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Da Hong Pao: An $80 Pot of Tea

I had only the roughest of plans coming to China-- hang out in Shanghai, make it to Hua Shan, and drink some good tea. With a couple weeks of Shanghai loafing and a trip to Hua Shan under my belt, only tea was left on my checklist.

China has very high quality famous teas in several categories, many of which were invented here, but the two that I like the most are Puerh and Oolong. I was originally thinking that I'd head down to Yunnan province, where the best Puerh in the world is made, but with my days in China running short, a forty-one hour train trip seemed like a bit of a waste. The Wuyi mountains, on the other hand, are a convenient nine hour overnight train ride from Shanghai. Carl and I decided to head to the Wuyi mountains for a single 18 hour day, with no plan other than to drink Da Hong Pao, Big Red Robe, one of the most prized Oolong teas in the world.

With one overnight train in and out of the Wuyishan station per day, our itinerary was decided for us. We'd arrive a little before six in the morning and leave at ten at night. That may seem like a short trip, but all we really cared about was finding and drinking the Da Hong Pao, and we figured it would be enough. After reserving our two hard-bed tickets, we check the weather. Rainy the day before we get there, storms the day after, but sun on our day there. Perfect.

The next day we arrive at Shanghai Railway twenty minutes before our train is scheduled to leave. We show our tickets, go through security, and stare up at the giant LED display announcing the departure gates. It scans through the options once and I don't see our train. Odd, but my Chinese reading is even worse than my speaking, so I figure I must have missed it. Another cycle of all departing trains scrolls through, and again I don't see it. I look again at my ticket-- we were supposed to be leaving from Shanghai South. Oops.

Emotional Intelligence

On NWO Solutions

Taking the time to learn what emotional intelligence is, and then learning how to develop it will have far reaching impacts in your life. Emotional Intelligence is the concept that Daniel Goleman has popularized with his books on the topic. The basic idea is that emotions affect our lives, whether we want them to or not. So learning how your own emotions work, and then the emotions of others, will create a more enjoyable life for yourself and those around you. The four areas of emotional intelligence are self-management, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management. The first step is to recognize your own emotions and what is causing them. Once you have figured out your triggers, you can move on to finding ways to counteract them, which will create a better life overall. Then the exact same concepts are applied to the people around you. With Social Awareness you learn what emotions the people around you are feeling. With relationship management, you create better interactions between people.

The first benefit of emotional intelligence is that you gain a deeper understanding of who you are, and what goes on in your head. I have always been very introspective, working to figure out who I really am. So when I heard about the idea of emotional intelligence, it was something I was interested in learning about. After reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and getting just above a passing mark on the quiz inside, I realized how much I had to learn in this area of my life. Looking back, I never gave emotions the respect that they deserve. I always thought that they will were the masters of the uninformed or unintelligent, and that they had no role in the life of an intellectual. What I learned was that by ignoring my emotions, I had in turn become a slave to them. I had no idea when I was getting emotionally triggered, let alone what to do about it.

Once you have figured out your own emotions, and have found ways of dealing with your emotional triggers, the world around you will make so much more sense. Instead of this idea of rationality that economists talk about, you began to see how irrational the world is, and how it linked back to emotions. It becomes obvious how the powers that be manipulate us into doing and saying things that are against our best interest. Advertisers hone in on our emotional deficiencies, saying that if you buy their product you will be happy, cool, have hot girls around you, or whatever. This doesn't make sense when you think about it logically, but when you think about it from an emotional point of view, all the pieces start to come together.

Learning about emotional intelligence and figuring out how to apply it, which is a lifelong process, will have far reaching and lasting impacts. You will be able to deal with the toxic relationships in your life, develop better and deeper friendships, create romantic relationships, develop financial freedom, simplify your life, and live out your dreams. I actually can’t oversell the benefits of emotional intelligence. It has been said that emotions dictate the vast majority of our decisions every day. These decisions begin to come under our control when we figure out the emotions that are triggering them.

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