7 Emotional Skills Needed To Make It Through Life


 emotional skills

Life can be hard at times.

Everyone will go through good times and bad.

The ability to navigate through the rougher seas of life will separate those who merely exist from those who truly live. In the brilliant book Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman describes seven key abilities most beneficial for human beings to make it through life.


The Ability To:

1. Motivate ourselves

The truth is you are not always going to feel motivated. Someone is not always going to be there to encourage you and make you do what you need to. There comes a time when you must reach deep down and spark your own flame.

“The bedrock of character is self-discipline; the virtuous life, as philosophers since Aristotle have observed, is based on self-control. A related keystone of character is being able to motivate and guide oneself, whether in doing homework, finishing a job, or getting up in the morning. And, as we have seen, the ability to defer gratification and to control and channel one’s urges to act is a basic emotional skill, one that in a former day was called will.”

2. Persist against frustration


Frustration will come – you can count on it. Anyone who is doing anything worthwhile will meet resistance. It is through this resistance that growth occurs. The next time you feel frustrated ask yourself what you can learn from it and keep on keeping on.

3. Delay gratification

We live in a fast food, “I want it now”, “just charge it” society. If you are not careful it is very easy to get caught up in the instant gratification whirlwind. Especially if you are watching everyone else seemingly get all of the things that you want.

4. Regulate moods

“Anyone can become angry—that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, this is not easy.”

Emotions can’t be trusted. The first step to regulate your moods is to realize this. Life is about more than what you feel. However, there are things you can do about it. For example, If you recognize that you feel grumpy when you let yourself get too hungry then take the time to plan ahead and schedule meals or snacks. Your family and friends will thank you.

5. Hope

Jeff Goins on his blog Pilgrimage of the heart writes – “It seems that pain is inevitable, and while we may say that we know good can come out of it, what hurts still hurts.

“As humans, we need hope. We can’t live without it. It is the lifeblood to our spiritual survival, and the only thing that pulls us out of the deep trenches of the pain and hurt if life.”

6. Empathize

“Being able to put aside one’s self-centered focus and impulses has social benefits: it opens the way to empathy, to real listening, to taking another person’s perspective. Empathy, as we have seen, leads to caring, altruism, and compassion. Seeing things from another’s perspective breaks down biased stereotypes, and so breeds tolerance and acceptance of differences.”

7. Control impulse.

Though the predisposition to substance abuse may, in many cases, be brain-based, the feelings that drive people to “self-medicate” themselves through drink or drugs can be handled without recourse to medication, as Alcoholics Anonymous and other recovery programs have demonstrated for decades.

“Acquiring the ability to handle those feelings—soothing anxiety, lifting depression, calming rage—removes the impetus to use drugs or alcohol in the first place.”

These basic emotional skills are taught remedially in treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse. It would be far better, of course, if they were learned early in life, well before the habit became established.



From around the web:

The Importance of Hope In A Person’s Life

The Only Two Secrets to Motivating Yourself You’ll Ever Need

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