Personal Development for 2021

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As I go through life, I am constantly looking for ways to make myself a better human being. Whether physically or mentally, personal or business, we must always be moving forward, improving, strengthening. To gain physical strength, I work out with a trainer at the gym three times a week. I also run three days a week for a total of about 12 miles per week. I hope to add cycling and swimming back into my normal routine in 2021. I focus on spiritual growth by reading my Bible and praying daily (most of the time) and by attending my local church three times a week.

One way I get meaningful results in a mental and business capacity is by reading and listening to books. I never read fictional book titles. My book selections are always about personal and business growth. In 2020, I read such titles as Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss; Essentialism by Greg McKeown; Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin; The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin; Leadership Strategy and Tactics by Jocko Willink; What It Takes by Stephen A. Schwarzman, and many others. 

For 2021, I have several great titles lined up that I am looking forward to. I also, on occasion, read through business articles as they come across my feed during my daily routines. One such article that came to my attention was written by emotional intelligence expert, author, and speaker Harvey Deutschendorf and published on the Fast Company website. Deutschendorf writes about the seven habits of highly emotionally intelligent people. I want to share them with you today. Highly emotionally intelligent people…

1. Focus On The Positive

While not ignoring the bad news, emotionally intelligent people have made a conscious decision to not spend a lot of time and energy focusing on problems. Rather, they look at what is positive in a situation and look for solutions to a problem. These people focus on what they are able to do and that which is within their control.

2. Surround Themselves With Positive People 

People with a lot of emotional intelligence (EI) don’t spend a lot of time listening to complainers and tend to avoid negative people. They are aware negative people are an energy drain and are not willing to let others exhaust their vitality. Because they always look for solutions and the positive in situations, negative people quickly learn to avoid positive people as misery loves company.

Emotionally intelligent people spend time with others who are positive and look upon the bright side of life. You can spot these folks as they smile and laugh a great deal and attract other positive people. Their warmth, openness, and caring attitude leads others to look upon them as more trustworthy.

3. Are Able To Set Boundaries And Be Assertive When Necessary

Although they’re friendly, open nature may make them appear as pushovers to some, people with high EI are able to set boundaries and assert themselves when needed. They demonstrate politeness and consideration but stay firm at the same time. They do not make needless enemies. Their response to situations, in which there may be conflict, is measured, not inflated, and managed appropriately to the situation. They think before speaking and give themselves time to calm down if their emotions appear to become overwhelming. High EI people guard their time and commitments and know when they need to say no.

4. Are Forward Thinking And Willing To Let Go Of The Past

People with high EI are too busy thinking of possibilities in the future to spend a lot of time dwelling upon things that didn’t work out in the past. They take the learning experiences from their past failures and apply them to their actions in the future. They never see failure as permanent or a personal reflection of themselves.

5. Look For Ways To Make Life More Fun, Happy and Interesting

Whether it is in their workplace, at home, or with friends, high EI people know what makes them happy and look for opportunities to expand their enjoyment. They receive pleasure and satisfaction from seeing others happy and fulfilled and do whatever they can to brighten someone else’s day.

6. Choose How They Expend Their Energy

While these enlightened people are good at moving on from the past when things didn’t work out as expected, they are also able to move on from conflicts involved with others. High EI folks don’t hold on to anger over how others have treated them, rather they use the incident to create awareness of how to not let it happen again. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” is their motto. While they move on and forgive, they don’t forget and are unlikely to be taken advantage of again in the same set of circumstances.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me

7. Continually Learning And Growing Towards Independence

Highly emotionally intelligent people are lifelong learners, continually growing and evolving. They are always open to new ideas and eager to learn from others. Being critical thinkers, they are open to changing their minds if someone presents an idea that is a better fit. While they are open to ideas from others, and continuously gathering new information, they ultimately trust themselves and their own judgment to make the best decisions.