It’s not something that a lot of people realise, but the road to wealth and financial security often demands a high-level of emotional intelligence.
Not always, of course. A lot of people make it into the upper echelons of wealth-dom without ever tuning into their own feelings. But for the kind of work that I do, and the kind of help that I offer people, a bit of emotional intelligence is essential.
For example, how do you feel about Paris Hilton?
When you think about all of her ‘obscene’ wealth – the cars, the jewellery, the Hollywood parties… when you remember that she’s never done a real day’s work in her life… when you realise that she commands more media attention than the Dalai Lama, but has less to contribute than a telletubby…
How do you feel about that?
If you’re like a lot of people I know, the emotional flavour tends to a sort of ‘condescending amusement.’
It’s a seductive emotional state. It makes you feel good. “I may not have a lot of respect, but at least I’m not that much of idiot. I may not have a lot of success, but at least I know the value of a hard day’s work. Maybe no-one cares about what I think, but at least I have opinions more sophisticated than a recipe for chocolate crackle.”
We live in an age where we are fully encouraged to give the dogs of judgement completely free rein. It’s the age of reality television (though I don’t know how much ‘reality’ there is in throwing a bunch of strangers into a completely contrived, studio-based situation…) But the primary commodity that reality television sells is ‘recreational judgement’.
We’re encouraged to sit around a bowl of pop-corn and have a good ‘ol judge.
“O.M.G she is such an idiot!”
“I can’t believe he just said that!”
“What is she doing? Who told her she could sing?”
And in case we’re missing the cue to flex our judgement muscles, put three authoritative ‘judges’ in some massive over-sized chairs, just to lead us through it.
(And then at the end, throw in some feel good, rags to riches, story of success we can all rally around and maintain the internal narrative that we are essential supportive and loving people – not completely lost to the demons of judgement and spite.)
But there’s a real danger in spending too long in this kind of space.
This is the lesson of ‘neuro-plasticity’. The more we practice something, the better we get at it – in all aspects of our life.
So if we spend a lot of time flexing our judgement muscles, they’ll get bigger. We’ll become judgment machines.
There’s a terrible danger in this, and I reckon society is completely blind to it.
Because the same muscles (neural pathways) we use to judge others, are exactly the same muscles we use to judge ourselves.
And so the more critical we become of others, the more critical we become of ourselves.
“judge not, lest ye be judged.”
And hating yourself is the surest path to unhappiness.
And the rub is that the more critical we are of ourselves, the more likely we are to being seduced by the recreational judgement of others. Paris Hilton is more of an idiot than me. That makes me feel good (well, less bad).
But it’s total mental junkfood, in that leaves you worse off in the long run. Because with the same thought that you’re judging Paris Hilton, you reaffirming the statement that you are also an idiot AND you’re building up your judgement muscles.
Don’t do it to yourself.
It’s a road to damaged and broken self-esteem. And it scares me that this is where we’re going as a society.
If there was a petition to ban reality (or recreational judgment) TV, I’d be the first to sign.
But I’m not in the business of lecturing psychology or social engineering. I’m in the business of helping my friends (and I consider every client a friend) find the road to financial security and wealth.
(And my guess is that you’re here for wealth tips, not amateur arm-chair psychology.)
So let me say then that unchecked judgement will become a major barrier to achieving the wealth you’re after, if you’re not careful.
Because why are you really judging Paris? Do you hate people less intelligent or less educated than yourself? No, my bet is you generally have compassion for those less fortunate than yourself in the brainy stakes.
Or do you hate people who don’t work? (hang on, aren’t you here because you want to spend less time working for the man, and more time hanging with friends and family and doing what you want?)
Or do you hate people who are wealthy and successful? But again, isn’t that why you read these posts. (I’m sure it’s not for the dazzling writing or even the technically correct use of grammar and punctuation.)
Even if it’s only at a mild and modest level, can you see what happens if we set up that kind of contradiction within ourselves? If we aspire to wealth and success, but freely judge those who are wealthy and successful?
And so a subtle level (even a vibrational level if you want to get all new-agey about it) we’re creating a resistance to exactly the kind of story we’re trying to call down for ourselves.
And so we won’t call down the opportunities we need, or if they do come, we’ll be unable to act.
No, we have to be careful. We need to be fully at peace with the journey we’re asking life to take us on. We need to feel it out, and feel joyful and expansive about it.
It takes work. It takes emotional intelligence. And it takes powerful discernment.
But not judgment. Leave all that judgement behind. It’s not yours.
Travel light and quickly, and with a joyous song in your heart.
And the road will come easy.