The quality of our life is measured by the quality of our questions
– Ronit Baras
Eventually, every one of my clients asks me why I have chosen my particular educational path. To me, life coaching is “teaching happiness” or “teaching personal development”, I present myself as an educator during my introduction sessions and along the way, my clients become fully aware of my educational philosophy, so they ask me why I have chosen this path.
As a special education teacher, I have been taught two contradicting theories. One of them says, “The key to success in life is cognitive intelligence (IQ) – People have a set intellectual potential and our aim as educators is to teach people how to reach that potential”. The other says, “The key to success in life is emotional intelligence (EQ) – People have many talents, skills and abilities and our aim as educators is to teach people how to make the most of them”.
On the surface, it seems you can use both and there is no major difference between them, but for me, there was a huge difference. When I thought about my job, I realized at a very early stage that using the IQ theory will limit me, because whenever I face challenges in teaching, I might say, “Well, maybe this student has reached their full potential and there is nothing more I can do for them”. When I use the EQ theory, I can always say, “There is no limit to a person’s potential. Let me just try another key to unlock their ability”.
I explain the differences between the theories and their effect on my own success as a teacher and life coach, all the while making it clear that this was the way I have chosen. Still, I am always asked the question
Was it really the right choice?
I think the struggle to make the right choices is at the heart of every learning process. In life, we get so many messages and so many of them are contradictory that most of us are confused, because we ask this question
Which choice is right?
And once we have made a choice, we wonder again if it really was the right one.
Recent research about the perception of truth has found that when we hear something three times or more, we tend to accept it as truth. Scary, no? During our lifetime, we receive an enormous number of messages more than three times and therefore, we are doomed to be confused. As an example, just take competing ads for similar products, like toothpaste, hand cream or frozen peas and you will know what I mean.
“Yes, yes, I know”, you say, “But which is the right choice of educational philosophy? Is it IQ or EQ? Just tell us”.
Well, personally, I have made a career out of the EQ theory and I am pretty good at it. I have managed to write successful educational programs, raise many gifted children around the world, enjoy the fruits of my belief with my own children, make a difference in the lives of many families.
But I do not have the answer to this question. Do you know why?
Because it does not matter! My choices should never matter to you! The only thing that matters is what you believe. None of the theories are right or wrong, they are only limiting or empowering to each person individually.
When IQ was telling me I have hit the limit and I should give up, EQ whispered “try one more time”. I like having options, so the choice of EQ was easy for me. I know many others who like certainty in life and believing they know their limits makes them choose IQ.
Change your questions, change your life
– Marilee G. Adams
Whenever something happens to you in life, whenever you have to choose a path, whenever you have to find a solution, stop looking for the right choice and ask instead
Will this limit or empower me?
Which option empowers me the most?
It is as easy as changing the question.
Welcome to your new life!