication and information technology, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. Companies and organizations need people who can function well and contribute in these innovative and challenging times.

More and more social and emotional intelligence are important, and a little bit less about the basic competencies because they are constantly changing. The ability to work well together and communicate with others and learn from others on the basis of their own personal characteristics in order to be able to share knowledge and (re)use knowledge. Personal characteristics such as resilience and curiosity and being able to listen and work together well are now the most important abilities. To be able to balance your talents.

The balance between competence, motivation and personality is very important. Every individual person has a lot of knowledge and deepening and broadening of knowledge takes place on the basis of individual needs. When you start out in a job you have different knowledge needs than an experienced operator. But both positions must be able to grow in their talent within their careers and personal life.

Herbert von Karajan Multitalent with a Greek background

What is very important is that knowledge is shared. So that a talent pool is created with the right knowledge to start provided by more experienced people. Also to be able to develop new talents. It may be that the knowledge of very experienced people is not sufficiently available in education. Experienced people make their knowledge available with the aim of developing the future-proof talent needed for today’s society and business. And they can focus on new areas. Think about people like Wernher von Braun who made available his knowledge and experience from to enable Moon rockets last century and Mars rockets this century. The Saturnus 5 rocket from the 1960’s is still not equaled, but will be very soon. It was actually designed as a Mars rocket. He also predicted the name of Elon as the leader on Mars in a book on Project Mars. Another multi-talent. People with multiple talents have to balance them much in the same way as a professional juggler. But only accompanied by a balanced lifestyle.

Recommendation: Develop your talents all the time, but do not focus only on skills, but also what you want to achieve and what it means to you.

Become Calm With Subtle Audiovisual Stimulation

About: Communication which is 90% non-verbal

ArkDes (Architecture and Design) Museum in Stockholm lies next to the Modern Museet at Skeppsholm. Here one can visit an exhibition about ASMR called Weird Sensation Feels Good. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Basically it is about subtle audiovisual stimulation. It is a tingly sensation that usually begins in the crown of the head and works its way down the back and through the limbs. The feeling is extremely relaxing and is often triggered by soft sounds, soft voices, whispering and light touching. Many people have an ASMR experience during a head massage or a facial, having their hair played with or while someone strokes their arm.

Most individuals who experience ASMR, have strong memories of when this feeling was triggered as a child. For me, I always remember enjoying eye tests, having my hair played with and quiet time in class as the other students read books and slowly turned the pages. It is also triggered or combined with visuals as can be seen on the videos on the ArkDes Website.

ArkDes Weird Sensation Feels Good Exhibition

ASMR is a term that describes a physical sensation: euphoria or deep calm, sometimes a tingling in the body. In recent years an online audience of millions has grown, dedicated to watching the work of designers and content creators who try to trigger this feeling in their viewers.

Here is an example of calming sounds. It can be sounds, but also a voice. E.g. think about the voice of the hairdresser while cutting your hair. How does ASMR relate to calmness? Well, ASMR videos Youtube and the Calm App both offer accessible relief from day-to-day stress.

Not everyone experiences the sensation of ASMR. Even for those who experience it, the videos made to induce it are not always appealing. Each person has a unique set of triggers, in the same way, that people prefer different food or music. That’s why there is a huge variety of content available. Some people who have never heard of ASMR videos or who have different sensitivities find it hard to understand the intention behind them or why others might enjoy them. Millions of people experience this calming effect. It’s a lot of fun and wonderful to see people enjoying this calmness together, but it is also being able to reach out to others with love, kindness, acceptance, and courage is everything. Sensitive people of the world can unite with ASMR. We can make a difference! It just works.

Recommendation: It is very important to daily reflect or meditate. Amient non-verbal sounds and visual can be used to almost hypnotize the brain for this purpose.