We all know about IQ. It’s a measure of your intellectual quotient, or how smart you are. Many think that it’s an indicator not just of intelligence but as well success.
You may have also heard of the term EQ. It refers to your emotional quotient, or how “emotionally intelligent” you are. It’s a less formal and standardized measure than IQ, and for that reason, some question its validity as a measure of intelligence.
Still, the fact that the term has been coined and popularized points to a common experience. The more we live life, the more we realize that mental or intellectual aptitude is not the only type of aptitude and certainly not the only marker for success or fulfillment.
In fact, in many ways it’s a suboptimal measurement.
We see people who are incredibly intelligent but woefully unhappy.
As well, I bet you can think of two or three people who are smarter than you (I can think of a lot more) and yet you seem to have outperformed them.
Or perhaps, conversely, you know people who are clearly less intelligent than you that seem to be more successful and fulfilled than you.
This points to the need for a different measurement- a measurement that gives insight not just to our intellectual capabilities but instead our capabilities as a whole person.
It is what I call LQ, or Life Quotient.
Instead of measuring just your mind, why not measure your life?
How good are you at life?
A Fixed Score?
It’s commonly held that your IQ is a fixed score. Your aptitude is your aptitude and there is not much you can do to change it. You take a test at age 6 or 7 and that’s your “score”.
That’s a depressing notion.
Fortunately, LQ is not a fixed score.
How do I know this?
Over the past 7 years, I’ve made it my quest to get better and better at living life and become more and more fulfilled. And it’s worked.
I used to be what my wife lovingly calls “a life idiot”. Everyday life activities like managing finances, keeping to a schedule, paying taxes, and remembering to do basic things like feed myself, used to overwhelm me. I was absolutely daunted by the details of life.
Now I have simple systems that manage most of these things for me automatically. And trust me, I do not have an engineering mind. When I say that they are simple, I mean it. But they work.
I used to have a body that didn’t work. I grew up as an athlete. Then almost overnight, my body seemed to stop working. I spent years constantly exhausted, achy, and without stamina. Getting out of bed was a chore.
Now, I’m easily one of the healthiest people that I know. I’ve learned to eat in such a way that I am filled with energy and constantly giving my body the best of what it needs to repair itself.
I have learned to exercise in such a way that I am getting incredibly stronger without working myself into the ground.
I still have to be careful not to overdo it. There is no escaping that, by nature, I’m physically more fragile than most, but the changes are remarkable.
I used to be quick to get down on myself and let my anxieties spiral out of control. Frankly, it led me to be depressed. And I have no doubt that these thoughts contributed to my physical condition.
Now though I’ve learned that I am the master of my thoughts and just like I feed myself only the best food, I do the same with my thoughts.
I used to get into unhealthy relationships that drained my energy.
I have always been good with people and by nature seek to connect with and support others. Unfortunately, my love for people led me to get into a number of co-dependant relationships in which I was trying to singlehandedly support people emotionally.
Now, I recognize that I can’t carry people or change people. I can simply love them and share things that I’ve learned. It is up to them to support themselves and find happiness themselves.
It’s a far more empowering approach for my friends and a far less exhausting approach for me.
I used to doubt that I could have an authentic faith that was not blind to the realities of life.
In my teenage years, I had a conversion experience of sorts and my faith in God became the single most important thing in my life. It was a source of true joy and confidence.
In my early twenties though I became skeptical of religion and doubtful of most spiritual things. My life experience seemed to contradict a lot of what I had chosen to believe. I just couldn’t authentically claim to believe the same things anymore.
Still, without faith as an active part of my life, I knew something was missing.
I have spent the last few years rediscovering an authentic faith that I believe honors both my experience of life and God. Day by day, it’s becoming a sincere part of me that adds life to my life.
How do you measure up?
Ok. So enough about me. What about you? Have you ever thought about your own LQ? How do you measure up?
I’ve created a simple guide that will help you assess your own LQ in four key areas.
It’s important to note that each of these four areas works in concert. They do not operate in silos. Investments or neglect in one area will have effects in the other areas.
1. Are you life smart?
Life smarts are those intelligences and skills that help you navigate the everyday stuff of life.
Do you know where your money goes and how you spend it? Or are you simply turning a blind eye to your finances, hoping your money takes care of itself?
Do you know where your time goes and how you spend it? Or do your days disappear in busyness while you never get to the things that you really want to do?
Does your physical space promote peace and productivity? Or is your home and workspace cluttered and even suffocating?
2. Is your body smart?
Yes, your physical body has (or lacks) intelligence. Some people move effortlessly and exude athleticism and vibrance. Whatever your current state, you can be one of those people.
Though it may not be readily apparent, everyone has an athlete inside. Your body is capable of things that will surprise you- if you give it the appropriate conditions.
Are you full of energy throughout the day? Or are you tired in the morning, sluggish in the afternoon, and up all night?
Is your body strong, resilient, and full of life? Or are you tight, sore and exhausted?
Do you feed your body foods and movements and rhythms that optimizes vitality? Or do you eat whatever, exercise in fits, and feel out of balance?
3. Are you people smart?
Understanding and connecting with others is essential to your own fulfillment and success. And it’s fun.
Do you have meaningful relationships that foster growth? Or do you feel disconnected and distant from family and friends?
Is it easy for you to gain favor with others? Or do you have a tough time figuring out what makes people tick?
Are you able to navigate complex interpersonal issues? Or do you shut down in the face of relational difficulty.
4. Are you spiritually smart?
An active spiritual life is like a compass in that it brings self-awareness, mindfulness to the world around you, and a sense of purpose.
Are you able to actively cultivate a relaxed, peaceful, and positive state through your thoughts? Or do your thoughts and circumstances anxiously lead you and your emotions around?
Are you self-aware enough to understand how your unique talents and passions match up with the needs of the world around you? Or are you fearful of introspection and blind to the world around you?
Have you identified a guiding purpose for your life- even if it’s just for this season of life? Or do you struggle to identify what you are here for and why.
Disjointed Lives Break Down
A disjointed life eventually (and often suddenly) breaks down.
That’s why I started BML. BML is dedicated to launching healthy and whole people who are going to change the world.
You are destined for greatness. I want to make sure that you don’t break down before you get there.
I’ve had my life collapse around me, and it robbed years from my life (not to mention life from my years).
I felt hopeless, and I didn’t know how to put the pieces of my life back together. It was an arduous task that took countless failures, lots of sweat, and plenty of tears.
The solution was an integrated approach to life and wellness that is both comprehensive and simple.
To hear more about that approach, sign up for my newsletter updates and continue to tune in to this blog. There’s plenty more to come .
As well, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment that states which of the four areas of LQ you struggle with most and why.