News: General News

Harness the Psychology Behind Success

Saturday, February 23, 2019  
Posted by: by Bruce Christopher
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What do the superstars of success know that the rest of us do not? Why do some people seem to rise to the top in their field? Why is it that some people have all the luck? What are the factors which lead to success in life? Not just financially, but in all the areas of our life: our relationships,  our health and our career. These are questions for which we would all like to receive some answers.

In the past, psychologists believed that our I.Q. score – an “intelligence quotient” assessment many of us took in school – predicted our success. If one had a high I.Q., then one would theoretically go on to be very successful in life. We now know this is not necessarily the case. 

Recent research has uncovered another dimension for success – “Emotional Intelligence” that is highly linked to personal and professional accomplishment. People who are successful personally and professionally, do three things well:

  • Manage themselves. 
  • Motivate themselves.
  • Manage other people.

Learning how to manage ourselves, especially under times of stress, transition and frustration, is one of the hardest things we ever do as adults.

Often, when life throws its difficulties at us, our emotions can overwhelm and get the best of us. This situation may be called an “emotional hijack.” 

Have you ever felt like there were two people inside you? There are. One is the very rational/mature/adult side of your psyche, which is in control most of the time. The other is that irrational/childish/crazy person who comes out when things don’t go your way (like when we become overly upset because a lousy driver cut us off in traffic). 

Neurologists refer to the rational-cerebral part of our brain and the more primitive-emotional part of our brain. A personality hijack or meltdown happens when the emotional recesses of our mind take over the more highly evolved, complicated area of our brain. 

In the movie, “Kindergarten Cop,” Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the role of a tough cop who is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher to find a drug dealer. On his first day posing as the teacher, he is very confident in his ability to handle the children, only to find out that teaching 30 five-year-olds is nothing at all like what he was expecting. Hence, he experiences his emotional hijack and runs from the classroom, screaming in frustration.

We’ve all experienced these triggering points in life that can overpower or derail us for a bit. So, the critical question is, "how can I manage and regulate my emotions when I am under pressure?" 

The answer that you provide to that question may well determine your emotional intelligence and predict your personal and professional success.

Join me on April 11 at NACM North Central’s Fresh Ground Networking Breakfast. I will outline essential skills for managing a meltdown and will provide insight into the other two components of success – motivating yourself and managing other people. I hope to see you there.   

Psychologist and humorist Bruce Christopher is America’s foremost “enter-trainer" today. He has earned this distinction because of his high-energy style and humorous presentation of his material. A clinical psychologist holding degrees in professional psychology and interpersonal communications, he combines useful content with loads of laughter and contagious comedy.