Spiritual Intelligence: The need of the hour



Why I am writing this today is, Spirituality has been an obscure topic and has divisive interpretations and different meaning for each one of us. Hence, want to break that taboo and speak openly about spirituality. It has nothing to do with any religion, caste or creed. Because it can be a very intangible topic, it is difficult to define what it really is. That is why we need to study it more. Spirituality is an enlightened focus on who we really are. It helps us understand the purpose of our existence and to see things as they really are. As we come to know who we really are, the great questions of life come into focus and we find ourselves aligned with divine purpose and legacy. While everybody in this world is talking about “Artificial Intelligence”, I think it is pivotal to equally talk about “Spiritual Intelligence”. Spiritually is something which cannot be imitated artificially.

Spiritual intelligence reflects what an individual or organization exists for, believes in, aspires to, and takes responsibility for. Based on this definition, it is a new paradigm that requires us to radically change our mindset about the philosophical foundations and practices of business, or any enterprise for that matter. Rather, I mean the power an individual or organization can manifest based on their deepest meanings, values, and purposes. Spiritual intelligence underpins IQ and EQ. Spiritual intelligence is an ability to access higher meanings, values, abiding purposes, and unconscious aspects of the self and to embed these meanings, values, and purposes in living richer and more creative lives. Signs of high SQ include an ability to think out of the box, humility, and an access to energies that come from something beyond the ego, beyond just me and my day-to-day concerns.

Just to relate, some examples of Spiritual Intelligence from day-to-day life are following:

Personal Life: Spiritual intelligence frees you from neediness and clinginess in your personal relationships. When you realise you already have within you what you seek from others (love, happiness, peace) you are then free to act and interact without any ‘agenda’. In effect, you act from an authenticity that desires nothing of another but serves only to give. Paradoxically this frees both parties to ‘be themselves’, which is the deepest foundation for any open, healthy and harmonious relationship built on the twin spiritual values of trust and respect.

Family Life: The culture of family life can easily revolve around too much ‘familiarity’. This results in behaviours which can swing from rejection, resistance and avoidance one moment, to attachment, dependency and clinginess the next. Being spiritually intelligent in a family context allows individuals to find a more mature way to relate, free of emotional dependency, and able to embrace ‘the other’ regardless of their behaviour or their emotional state.

Working Life: When spiritual intelligence is brought into the workplace work ceases to become a daily chore to earn money and becomes a creative process of service and contribution. Others are seen and treated as people and not objects/resources to get a job done, and individuals have an opportunity to learn the inner, invisible and subtle skills of building and sustaining relationships in any area of life. These abilities include building trust, acting with integrity, empathising at a level beyond emotion, and the leadership of others through a consistently proactive attitude and positive vision.

You can stay calm and focused in the face of crisis and chaos, a more selfless and altruistic attitude towards others and a more enlightened and relaxed perspective on life.


How do we develop it?

As per belief, all human beings are born with the capacity to use these three intelligences to some measure because each supports our survival. Some of us may be strong in one and weak in others, but each can be nurtured and developed. Spiritual intelligence can be fostered by applying 12 principles (see “12 Principles of Spiritual Intelligence”). The following tables summarises those 12 principles which might show levels of spiritual intelligence to identify with it.

Self-awareness Spiritual self-awareness means to recognize what I care about, what I live for, and what I would die for. It’s to live true to myself while respecting others. Being authentic in this way is the bedrock of genuine communication with our deeper self that allows us to bring that self into the outer world of action.
Spontaneity Being spontaneous does not mean merely acting on a whim but refers to behaviour honed by the self-discipline, practice, and self-control of the martial arts warrior. To be spontaneous means letting go off all your baggage — your childhood problems, prejudices, assumptions, values, and projections — and be responsive to the moment and being responsible for it
Being Vision & Value Led It is about acting and behaving on principles and deeper beliefs of one-self and leading life accordingly.
Holism It is about seeing the bigger picture, even if you have a small role to play. It is about identifying and valuing larger patterns, relationships and connections.
Compassion Having a feel about “What others are feeling?” and deeper sense of empathy.
Celebration of Diversity Valuing other people for their differences. Compassions is linked to this principle.
Field of Independence This is a tough one, it is about standing against the crowd for what you believe is right and your convictions. It’s a willingness to go it alone, but only after I’ve carefully considered what others have to say.
Humility Having a sense of being player in a large drama/painting. Humility is often characterized as genuine gratitude and lack of arrogance, a modest view of one’s self
Tendency to Ask fundamental “Why” questions Needing to understand things and get to bottom of them. Sometimes, asking “WHY” looks stupid, but everytime in my experience has brought newer insights in all respects.
Ability to Re-frame Reframing refers to the ability to stand back from a situation and look for the bigger picture. One of the greatest problems of our world today is short-term thinking.
Positive Use of Adversity Learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks and suffering. Positive use of adversity is also the ability to recognize that suffering is inevitable in life. There are painful things for human beings to deal with, yet they make us stronger, wiser, and braver.
Sense of Vocation This principle sums up spiritual intelligence and spiritual capital. Vocation comes from the Latin vocare, “to be called.” Originally, it referred to a priest’s calling to God. Today it often refers to the professions such as medicine, teaching, and law. It’s my ideal that business will become a vocation that appeals to people with a larger purpose and a desire to make wealth that benefits not only those who create it but also the community and the world.


I wish, we all could spend some time and energy to enhance our spiritual energies and be a better version of one-self.


Nihit M


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3 thoughts on “Spiritual Intelligence: The need of the hour”

  1. Rajesh agarwal

    Nihit really its very great article and may be saviour to our generation from stressful situations of work , life and relationships

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Who is Nihit Mohan?

Nihit Mohan is a banker, author and a TEDx speaker. He was born & raised in the cradle of cultural diversity of India, & currently resides in Singapore. He did his education from seven schools spread across multiple cities & cultures. He is an engineer by education & has made a successful career in the financial services industry. He hails from a family of engineers, bureaucrats & academicians.

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