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We live in a culture that uses labels as a means of understanding the world and the people living in it. As a result, many of us find ourselves laboring under a label that has a negative connotation. Unless we can find a way to see the good in such a label, we may feel burdened by an idea of ourselves that is not accurate. It is important to remember that almost nothing in this world is all good or all bad, and most everything is a complex mixture of gifts and challenges. In addition, different cultures revere certain qualities over others, but this does not mean that these qualities are inherently good or bad. For example, a culture that elevates outgoing behavior will label a shy person in a negative way, calling them antisocial. In truth, the ability to spend time alone is one that most great artists, mystics, and visionaries share.

Many famous artists and musicians were considered to be isolated loners or disruptive troublemakers, or sometimes both, yet these people altered history and contributed to the world an original vision or advances in our understanding of the universe. We should try to remember this as we examine our own selves, and when we label others because they don’t behavior like us or share different opinions. There is a bright side to any characterization.

If you have been labeled, remember that all you have to do to see the positive side is to turn the label around. For example, when I first met my fiancée I considered her to be overly emotional, and the fact that I have perceived her in such way got me in a lot of trouble in the early stages of our relationship. But notice, too, the gifts of being able to feel and express your emotions, in a world that doesn’t always encourage that and labels you to be weak. Being labeled as overly emotional, might help you see yourself as brave or open-hearted enough to stay alive to your feelings.

Everyone of us at one time or another in our lives have been labeled as something we’re not; sometimes it’s merely to the amusement of others – particularly here on our nature island. But as you turn these labels around, let them guide you on your way.

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Nearly everyone of us knows someone who always seems to be Angry at everything (the world)? You might just know someone but just never really took time out to observe this persons behavioral pattern. While growing up as a young boy, I realized that my mom – a single parent at the time, would get angry every time she would come back from work. She would begin to go on-and-on, complain about every single thing, and eventually became apart of her life. It became to the point that if she wasn’t angry at someone or something she wouldn’t feel right about herself.

Sometimes when we feel anger, it is coming from a deep place that demands response and expression. However, anger can also become a habit, our go-to emotion whenever things go wrong. If you look at today’s society, more and more we are seeing habitual anger manifesting itself in people’s emotions. Often this is because, for whatever reason, we feel more comfortable expressing anger than we do other emotions, like sadness. It can also be that getting angry gives us the impression that we’ve done something about our problem. In these cases, our habitual anger is holding back both our ability to express our other emotions and to take action in our lives.

If it’s true that anger is functioning this way in your life, the first thing you might want to try is to notice when you get angry. For example, you could notice that it is always your first response or that it comes up a lot in one particular situation. If the pattern doesn’t become clear right away, you could try keeping a journal about when you get angry and see if you can find any underlying meaning.

One of good things about keeping a journal is that you can explore your anger more deeply in it—from examining who in your family of origin expressed a lot of anger to how you feel when you encounter anger in others. This kind of awareness can very well be the medium to your transformation.

Anger can be a powerful partner, since it is filled with energy that we can control and use to create change in the world. Anger is one of the most energizing emotions, and it can also be a very effective cleanser of the emotional system. However, when it becomes a habit, it actually loses its power to transform and becomes an obstacle to growth. Identifying the role anger plays in your life and restoring it to its proper function can bring new energy to your emotional life.

What role is anger playing in your life?

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There is a strong chance you’ve not read Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, the subject seem to have a made it way into what most readers call “ Success Literature” all over the world. But what exactly is emotional intelligence and why is it so important? Well, the “why” is quite clear. Many people find themselves successful in all the traditional ways (i.e. with money and flashy friends) but still not satisfied nor happy. Creating a meaning in life requires strong relationships and doing so requires emotional intelligence.

Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why.

So, how does one go about creating a greater sense of emotional intelligence? In this post, I will try outline the nine aspects involved and offer brief descriptions of each:

Awareness. Recognizing individual emotions as they occur, understanding why they occur, and understanding the effects (that goes for both good and bad) they have on you.

Control. Resisting impulses and urges, remaining calm even as chaos develops, and always thinking clearly when those around you can’t.

Assessment. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses, learning from mistakes, and constantly striving to build on what you have in an effort to make yourself better.

Vision. Creating a sense of direction in your life, having the foresight to anticipate problems/needs before they happen, and paying attention to the details.

Creativity. Thinking outside the box, developing a tolerance for uncertainty, and maintaining an openness to change.

Innovation. Seeking out unconventional solutions to problems, keeping an open mind to originality in the world, and applying creativity in practical ways.

Ambition. Setting tough but attainable goals, constantly raising the bar in quest of excellence, and feeling the need for achievement whenever you can.

Independence. Living with a constant sense of who you are, making your own decisions even in the face of peer pressure, and acting despite tremendous risk and doubt.

Optimism. Understanding we all make mistakes, choosing to continue no matter how many times you’ve failed, and always remaining hopeful that success is just around the corner.

Those of you who are unfamiliar, a great way to create a habit are to do so in a month-long trial. Start at the top of the list and work your way down over the six months. Or simply choose whichever you feel will help you most right now and take it from there.

For example, to create a greater sense of consciousness you could start meditating, even if it’s for only three to five minutes a day. For assessment, you could take some time off to be alone with your thoughts, by treating yourself to a solo lunch or spending the afternoon at the park. Or just drive after work with the radio off.

Slowly but surely, you’ll begin to see the changes. As long as you take the time to really imprint these new behaviours – they’re bound to stick and you’re bound to feel the difference.

Photo courtesy of M@rg

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