The 5-Star Life part 2: emotional intelligence

What you put into your body is what you will get out of it.

This is true not only in regards to what you eat & drink, but most significantly this is true in regards to what you watch and to what you listen. Unfortunately we have conditioned our lives to habitually bombard our minds with information that is unhealthy and in many ways quite damaging to our emotional intelligence, kind of like junk food for the soul.

In 2010, the average American watched 34 hours of TV each week. That’s almost a full-time job, and most of the shows viewed centered around reality TV – watching other people make a mess of their lives – or fantasy TV – watching what you wished was true about your life, like being a professional athlete or taking down a criminal NCIS style. We consume news outlets like MSNBC and Fox News as if our life depended on it, and we become addicted to the drama, spending huge chunks of time finding out what our government “leaders” are arguing about this week.

We spend the majority of our free time watching other people live life, and our minds start to atrophy and continually circulate the garbage we consume. It’s no wonder so many people are out of work long-term and seem to be okay with that. It’s no wonder infidelity and divorce is so prevalent in our culture. It’s no wonder school shootings and violent crime continue to flood our news on a regular basis. We have stopped growing emotionally, which I am defining as what you know and how you use that to make decisions, and our lives have become stagnant.

This requires us to make a change – a shift, if you will – in how we approach life. It requires us to re-evaluate our priorities and what we are doing with our time. It requires us to turn the TV off and pick up a good book – a nonfiction book at least half of the time – and learn how to live productive lives in the real world.

The truth is, only a few people who even make it to this part of today’s blog will do this. Only a few people will realize they are wasting their lives through TV and fantasy, and will make the change to watch less TV and read more books. Only a few people will put themselves around successful people who are striving for greatness in our culture.

It has been said by people much wiser than me that we will be the same person in 5 years, except for the books we read and the people we meet. Having a high level of emotional intelligence requires to maximize our opportunities to learn and grow in what we know and how we use that to make decisions.

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