I was training a group of professionals from a multinational corporation on communication skills when I made an astonishing discovery: Most people with engineering or business degrees knew nothing about how their minds worked. They all thought that we psychologists have some thing to do with “treating people with mental problems” but not much else.
When I gave them the personal SWOT task, in which they had to identify their own personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, there were many who had never thought about their weaknesses, and some who had never considered more than two or three strengths, NEVER!
An engineer got up and admitted that he was finding it very hard to identify three weaknesses in himself. And while I was trying to hide my sense of shock and amazement, several people nodded and affirmed that the task was also difficult for them.
This was quite shocking!!!
But this is not just about knowledge of psychology, the discipline, it is about self-awareness. This awareness of oneself does have a great deal to do with self-knowledge. So what does one do about it?
I went home and thought about this problem long and hard, and eureka, I had discovered the answer. I was going to provide training to professionals with a science and/or business background focusing on self-awareness and psychological issues. On top of the list was the following question:
How can training help me manage my emotions?
On the surface, it may sound like a simple question. In reality, this question is something humanity has struggled with since the dawn of civilization. Be it sadness, anger, hostility, fear, or even positive emotions such as joy, ecstasy or excitement, history is witness to the fact that not a lot of people have been successful to find the right balance. The above question is also asked in a different manner albeit in a positive tone?
How can training make me happy?
Happiness is the gold that the alchemists of yore sought to produce. Happiness is what we seek on a daily basis and it seems to elude the very best and the most successful among us. For we seek it not in ourselves but in the outside world. We will discuss this question further in my future blogs but for now suffices to say that the modern science of positive psychology has taken a page out of traditional sciences and dug up treasures hidden inside the human soul.
How do I control my anger?
If one factor could be blamed for ruining the majority of human relationships, it would be anger. Be it father and son, husband and wife, mother and daughter, brother and sister, or the relationship between two best friends, the emotion that sabotages the closest of relationships more than any other is anger.
Does my mind affect my body?
While I am skeptical of pseudo-scientific theories like the law of attraction, the secret etc., there is something to be said for the effects our thoughts and mental processes have on our bodies. Many professionals in South Asia do not take seriously the concept of psychosomatic illness and constantly search for the hidden ailment that is eating them alive, usually without success.
There are many such questions that psychologists are working on finding the answers to. We have found a great many answers and many of these reside in the traditional texts of ancient religions and spiritual practices. And at the same time, modern science has helped us discover new phenomena.
With this blog, I hope to supplement my training workshops and reach a much larger audience. I hope this helps people learn more about themselves and thereby improve their quality of life. It will enable them to be happy and the organizations they work for will get engaged employees yielding great results.
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