The Intelligence of Success image

The Intelligence of Success

Why Emotional Intelligence is Essential for Success

In 1983, Howard Gardner, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, published his book, "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences." In the book, Gardner outlined seven intelligences. The following are brief descriptions of Gardner’s Seven Intelligences.

  1. Verbal-linguistic

    People gifted in verbal-linguistic intelligence tend to be good at reading, writing, and memorizing words and dates. They learn best by reading, taking notes, and listening to lectures. These people are left-brain dominant. School is relatively easy if you are strong in this intelligence. Most “A” students are strong in verbal-linguistic intelligence. Many go on to become journalists, lawyers, authors, and doctors.

  2. Logical-mathematical

    Those gifted with this intelligence do well in math. They are comfortable with numbers, numerical problems, logic, and abstractions. These people are often left-brain dominant. Students with this intelligence also do very well in traditional education environments and often become “A” students. Many go on to be engineers, scientists, doctors, accountants, and financial analysts.

  3. Body-kinesthetic

    These students are often gifted physically. They tend to learn better by moving around and by doing. This intelligence comes out through the gym, football field, dance studio, acting studio, woodshop, or auto shop. Professional athletes, dancers, actors, models, surgeons, fire fighters, soldiers, police, pilots, racecar drivers, and mechanics are often gifted with this intelligence.

  4. Spatial

    This intelligence is strong in art, visualization, design, and solving puzzles. These people are generally considered right-brain dominant. Students gifted with this intelligence tend not to do well in traditional education environments. They do better in schools that focus on art, design, color, and architecture. These students go on to become artists, interior designers, fashion designers, and architects.

  5. Musical

    This intelligence is sensitive to music, rhythm, pitch, melody, and timbre. This person often sings and plays musical instruments well. This intelligence does not do well in a traditional education setting. A person with this gift is better off in musical environments of learning, such as schools for the performing arts.

  6. Interpersonal

    These people are communicators. They are usually popular and extroverts, displaying sensitivity to other’s moods, feelings, temperaments, and motivations. A person gifted with this intelligence often does well in school, especially in popularity contests such as running for student government. These people tend to go into sales, politics, teaching, and social work.

  7. Intrapersonal

    This intelligence is often called emotional intelligence. This intelligence deals with self-reflection and introspection. Emotional intelligence refers to having a 
deep understanding of yourself, knowing your own strengths and weakness, and what makes you unique, with the ability to handle reactions and emotions. Intrapersonal intelligence is crucial for high-stress environments. In fact, intrapersonal intelligence is critical for success in almost any field or profession.

The Intelligence of Success

Intrapersonal intelligence means communicating within yourself—being able to talk to yourself and control your emotions. For example, when someone who is angry says to himself, “Count to ten before you speak,” that person is exercising intrapersonal intelligence. In other words, he speaks to himself before he opens his mouth and lets his emotions speak.

Intrapersonal intelligence is important for success, especially when times are tough and a person wants to quit or is fearful.

We all know people who are highly emotional. Rather than think logically, highly emotional people tend to let their emotions run their lives, often saying or doing something they may later regret.

Emotional, Not Emotion-less

Emotional intelligence does not mean being void of emotions. Emotional intelligence means you know it is okay to be angry, just not out-of-control angry. You know it’s okay to feel hurt, but it is not okay to do something stupid in the name of revenge.

Many of us know a person who is very intelligent, let’s say in math, but allows their emotions to damage other parts of their lives. Take addiction for example. Addictions are often caused by a lack of emotional intelligence. When frustrated, angry, or fearful, a person may eat, drink, have sex, or do drugs to numb the emotional pain. Some people go shopping when bored, spending money they do not have.

Managing Emotions is Key to Success

Today, take stock in how you manage your emotions. Are you smart in the way you express what you’re feeling, especially when the pressure is on? Or do you let your emotions continually handicap your ability to succeed?

If you want to be successful in life, you must have strong emotional intelligence, which means strong intrapersonal intelligence, because successful people are successful at managing their emotions, especially in stressful situations.

Interested in learning more about how your strengths can help you with your finances? Get a copy of my new book, "Why 'A' Students Work for 'C' Students" here.

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Original publish date: June 25, 2013

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