Growing on the Inside: Who Do You Want to Be Next?

When our children were small, my wife and I would ceremoniously mark their ascending altitude on the wall. I’d often comment about how growth is both external and internal. When we’d talk about how much they’d grown in height, I’d comment how they’ve also “grown on the inside.” Sometimes I’d observe ways they’d become competent, from riding bikes to making pancakes. Perhaps more importantly, I liked to call attention to their growth of character: “I notice that recently you’ve become more ____.”

For many people, as that process of physical “growth on the outside” slows, so does “growth on the inside.” Yet one of our greatest gifts is the capacity to nourish the possibilities within, overcome inertia, and develop ourselves. For yourself, today, what is one quality you’d like to be able to write in that ___? Caring, self-compassionate? Responsible, patient? Wise, hardworking, relaxed, focused? Energized, calm? Self-disciplined, playful?

How will you know this growth is occurring?

What’s fueling that desire – is it because you’re suffering without it, or is it sprouting from your own flourishing? Is it something you want, or something you “should” do, or perhaps both?

And, from were will it arise? Are those qualities already inside you – or must they come from the outside?

 

This calendar quarter, October through December 2018, we’ll explore these questions and the science and practice of growing “on the inside” as individuals — and also as teams and organizations.

Growing EQ Changemakers for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

As a United Nations Action Partner, last week we honored the Global Day of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals. How will humanity rise to meet these audacious, urgent needs (such as eliminating hunger and ending violence against children)? Is it enough for politicians to pass a law?

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was passed 29 years ago; among other rights, it outlawed violence against children, and all world nations but two signed on. Yet three decades later, according to a 2016 study on violence against children, published in Pediatrics, over half of the world’s children (1 billion children, ages 2-17) suffer from violence.

At least in this tragic case, laws are not enough. Laws are a kind of “growing on the outside.” What do we need to “grow on the inside” to change this story?

One answer is emotional intelligence: The capacity to align our feelings, thoughts and actions for mutual good. When people develop greater EQ skills, they’re able to solve problems proactively and effectively, communicate about differences, and make better decisions.

The power of EQ for harnessing human power for positive change is why we’re holding the POP-UP Festival, the largest EQ event in history supporting UNICEF’s mission for safety and wellbeing for every child.

This quarter’s EQ Café (a free event for practicing EQ, held by our volunteer leaders in 200+ cities around the world each quarter) will also follow these themes. Watch this schedule of EQ Cafés to see if one is coming to a city near you.

To solve problems at a root level, we need to grow emotional intelligence – because with more EQ, emotions focus our attention on what matters, and motivate us to connect for solutions

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