Self awareness makes positive changes

When I decided to clean up my personal life over 18 years ago,  get sober and go back to school, I was unwittingly winning the moment. That winning moment has led to realizing many life changing opportunities.

Becoming a firm believer in self-awareness has become a cornerstone to my life. It has been described by Psychologist Daniel Goleman as a key component to living a fulfilled existence.

Goleman is a pioneer in the field of “emotional intelligence.” His book of the same title has sold over 5 million copies and been translated into over 40 languages. The Harvard Business Review called Emotional Intelligence— which discounts IQ as the sole measure of one’s abilities — “a revolutionary, paradigm-shattering idea” and chose his article What Makes a Leader as one of 10 must-read articles from its pages. Emotional Intelligence was named one of the 25 “Most Influential Business Management Books” by TIME Magazine.

Within the specter of Emotional Intelligence resides Goleman’s 12 Core Competencies. They include:

  • Emotional—Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management—Emotional self-control, adaptability, achievement orientation, and a positive outlook
  • Social-Awareness—Empathy and organizational awareness
  • Relationship Management—Influence, coach and mentor, conflict management, teamwork and inspirational leadership.

To become a better leader, parent, or person, Dr. Goleman suggests working on becoming good at six or more of these competencies. Give yourself better odds of finding your own personal strengths and weaknesses within his model. Trust, empathy, and communication are keys to building and maintaining relationships.

Help yourself. Try these:

  • Be grateful for small wins
  • Manage negative emotions
  • Become more optimistic
  • Don’t ruminate, reflect
  • Resist impulsiveness
  • Mindfulness


Tom Matt is the host of the ‘Boomers Rock’ radio talk show syndicated throughout Michigan on the Michigan Talk Network and can be heard locally Saturday mornings on the ‘Big Talker’ WJIM 1240 AM. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU,  is certified from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a CPT/FNS/SFS. For more information please visit



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