Professional Development

10 - Some reflections III
All feelings and emotions are right. It is not a matter of denial, nullification or questioning; to be angry is as valid and right as it is to be happy, for that is not the root of the problem. The problem lies in the capacity to optimally choose the adequate reaction to external or one's own problems, and to decide whether the best way to solve the problem is to become angry and start shouting or, effectively, if the outcome would be better if the problem were approached in a calm manner.As regards the digression we must deal with, we can consider three basic emotional groups. The first is related to the general environment, and it comprises mood and is easy to manage. For instance, each of us chooses how our day will be: from a weather standpoint, it rains, it is windy, or the temperature is high or low; from here on, you decide: it's cold out, I like it; gray and rainy days, oh! what a depressing day, etc. There is an obvious difference between having a sad day and having a day which is merely a rainy day. This is what we referred to when we mentioned "easily manageable." The second group, temper, is more difficult to deal with. It depends on other more complex aspects, which we will not be able to discuss in further detail. Basically, there are aspects that are changeable, which are all those that may be associated to habits and education, and which we probably can reconsider at any given time. For example, a person may think of himself as being extremely perfectionist (this can be changed) and may begin to improve this trait on his own doing. Little by little, he may continue to make small steps forward, and within a year or so, he may be less of a perfectionist. This person will still be a perfectionist but, by then, he will have eliminated the aspects that make perfectionism a serious problem or defect, while accepting that these aspects take time to change and that it requires dedication and effort in order to fight against his usual habits.The third group is character, and it may even include pathological personality disorders. In this regard, and in the possible case that we are facing a disorder, in effect, it would be a good idea get this problem worked out - we recommend always placing yourself in the hands of a specialist, or taking extreme caution in self-manipulation. Resuming our earlier discussion, next we will establish a comparison between emotional intelligence and general intelligence. In principle, general intelligence does not develop easily after a certain time in life. A person can continue to acquire knowledge throughout one's entire life; this is probably what all of us do. We are certainly aware that obtaining a PhD is more difficult than obtaining a master's degree. After a couple of master's and doctorate degrees, we will not have much energy, time or opportunities left to engage in other master's or doctorate degrees. On the other hand, the great "little motor" of general intelligence, to use a graphic expression, that is, the IQ does not develop after ages 5 to 7 or 8. There is a saying in Spain that says, "Lo que natura non da Salamanca non presta," or basically, if nature has not supplied you with intelligence, no matter how much you study, you will never be wise. Therefore, it is not easy to develop general intelligence after you have achieved a certain level or reached a certain age; in any case, it demands much time, effort and probably money.Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, can certainly be developed. It is a matter of self-management and self-development, which, in principle, have no limits and do not demand special and exclusive dedication. One can dedicate oneself to emotional development at all time, and at any moment, simply by committing oneself to doing so and by constant appraisal: what was my intention? what have I achieved? what did I do? what have I not done well? what should I do differently? Nevertheless, at the same time you commit yourself to constant appraisals, you must do your best to identify situations that can be approached in other manners.