It has been said that purpose unlocks emotional intelligence. A sense of purpose has always been associated with the ability to utilize positive emotions such as hope and acceptance to transform emotions in really profound ways. Whenever we get caught up in a situation where it is hard for us to know what the right thing to do is, especially when intense emotions and conflicting feelings overwhelm us, our purpose is able to lead the way and gives direction.

In other words, when we connect with an important goal, we tend to have more clarity to know what should be done. The other factor is that our emotions are often very short-term—in this moment we are reacting instinctively to our emotions. As such we tend to act immediately to try and alleviate any short-term pressure. But the problems that we face in our lives, our relationships, and our workplaces are rarely solved in such reactive ways. We need to step back, distance ourselves from our emotions in the moment, and look for long-term solutions.

By stepping out of the urgency of everyday life, it is possible to focus on goals as a vision of our desired future. Therefore, in a sense, purpose helps us to wake up from the humdrum and confusion and thoughtfully decide what it is that is really important. From that, once we see where it is that we are really trying to go, and we work to keep that alive in our day-to-day lives, it gives us a much greater chance of actually achieving that.

As such, a purpose is related to the setting of goals that are part of the self-motivation .Clear goals and a positive attitude give you the opportunity to invest effort in order to achieve something, but it all starts with a vision and a purpose. Understanding and articulating a higher vision and purpose forms the basis of formulating shorter-term goals and objectives to lead the way.

This “working toward a dream” is the experience of the power of a vision: it keeps inspiring us even after the period when everything is new and exciting, or when we face unexpected problems. It is the place to keep the inspiration and passion alive that cultivates and spurs on action. Ben Zander, world-renowned conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, advocates an awakening to awesome possibilities by means of passion and vision; describing features of a vision as follows:

 A vision articulates a possibility.

 A vision fulfills a desire fundamental to humankind, a desire for with which any human being can resonate. It is an idea to which no one could logically respond, What about me?

 A vision makes no reference to morality and ethics.

 A vision is stated as a picture for all time, using no numbers, measures or comparatives. It contains no specifics of time, place, audience, or product.

 A vision is a long line of possibility.

 Speaking a vision transform the speaker.

Therefore, having a personal purpose and vision is an essential part of enabling and developing emotional intelligence. It is what gives our efforts reason and a place to grow and flourish.


One of the important hallmarks of emotional intelligence is the ability to connect and engage honestly and intimately with the self, others, and even other beings and objects in our environment. Ultimately all things in the world are profoundly interconnected. By developing the ability to experience and harness this knowledge we are able to function at an even higher level than simply engaging and managing our and others’ emotions.

The concept of interconnectedness is central in many ancient teachings that inspired modern psychology. Schleiermacher described it as follows: “The individual is not just part of a whole, but an exhibition of it. The mind, like the universe is creative, not just receptive. Whoever has learned to be more than himself knows that he loses little when he loses himself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson argued further:

“The reason why the world lacks unity is because man is disunited with himself…We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meanwhile, within man is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal One. And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.”

Therefore the ability to connect and engage—not only with ourselves and our thoughts and feelings—but will all that exist around us, brings important insights that are thought to be at a higher level of consciousness and emotional intelligence. Essentially, it redefines our purpose and role in the world.