From IQ to EQ, we have travelled this far. The new Buzzword most of the organisation is speaking about now is SQ- Spiritual Quotient.

Lets see what SQ is all about:

In today's fast-changing world, materialism and stress have become part of our everyday lives. We are constantly looking for answers: How to live a successful and happy life?

One way of finding out answers to this question could be to explore the Spiritual Quotient (SQ), relating to our ability to understand and comprehend the spiritual aspects of life, which, contrary to popular belief, are not necessarily connected to religion.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of the Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

In the mid ‘90s, Daniel Goleman started talking about EQ or Emotional Quotient. Danah Zoher and Ian Marshal in their recent work SQ: Connecting with our Spiritual Intelligence observe that "While computers have IQ and animals can have EQ, it is essentially an SQ that sets human beings apart". Therefore, for the ‘Wheel of Life' to roll smoothly, all the spokes of the wheel - IQ, EQ and SQ - have to be equally developed. The journey from IQ to SQ represents moving from gross to subtle, finite to infinite and from tangible to intangible.

SQ has several dimensions: Compassion, wholeness, self-esteem, gratitude, spirit of surrender and service and the ego. Handling the ego is one of the critical dimensions of enhancing SQ. Ego issues, if not handled with care, can create problems in our personal, social and professional lives. Hence for better relationships, it is very important to understand and handle the ego - both of ‘self' and others.

Ego stems from our bundle of memories. It gets further reinforced when we repeatedly embrace a particular thought for extended periods of time. We tend to take ‘ego positions' based on what happened to us in the past. One of the key aspects of handling the ego is to analyse the way in which our thoughts are organised because our ego is embedded deep into our thought process.

Our thoughts are often organised in a hierarchical order. First of all there is a primary layer of thought which constitutes the core, then there is a second layer, a third layer, and so on. The primary layer represents objectivity of thoughts and maturity whereas the subsequent layers represent subjective interpretations often arising out of perceptions which may be far away from reality.

Shri Ramana Maharishi advised that one should contemplate primarily on the inner core rather than on the secondary and tertiary layer; for once we concentrate on the core thoughts, we will naturally look at the events of life more objectively. Once we are objective and deal with issues with all gentleness, care and with a satvik approach, all our transactions become free from the ego.

J Krishnamurthy calls this state of mind as one of "All Conclusive Awareness". Staying in this state softens our ego. To handle the ego, one has to therefore promote objectivity, for, with objectivity comes truth. This in turn dilutes the ego. Once our actions originate from the depth of our heart representing the primary layer, the path for ego-free relationships will be paved.

Dealing with the ego becomes easier if we can instil a spirit of ‘surrender' in our psyche. The environment around you becomes tranquil and peaceful. Surrendering essentially means crucifixion of our ego, but surrendering becomes a rather difficult and painful process because of our worldly attachments.

Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (chapter 18) says: ‘ ‘Fly unto Him for refuge with all your being, O Bharata; by his grace you shall obtain supreme peace and eternal abode". Krishna advises Arjuna to surrender his ego unto Him.

Commenting on this, Swami Chinmayananda says that "The surrender unto the Lord should not be a temporary self deception; it should be done with a total spirit of devotion and with a state of ego-lessness." This was the spirit exhibited by Radha, Prahlada and Hanuman.

The surrendering of ego is often construed as a weakness. On the contrary, the spirit of surrender enhances our quality of goodness which ultimately leads to godliness. But where is God? Vedanta says He resides within us.

By surrendering the ego we will be able to perpetually experience Spiritual Actualisation, leading to a higher SQ. For, "We are not human beings having spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having human experience".

From India, Delhi
Hi Archana,

You know the latest buzz word: "Failure Quotient". Below is a small article on the "FQ"

Your Failure Quotient

by Dr Michael Norwood

The president of my college gave the best speech any luminary ever could have at my graduation. Addressing the hundreds of students, he said that now that we were graduating, our success in life no longer depended on our I.Q., but rather on our F.Q. - our Failure Quotient; how many times we could be knocked down but keep getting back up and slowly moving forward.

I don't know if any of my fellow graduates remembered those words, but I never forgot them. I have seen over and over again in my life and in the lives of others how a high F.Q. is the key to success - the one factor that all people of accomplishment have in common.

Having a high Failure Quotient is a paradox; we aren't accustomed to equating failure with success. When we think of super-winners or super-successful people - whether they be superstar athletes like Michael Jordan, renowned politicians like Rudy Giuliani, or famed entrepreneurs like Ross Perot or Walt Disney - we usually think of them in the lap of luxury, at the top of the world, and at the height of ease and power.

Yet Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time for one thing: his ability to "turn on" in the fourth quarter; not the first, second or third quarter, mind you. But in the fourth quarter, when his team is often down, when things are most crucial, and when lesser players in sports - and more passive people in life - are ready to throw in the towel.

Everyone knows Rudy Giuliani as one the heroes of September 11th, the man who mobilized his city, and lifted our country and the world up out of the grip of fear surrounding one of the most traumatic events in history. Few people remember that just a short time before September 11, 2001, Rudy Giuliani's future had been discounted. He had to withdraw from the New York Senate race because of a diagnosis of prostate cancer. This was followed by a very public and messy divorce splashed across every newspaper column in the country and jibed at by every radio and T.V. talk show host on air.

Now ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 100, at what level is Rudy Giuliani's Failure Quotient? How about Michael Jordan's? And most importantly, how about yours?

When we get a rejection or have a setback, it s very hard not to feel at least momentarily thrown off course. Yet I believe that a major benefit people receive who have gone through difficult life challenges is that no matter what other daily challenge they face, they can measure it against the larger life adversity they ve overcome, and put it into its proper perspective. Whether you ve been through a serious illness, loss of a loved one, divorce, or have been a victim of violence, the rest of your life you can benefit by using that experience to weigh everything else you face against it.

