Having written about the most elementary and logical Intelligence first, I hoped to have set the tone for all the others. In this blog I would like to explore what I believe is the most interesting and important one. The Intelligence that drives you and me and gives our lives meaning.
Before getting my teeth into this crucial topic I would like to set the record straight, Spiritual Intelligence is not religious Intelligence. There is a huge difference between the two.
The definition of religion, is a set of beliefs that is held by a group of people. The beliefs are about the world and the people in it, about how they came into being, and what their purpose is. These beliefs are often linked to supernatural beings such as God, Buddha, Allah and a number of other gods or spirits.
On a lighter note before tackling Spiritual Intelligence I would love to relate a story. You might have even found yourself in a similar situation. I have a friend who told me that he would not be interested in this topic as he doesn’t believe. (He of course was referring to it in a religious context) however my response to him was “that everyone believes even him”. To his astonishment and having an aggressive nature he wanted to argue, but before things got out of hand I replied that “he believes that he doesn’t believe”. We all have some sort of belief or understanding, something that drives us.
A good understanding of Spiritual Intelligence is that it is a higher dimension of Intelligence. Spiritual Intelligence activates the qualities and capabilities of the authentic self, in the form of wisdom, compassion, integrity, joy, love, creativity and peace.
Spiritual Intelligence is our capacity for developing meaning, vision and value. That inner gut feeling, the fire in our belly. It allows us to dream and strive for more. It underlies the things we believe in and the role our beliefs and values play in the actions we take.
Can I relate a personal story, that illustrates Spiritual Intelligence?
We immigrated to South Africa when I was a young boy. We were classified as a middle class family but looking back I now appreciate we were privileged compared to the majority of the country. I understood that not everyone enjoyed the same privileges we did or had the same opportunities we had because of the colour of their skin.
We certainly did not come from money and made ends meet from month to month. Early on in my life my parents marriage dissolved and although we all stayed under one roof, it was not an ideal situation and definitely not a marriage. We all have defining moments in our lives and some really test our character. At age eleven I was forced into a situation, having to choose which parent we were going to live with. This is something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. This experience certainly shaped my thinking and my future. It was always my goal to make sure that in the future my life would be different and the same would never happen to me. My inner drive and determination was born.
As a family man my desire was always to be the best husband that I could be. (This was done long ago. Ha, ha) My best friend is my wife and we have the most incredible relationship, but please appreciate we work at it daily. My second objective was to be a great example to my children and my grandchildren. As a couple we have always been driven to take care of our finances to ensure that our family never have to worry about us financially as we age.
If I regard myself as a family man, the question I should ask myself daily is “am I living up to my value system and personal beliefs.” “Am I taking care of my health or am I overweight?” If I were to have a heart attack or develop diabetes because of irresponsibility my family would have to bear the consequences. What would I be saying to my grandchildren? Would I be living up to my belief system?
I mentioned in my previous blog that Tracy and I have always wanted to be significant in this world. If we were not doing something everyday to touch someone we also would not be living up to what we believe is our purpose. We do have a Christian background and that fits into our value system. We believe that God is the most important guiding force in our family and we teach this to our kids.. It is central to our value system. The question is who or what do you value, that drives you everyday?
Another defining moment that shaped my thinking in the recent years, was quite alarming. It was a Friday afternoon and I was driving home when I was pushed of the road by a BMW. Four big burley gentlemen, supposedly policemen got out of the car and put guns to my head. They offered no explanation or apology and started searching me. They said that they were looking for drugs but obviously found none. Again with no explanation they left me alone. While all this was taking place so much was going through my mind. Was this the last time that I would see my family? Were they going to be alright financially? Had I made a significant difference in their lives? Did I tell them often enough how proud I was of them? Did I tell them enough how much I loved them?
The next week, I took a sabbatical and read spiritual and leadership books. I took a long hard look at my life and In the end I came to one conclusion, if I was not taking responsibility for all aspects of my life, I was just saying to my loved ones that I didn’t care for them and that they would pay the consequences for my actions or inactions. Have you even done a reflection on your life?
This drove Tracy and I to do some personal development courses and as a result, we have put together a program called Realise your full potential. In it there is a value determination profiling test. It profiles your values in a chronological order. There has been many occasions where individuals do not agree with the results. An example might be that they believe that their family is their highest value, yet they are not spending much time at home. The value determination process shows where they are spending there time, money and thoughts. The good news is that this can change.
Knowing what is deeply important to you can only come from within.. Hence tapping deeply into your Spiritual Intelligence is crucial . Finally Spiritual Intelligence is obtained by accessing our inner strength separating our heart and soul from our minds. The higher our Spiritual Intelligence, the more we are truly ourselves, mindful of our being and not hiding behind reactive emotions nor conditioned belief systems.
Living in the present, learning from the past. With a high Spiritual Intelligence we respond rather than react. We keep an open mind, viewing the world, other peoples opinions and beliefs objectively. We respect diversity in this ever changing world.
Looking forward to sharing my next blog on Physical Intelligence next.