“Wisdom is knowing what to overlook.”
-William James (pioneering American psychologist and brother to novelist Henry James and brilliant, tortured sister and fascinating diarist Alice James)
Today I was reading an article about how more and more schools are teaching ’emotional intelligence’ to students — a process that sounds akin to many aspects of mindfulness practice.
These “non-cognitive skills — like self-restraint, persistence, and self awareness – might actually be better predictors of a person’s life trajectory” than grades. What is life trajectory? Having a happy relationship, a job you like and are good at, even being physically healthy.
It’s possible for people (kids and adults!) to practice these skills and get better at them, and, it seems, at life. Yay!
There’s also a nod given to the fact that teaching emotional intelligence is the ‘flavor of the minute’ in education policy — “the history of education reform is rife with failures: promising programs that succeed in studies, only to falter in the real world. The phenomenon is so common that researchers even have a name for it: the Hawthorne effect – the fact that simply focusing attention on something like a school, is enough to cause a temporary uptick in performance.”
Just imagine: what if your focused attention is sustained over months and years? Perhaps the ‘uptick in performance’ can translate as happiness.
The video above offers you one minute of mindfulness.