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The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
When the best option is to let go of the life you planned for yourself and find a new path, a world of possibilities can surprisingly open up.
I placed my original order for Dan Goleman's book "Emotional Intelligence" about one month before it's release in 1995 after reading the Time magazine cover story "What is Your E.Q.?" At the time I was going through a very difficult divorce, and I was asking myself the question "What did I do to deserve this terrible mess?" I was a 37 year old medical internist then who, in 7th grade, modeled my emotional style after Mr. Spock (from Star Trek) to avoid emotional issues I faced then. I accepted the messages from my parents and teachers who taught me that if I earned good grades, went to college, received an undergraduate and hopefully a graduate degree, then I shall expect to become happy & successful in life. Well, I DID that. I got the T-shirt. I graduated from high school as class valedictorian, winning the science award, I was awarded by my classmates "most likely to succeed", and I won a very handsome scholarship which paid all my undergraduate tuition for 4 years and offered me a summer job. In college I won more scholarships and graduated phi beta kappa in the top 3% of my class. In medical school & residency I did well, but this was more difficult for me as I had to learn to deal with many emotionally and socially challenging issues I was poorly prepared to deal with, but I got through them, but initially was not very adept at dealing with them.
When I entered professional life I started to ponder more the emotional issues in the lives of my patients, and in my own life, and I was slowly coming to terms with the importance of these issues.Read more ›
I must admit I'm torn between a thumbs up and a thumbs down for this book (hence, 3 stars). Author Daniel Goleman does a fine job of employing a vast library of behavioral research in support of the premise that emotional conditioning plays a dominant role in what we perceive as "intelligence." Even though one can learn lots from Goleman's work, the overriding theme here seems to me to be ridiculously simple: good nurturing (rather than aptitude) is more likely to produce exceptional humans; bad nurturing creates people with a bunch of problems. The book starts off great, with a look at what happens in the brain at the molecular level under all sorts of emotional experiences. That's Part One (Goleman recommends skipping this if you're not into neurological details), which turned out to be the most interesting for me, as I had never before learned much about the emotional "architecture" of the brain. In Parts Two through Five, the author expounds on feelings (e.g., anger, empathy, passion, depression), personality, upbringing, aptitude, and treatment, etc., citing study after study to show that today's children are most decidedly a product of how they were treated in their earliest years, but nevertheless are winding up far less able then their ancestors were to handle even the slightest emotional dilemma. In fact, the further on you read, the more you'll realize that "Emotional Intelligence" is a book about children. Why is their character deteriorating, and what can we do to mold them into more emotionally strong (intelligent) beings? That's okay: if you're a parent, educator, or child psychologist, definitely buy this book. It will help.Read more ›
When I first read this book back when it came out in 1995, it was wonderful to have my eyes opened to emotional intelligence. Goleman is an excellent writer and presents a great deal of thought-provoking content. It will teach you everything you want to know about emotional intelligence, though the book doesn't show you how to improve your EQ.
Goleman, a psychologist and former science writer for The New York Times, explains how the rational and emotional work together to shape intelligence, using intriguing information from neuroscience and psychology of the brain. It details why IQ is not the sole predictor of success, and it reviews powerful studies that show how emotional intelligence impacts important life outcomes. Goleman shows how the brain can easily succumb to an emotional hijacking, where emotions overpower your reason.
He uses scientific data from studies based on brain imaging technologies that yield an interesting understanding of how emotions operate in the brain. Along the way Goleman summarizes much of the best psychological work of the last few decades on such topics as the importance of learned optimism, the theory of multiple intelligences, the role of innate temperamental differences, and the importance of emotional intelligence in marriage, management, and medicine. The empirical data Goleman uses is well-researched.
He also suggests that a lack of emotional intelligence is responsible for the horrendous acts of violence that are the stuff of daily headlines. The book calls for universal adoption of educational curricula that will teach youngsters how to regulate their emotional responses and to resolve conflict peacefully.
Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is the book you should read if you want to learn how to increase your emotional intelligence. It even includes an online emotional intelligence test.
DANIEL GOLEMAN is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in the Berkshires.