On one hand, Amaya is the smartest student in the class. She works hard, scores the top grades, and makes her parents proud. Teachers love her and give her example to the class. In class, you’d often hear, “Amaya se seekho”, “Amaya n ki tarah bano” [Be like Amaya. Learn from Amaya]. On the other, Amaya doesn’t know how to manage her emotions. She is always worried about getting higher grades but keeps to herself. When it comes to having friends, she prefers to remain all by herself. She spends her day reading books and improving skills that can help her score well, academically.

Amaya is a great student but she lacks something very important – Emotional Intelligence or otherwise known as emotional quotient. While she excels in the academic sphere, she hides behind the walls created around herself that hinder her growth as an individual, not because she is an introvert, but she doesn’t know how to connect emotionally. Not being able to identify, understand and manage her emotions or communicate effectively, her life outside academics seems restricted.

Looking at life holistically – some questions brought forward are, Is Amaya’s intelligence quotient (IQ) enough for her to achieve success in her life? Is academic intelligence the only determinant to a better life? How, in an ever world, a person who is people smart, self smart and globally smart takes precedence over academic intelligence? Can we build peace through an emotionally healthy society?

The urge of the present day is to identify the necessity for an individual to develop emotional intelligence. It is important that schools practice it, families adapt it and society embraces it to fully transform. While it is certainly instrumental in honing one’s own personality and using his/her full potential, it also helps one empathize with others, look at problems from a perspective beyond self-interest and find harmonious solutions.

In today’s world, we’re facing many challenges on personal, professional, social, and global fronts. One can learn to confront those challenges well only if they can manage their emotions and learn to navigate through the maze of different feelings by recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting those emotions.

Inarguably, reaping emotional intelligence can help in attaining better mental and physical health, dealing with everyday situations, building lasting and meaningful relationships, and enhancing personal and interpersonal growth.

While we can go on reflecting, we must give emotions its due place in our life. If you’re looking to develop your emotional intelligence, here are a few things to start with:

  • Start reflecting on your day. Understand your emotions. Try to comprehend how different events throughout the day made you feel and your reaction towards it.
  • Engage yourself in mindfulness activities. Breathe through the heavy emotions. Know that it will pass.
  • Learn to adapt and have a positive outlook. Look at situations through more perspectives than one. Slightly complex, but try to slip into others’ shoes and see their perspectives.
  • Join a mentor-mentee class or let someone coach you to understand and have a grasp of your emotional journey.
  • Evaluate yourself and focus on how you can improve.
  • Take responsibility for your actions and examine how your actions affect those around you.

Finally, we need to understand the power of emotional intelligence in our lives. We can be smart by being academically superior, but we can’t enjoy life to the fullest if we aren’t emotionally engaged and prepared. Spend time understanding your emotions, research, read, identify if you need to meet an expert or a therapist and find new exercises that can help you be more emotionally self-aware.