Here s a simple exercise that will make moving forward toward your goals and getting past obstacles, rejections, setbacks, and disappointments exactly one hundred times easier.

1) Before you start out on any project, whether it be seeking a customer if you re in sales, seeking a publisher if you re a writer, or seeking a mate if you re single, take a blank piece of lined paper and number each line 1 through 100. Make 2 columns if you need to as well as using both sides of the sheet.

2) Got it done? Now make multiple photocopies of this form for future use. (It s a long life. . .)

3) Now set out to do your goal or task. When you receive your first obstacle, rejection, disappointment or setback, put a checkmark next to number 1. When you hit your second obstacle, put a checkmark next to space number 2. The third, a checkmark on space number 3, and so on.

Now, here s the most important part:

When you start your project or goal, expect it may take 100 attempts to accomplish it! No, this is not a negative mindset. It simply acknowledges that you may need to try a number of approaches before you get something to work, or someone to accept you or your offer. Acknowledging beforehand that you re ready to put your all into at least 100 tries gives you the mindset of unstoppability.

I was counseling a lady on the phone recently who was going through a very complex legal struggle with an abusive ex- husband. She had gone to a number of attorneys, all of whom had told her she didn t have a case. I knew her situation and what kind of person she was. I also knew there were attorneys out there who would be willing and capable of helping this kind-hearted person, even if they would be hard to find. She was feeling frustrated and defeated, so I told her to make out such a 1-100 list. I also told her that I would feel sorry for her only after she got to number 100 without finding an appropriate attorney.

Guess what? By the time she had gotten to number 3, she found the perfect one! A "compassionate bulldog" who immediately lifted 95 percent of the stress off her shoulders of handling her incorrigible ex-husband.

What would her life been like had she not made that list? How many candles would we be burning a day to light our homes if Thomas Edison had stopped at failed experiment number 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 instead of going on to do the 50,000 it required to invent the light bulb?

Don t hesitate. Make your photocopied 1-100 lists now. If you don t accomplish a specific goal by attempt number 100, give me a call. I ll honestly tell you how sorry I feel for you.

Dr. Michael Norwood is the author of "The 9 Insights of the Wealthy Soul," which has been featured in places such as The Wall Street Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. To preview his life-changing book series or to receive his beautiful Photo-Poem Flash presentations, "The 12 Gifts of Life," visit or


Srikanth Ch

From India, Hyderabad
thanks for that much needed stuff, by reading all this i feel that we need to be qualified not in academincs alone but in balancing all the Q’s Regards Madhuri
From India, Bangalore
Hi Archna,

I have read through your post and also the subsequent response and would offer my personal perspective….

As a individual approaching the autumn of life, I have seen/experienced many beliefs and theories presented to the public. Any and all which cause reflection, perhaps changes in behavior or beliefs all add value to the human spirit

For me it matters not what country or culture you are in or what particular mentor, spiritual leader or belief system you follow, if it works for you and gives you contentment in life, then there is value.

I have often said, our greatest glory as human beings, is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail and to be able to use the learning in our life.

I also am a believer in Covey’s, begin with the end in mind which ties into the subsequent post by Srikanth.

For me it ties directly into my own personal value system and you can call it SQ or any other name you choose. I know what is important to me in my personal life, my business life and my spiritual life and I know both the positive and destructive nature of ego. Perhaps this comes with experience, I am not sure, or perhaps it is taking each of life’s offered experiences and extracting the learning…..this may be my interpretation of all inclusive awareness. One of the most impactful exercises I have ever been through in my life was to write my own obituary…what I wanted people to be able to truthfully say about me when I pass through this life. That has guided my behavior with family, friends and business associates and in truth helped me deal with the destructive side of ego.

I thank you for sharing this article and your invitation to comment…sometimes in the hustle of daily life it is easy to loose the focus of our value system. It always helps me to reflect on who I am and who I want to be and to reflect on my life’s goals and my action plans to achieve.



From Canada, Ottawa
I am thankful to you for taking your time out and reading this article.
I agree with what you say, knowing who you are and what you want from life is really very important.
When we talk about Spiritual Quotient, it certainly means knowing oneself and realising your inner self, by any means or anyways. Any name can be given to it, any title can be awarded to this topic, but the conclusion remains the same, that we all should realise the spiritual self.

From India, Delhi
Hi Archana and Srikanth:

I got pulled into your discussion by chance - call it serendipity, while googling on SQ. All the comments made here are, I believe, are valid. The challenge with defining SQ in formal, measurable ways, is that outcomes can not be easily isolated. While the consequences of high IQ are rather obvious, and the benefits of high EQ have been documented in the past decade, there is no objective measurement of what SQ really does to you.

It is probably for that reason that you'll see a significant disparity in how SQ is being defined by various people and interests across the globe. I have been working on this subject for a while, and am attempting to isolate, if you will, the specific content of SQ as separate from IQ/ EQ. This has led to a model based on the five pillars of Self Awareness, Self Mastery, Connection, Purpose and Transcendence. I created this model after conducting a global survey of the impact of Spirituality on people's lives in terms of how they relate to experiences in their life and the perspective that they bring to it.

My blog Know Thyself ( describes how I put this together. Perspective's Spiritual Quotient Assessment is also available at my website I welcome any feedback and your comments.


Man Mohan Shukla

Thanks Man mohan Ji,
I will surely read your thoughts that you have penned down on the blog and will give you my opinion on what you have written.
Although, you may call it a six sense or intuition, I feel the model you ahve designed would surely be a good one and we all can learn something from this.

From India, Delhi

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