Yogi Berra, one of my favorite athletes, passed away last week. I never saw him play and to be honest, never even heard of him until I was in my 20s when I learned about his famous quotes before learning about him. My first reaction to his quotes was that these were incredibly powerful thoughts from a sports psychologist, not from an athlete. The one that I use very often and almost every time I speak is: “Wherever I go, there I am.” There is such immense wisdom and neuroscience in these six words as it relates to how we live our lives, and the activities we pursue to find higher performance or happiness. It debunks the myth of compartmentalization which for decades with espoused by employers, bosses, coaches and people. This foolish and inaccurate idea that we can and should “shut off” certain parts of our lives so that they do not interfere with other parts of life when in fact, it is neurologically impossible to do so. In other words, wherever you go, there YOU are. ALL of you.
I am not suggesting that if you are sad at home then you should be sad at work to, or vice versa, What I am arguing is that it is unproductive and a sure-fire way to under-perform if you camouflage your feelings instead of dealing with them with the Emotional Intelligence techniques I’ve discussed in my blogs and books. An unhappy athlete cannot show up on game time and perform at a high level just by “compartmentalizing” the unhappiness, and neither can you do that at work. Yes, you will perform, and yes, you will get things done and yes, your chances of high performance, of doing great work, are compromised. Where you go, there YOU are. ALL of you.
This week, consider your emotional temperature in all places – at home, at work, in training, at other places. How much effort are you putting into disguising them in different situations? Use your GREEN, YELLOW and RED cards to get to GREEN. By managing situations emotionally using emotional intelligence, wherever you go, you can show up your best self.