Solipsism, Msispilos or Emotional Intelligence

Laura Novakowski  -  Apr 05, 2011  -  Comments Off on Solipsism, Msispilos or Emotional Intelligence

Have I peaked your interest?

Let’s start with some definitions.

Solipsism is…

  • the philosophical idea that one’s own mind is all that exists. Solipsism is an epistemological or ontological position that knowledge of anything outside one’s own specific mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist. … www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsistic

Msispilos is

Emotional Intelligence

The Institute of Health and Human Potential (IHHP) defines Emotional Intelligence, or EI, as

“an ability or capacity to perceive, assess, and manage the emotions of one’s self, and of others. Our EQ, or Emotional Quotient, is how one measures Emotional Intelligence. Emotions have the potential to get in the way of our most important business and personal relationships.


According to John Kotter of Harvard Business School,

“Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult to manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else – it is not a question of strategy that gets us into trouble; it is a question of emotions.”

I recently talked with an entrepreneur – a very, very successful entrepreneur by the way – who demonstrated tremendous emotional intelligence. He was quite decisive and yet he factored in others’ thoughts and ideas, dreams and recommendations. He did this personally and professionally.

I’d like to share his personal story. The entrepreneur and his wife decided to adopt a baby. Traveling to Eastern Europe they visited an orphanage. Here he and his wife were virtually surrounded by more than one hundred infants in need of adoption. The busy care givers were shoving several crying babies at a time into their arms. Overwhelmed, he decided to sit on the floor and just observe. As he sat, an infant boy crawled near to him and sat back to watch. The only child not crying, he looked around and made eye contact with the man and then resumed quietly surveying the scene around him. An old soul of eight months. The next morning, a care giver brought several children out and the quiet child was among them. His wife reached for the child and the child moved into her arms smiling. You guessed it, they adopted the boy. Today the child is almost four. Full of fun, bright beyond belief and his father’s best friend.

For me this really put Solipsism, Msispilos and Emotional Intelligence into perspective. If he had been solipsistic, he might not have even wanted to adopt a child. If he had been msispilostic, he might have taken a very needy and challenging child. Because of his emotional intelligence, he found a child that he and his wife could love and would love them back.

The more I read about these concepts, the more I realize that we often trap ourselves into this world of solipsis – self interest that is so limiting that it hurts us at all levels. Or, when we engage in msispilos -other-orientation that we lose total confidence, respect and awareness for self. Two extremes that certainly are not particular useful. While emotional intelligence, transcends and embraces the philosophy that we “assess, perceive and manage” our awareness of self and others. Powerful.


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