Lesson 8 Life intelligence (LQ): Understanding who you are and what life is all about Objectives: 1. 2. 3. To learn the concept of life intelligence (LQ). To understand why LQ is necessary for meaningful living. To understand the important role of LQ in minimizing mistakes and problems and at the same time, maximizing the likelihood of flourishing. Introduction We have already learned the blueprint for meaningful living. What kind of intelligence do we need in order to implement the plan? We propose that it takes life intelligence to live well and die well. The Need for Life Intelligence You need high IQ to do well in school. You need high EQ to succeed in the business world. You need high LQ to live the good and meaningful life. LQ makes use of multiple intelligences. What is Life Intelligence? It is the ability to learn the wisdom and courage to live an authentic, meaningful and virtuous life. This ability consists of multiple intelligences especially the existential and spiritual intelligences of reflecting on life experiences and the human condition. Components of Life Intelligence 4 main components: Courage Self-knowledge Understanding life, others, and the human condition Problem-solving Courage The courage to be oneself (authentic) and to do what is right. The courage to confront, accept and transform negative realities. The courage to say “No” to powerful others in order to maintain one’s integrity. The courage to confess and make amends over one’s mistakes. Self-knowledge The wisdom to be fully aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses. A clear and consistent sense of self, regardless of circumstances. A clear sense of purpose and calling regarding what to do with one’s life. A clear understanding of one’s own psychological make-up, emotional states, and attitudes. Understanding Life, Others, and the Human Condition A clear understanding of what really matters and what makes life worth living. Knowing one’s place in the world. A set of beliefs and worldviews that facilitate decision making & life planning. A good understanding of the human condition, human nature, and existential givens. Understanding people and knowing how to work with them. Problem-solving Knowing how to manage available resources and overcoming obstacles. The ability to understand an issue from different perspectives and the larger scheme of things. Knowing how to balance competing interests and demands. Having the wisdom to form sound judgement in situations of complexity and ambiguity. Having the wisdom of knowing when to persist and when to quit. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Visual-spatial Intelligence Verbal-linguistic Intelligence Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence Logical-mathematical Intelligence Interpersonal Intelligence Musical Intelligence Intrapersonal Intelligence Naturalist Intelligence Howard Gardner’s 3 Additional Intelligences 1. 2. 3. Spiritual Intelligence Existential Intelligence Moral Intelligence These three types of intelligence are closely related to life intelligence. Spiritual Intelligence Spiritual Intelligence refers to a set of capacities related to transcendental matters such as spirituality and religiosity. Those with high spiritual intelligence are spiritually attuned and enlightened. Their values and major decisions are guided by spiritual intelligence. Existential Intelligence Existential Intelligence refers to the concern and ability to tackle the big questions of human existence, such as the meaning of life and death in an imperfect world. It is primarily based on self-reflection and existential quest to gain insight and understanding about the ultimate concerns and the human condition. Moral Intelligence Moral Intelligence refers to the concern and ability to conduct ourselves in a way that respects the sanctity of life and the rights of others. It is also related to the quest for moral understanding that differentiates right from wrong as well as noble from selfish goals. The Importance of Wisdom Wisdom makes up for 3 of the 4 components of LQ. Wisdom has been regarded as one of the cardinal virtues by philosophers from the East and West. Wisdom is needed to resolve major life problems for the common good (Clayton, 1982; Sternberg, 1985). Wisdom Con’d Wisdom involves the application of knowledge to achieve a deep understanding of self, others, and the world in order to arrive at a meaningful solution to difficult problems. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) Based on what you have learned in this course, in what ways is “fear of the Lord” related to the wisdom of meaningful living? Self-knowledge Self-knowledge refers to understanding one’s emotions, mental state, and thoughts. Knowledge of self as someone special and distinct from other people. Special knowledge about one’s past experiences and memories. Self-awareness of one’s fears and hopes, likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses. Some understanding of one’s role and mission in the world. Self-deception We tend to know ourselves less than we think we do. There are many reasons why there is a lack of accuracy in self-perception. It could be due to defense mechanisms, such as denial It could be due to intentional bias, It could be due to an unintentional blind spot. It could be due to false feedback from close associates. How do we develop life intelligence? Reflecting on one’s life experiences, especially from painful experiences. Learning from other people, especially wise people. Learning from the wisdom literature. Cultivating an attitude of being openminded, curious, and inquisitive. Develop the courage to explore and engage life. Exercise When you review your life, what major mistakes have you made and what lessons have you learned? If you were to start all over again, how would you live differently?