I have never understood the term Emotional Intelligence. If this means that we should let our emotions make our decisions, then I have to disagree.

I have always looked at emotions as results of our thoughts. They are symptoms of all our past memories, and their use is to point our decisions in the direction away from pain or toward pleasure. They are consultants in this scenario and should be listened to and considered, but the final action should come from our minds.

I see a better term as, Thought Intelligence. This skill lies in our ability to interpret our emotions and give them the proper credibility when making a decision. But never the final decision without consideration.

For instance, most of us know the signs of a heart attack include: left chest pain, left shoulder or arm pain and a crushing feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest. (If you didn’t know these signs, then you are welcome and I hope this knowledge never has to be used by you personally.)

If we are taught to use our emotions like standardized warning signs, similar to the left-chest-pain mentioned above, we will be using Thought Intelligence, not Emotional Intelligence. We will see our emotions as symptoms and not the boss of the decision making. They will behave more as our liaison not the boss.

Most of us have been taught one of two ways to handle our emotions:

  1) stuff them inside and pretend they don’t afffect us…or

  2) give them too much credibility and the are “always right.”

*I say we can learn to give them the credibility they deserve, but in turn, use them wisely.

A recent study showed 95% of people purchase based on emotion then, justify after they buy, with logic. This means that the majority of us take one of the biggest actions (taking out our wallet and purchasing) without even consulting our minds. I call this Emotional Action.

What drives our Emotional Action is one of two things: decrease pain or increase pleasure.

We are driven to buy an item because we either feel it will make our lives better or we fear it will keep our lives from getting worse. Fear of Missing Out (FMO) is a meme in our culture used repetitively that sums up how the emotion of fear drives us more than intelligence.

So how do we learn to use our emotions as tools for our decision making, but not take action until we consult our minds? A solution instead of stuffing them inside and pretending they don’t count OR letting them drive the train completely, is that we step back and take the big picture approach. We recognize them as one of the key players in our room of consultants, where we are the boss and maintain that we have the final say over the resulting action.

And just like a well-trained muscle, the more we use this process of  Thought Intelligence, the easier and more efficient its use becomes.

If you would like to discuss Decision Making with me and a group of like-minded individuals, please click below to join my Facebook Group “Decision Makers and Action Takers Community with Dr.Ali.”

I hope to see you there!