Choosing Your Attitude for 2019: Wellbeing and Happiness

– Marcia Hughes and James Terrell

How would you like to feel in this new year we call 2019?

What feelings do you want to evoke in others? When you’re talking with friends and colleagues how do you want to sound; what do you want to be saying? Will you be upbeat and optimistic? Will you indicate satisfaction with the present moment while being hopeful about next steps? Our heartfelt desire for you is that you choose Joy and Happiness. Make no mistake about it, this is very much your choice. Let Happiness be your governing principle for this year and then share with others the strength of your wellbeing. As John Lennon said, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.

Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.
Dalai Lama XIV

Happiness is the 16th skill of the EQi 2.0. This powerful skill is a part of the 16 skills for this model resulting from research begun in the 1980’s by Dr. Reuven Bar-On. Emotional Intelligence is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we respond to the many environmental demands placed on us. “Environmental” is a broad concept drawing on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components of our lives.

The EQi 2.0 module presents the 5 composites and 15 of the skills in the middle of a circle with an outer circle focusing on wellbeing and containing happiness, the 16th skill. Happiness is an overall barometric indicator of our emotional health. Happiness contributes to our strength in the other 15 EI skills. It also is strengthened as other skills are developed.

Happiness is so fundamental to the quality of our lives that happiness and its role in wellbeing is highlighted with a separate graph in the EQi report that shows happiness as a deep influencer of wellbeing and the rich connections with four other EI skills – Self-Regard, Self-Actualization, Interpersonal Relationships and Optimism. If you have your EQi client report, turn to page 19 and read every word. Talk with your coach, colleagues and others and reflect on how you bring these five skills together to expand your wellbeing.

Emotional Intelligence skill development is a primary platform for developing our wellbeing.


Wellbeing is a broad recognition that we perceive our lives are going well and with that we have more strength and energy to develop our skills and make our best contributions to our family, society, business, even the world. Our wellbeing is impacted daily by our attitude, gratitude and demeanor.

Happiness Skill Development

  • Happiness is a outward reflection of our thoughts. If you find yourself feeling grumpy, worried or stressed, stop, breathe and notice your thoughts. Do not judge them, just notice. Breathe. Choose what you want to think about and how you want to frame your thoughts. If you’re worried about how to be at work and also get your children to their activities, breathe, relax and let creative possibilities come to you. Can you ask for help, for flexible hours, brainstorm with colleagues or other parents? Then choose how to frame your thoughts to support your happiness – “What a positive challenge to have – combining beautiful children, their activities and your work.” Be grateful that all these components are in your life!
  • Take 5 minutes towards the end of your day and write 5 things that occurred that day that you are grateful for. Perhaps it’s a hug, finding a good book to read, planting flowers, a chance to be of service. Be creative and look around your day with an attitude of gratitude.
  • Check out Steven Pinker’s new book, “Enlightenment Now.” This deeply researched tome provides fact after fact demonstrating that our world is improving. He shows us that violence is down worldwide, for example in Mexico, it’s 1/5th what it was a century ago. According to Jeff Stibel’s summary in USA Today, we spend more time with our children, less time in the office and less time doing housework than any time in the last 50 years. Even the poorest people have more spending money.
  • Be proactive about choosing your friends, your news media and your discussions. There are a seeming unending set of opportunities to immerse our selves in negativity. Don’t let it happen! Choose Happiness – be satisfied with today – and Optimism – hope for the future. As Sibel writes, “The world is better than it was 10, 50 or 100 years ago. We should never stop working to improve it, but even on a bad news day, we need to keep things in perspective!
Carpe Diem!!

This series of articles connects the 5 composites and the wellbeing indicator of the EQi 2.0 with wellbeing. Your comments are always welcome! Check out our books, Emotional Intelligence in Action, 2d Ed, which provides 4 or more exercises for growing each of the 16 EQi 2.0 skills and The Emotionally Intelligent Team, which covers the 7 EI competencies teams need to be successful.

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