If you could get world leaders to agree on a priority for a better world, what would you choose?
In 2015, with input from over 10 million citizens, the United Nations adopted 17 lofty goals to sustain the future of humanity, such as ending hunger, ensuring education for all, and creating peace. These “Sustainable Development Goals” (sometimes called Global Goals) are a vision of our future.
Using Our Power
What will it take to get there?
Some people will say, ambitious changes like “ensuring health & wellbeing are the responsibility of governments.” Or, “as an individual, I have little power to protect life on land.” This might be true. It might be that none of us has much power. It also might be that story is a way to give up what power we do have.
We can do this growing individually, and we can share. If you could teach millions of people and raise their awareness & ability — so they could advance the SDGs — what would you choose to teach?
Add Emotional Intelligence:
Research findings to power the SDGs from the inside out
In this year’s State of the Heart research (the world’s largest study of emotional intelligence, now spanning 8 years and 160 countries), analysis identifies three competencies that are most closely linked to achieving positive results today, namely:
PNG = Pursue Noble Goals (putting purpose into action)
EO = Exercise Optimism (creating possibilities)
EIM = Engage Intrinsic Motivation (fueling ourselves from the inside)
Which of the Sustainable Development Goals is aligned with your own sense of purpose? If you could make a wish for one of them to flourish first, which would you choose? A powerful additional question is: Why? Considering the why behind your best choices might help you discover what’s at the core of your Noble Goal.
What are 3-10 ways you, personally, could make this goal more present in your own life, community, and/or workplace?
People sometimes block their own ability to Exercise Optimism by dismissing ideas, “that won’t work,” “I can’t really do that” — don’t worry! In this step, you’re working to expand options, so keep adding ideas even if “impossible”
When leaders at Six Seconds followed the three steps above, we arrived at an “impossible” idea:
What if we could engage thousands of volunteers to, together, share emotional intelligence with hundreds of thousands of children?
This idea grew into the POP-UP Festival— the world’s largest emotional intelligence project… so far this year, together we’re going to bring joyful, powerful activities on emotional intelligence to over half a million children and adults — all by volunteers, all for free.
It’s not “the solution” to all the world’s problems, but it’s a start. It’s an invitation to say: We, we ordinary extraordinary people, we citizens, can step forward and make the world a better place. A little bit at a time.
And in so doing, we’ll make ourselves better people, a little bit at a time.
After all, governments are reflections of us. And if we want a different future, we need to grow our own strengths. So in the end, it boils down to a simple truth:
Joshua is a cofounder and ceo of the Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network. He is a Master Certified Coach (ICF), and the second of his 5 books is the international best-seller, At the Heart of Leadership. He's passionate about the spark that ignites at intersection of compassion and purpose.
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