For the past 23 years I served Northwestern University undergraduate and graduate students in the University Counseling Center initially as Staff psychologist and liaison to the Department of Athletics and more recently as Director of Clinical Services. In addition, I co-instruct a for credit course at Northwestern titled Emotional Intelligence 101: Managing Yourself and Maximizing Your Potential.
The course material mirrors the work we do in therapy. We seek healthy stress management, self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal effectiveness, and decision making/conflict management using the themes of intentional attention, accurate awareness, and healthy connection directed toward the present moment, ourselves, and others. I believe when we are able to own and intentionally direct our attention and know ourselves well enough to feel we are being consistent with who we want to be, then we are healthier and enjoy more frequent moments of happiness.
Through all the coimplexity in the world and in our lives, what we most want tends to be simple:
Love and Work.
That is, we want to feel connected to the people we care about and we want to feel productive in the world, whether that is making money, performing athletically, achieving academically, or pursuing the hobbies we enjoy.