GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence


Suffering doesn’t make you weak, it only makes you stronger. That’s what Jalen Gildersleeve, founder and CEO Of MindHak, learned. MindHak is an AI-based application that teaches people emotional intelligence, self-compassion and emotional resilience. Having been born in Flint, Michigan, Jalen grew up surrounded by the belief that struggle, drugs and violence were the only obvious options for survival. After his mom moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia while in college, he was able to begin to witness and create new obvious options through self-compassion and emotional intelligence. It is these key tenets that led to the creation of Mindhak during Goodie Nation’s Hack the Violence event. Goodie Nation charged him with reducing the world’s emotional violence by 40% by 2020. Mindhak works by providing resources to its users, especially those underserved by today’s society. Jalen shares his journey to creating MindHak, the Emergence Phenomenon, the power of self-actualization, and the wall of suffering.

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Developing Emotional Intelligence with Jalen Gildersleeve

I have a wonderful guest here with me, Mr. Jalen Gildersleeve. Welcome to the show. How are you?

I’m well. Thank you so much for having me.

I’m glad that you’re here. Just to let the audience know a little bit about you, you are the Founder and CEO of MindHak. It’s an artificial intelligence company or based application that teaches people emotional intelligence, self-compassion and emotional resilience. You’re from Flint, Michigan. You grew up surrounded by the belief that struggle, drugs and violence were the only obvious options for survival. After your mom moved to Atlanta, Georgia, while in college you were able to begin to witness and create new obvious options through self-compassion and emotional intelligence. This is how you started MindHak. Tell us a little bit about you. Tell us about that story.

I’m from Flint, Michigan. My mom moved us there when the water issue started, which was much sooner than people know. People thought it started in 2011. It started way back when GM and all these other motor companies were in Flint and they’re based on the Flint River. They contaminated the water. Everybody knew it was contaminated. We switched from Detroit water. It got worse once we switched, but it was already a pretty big issue. That was around 2003, maybe 2004, I don’t remember exactly. I spent half of my life in Flint dealing with the struggle in the trenches. I never met my dad. It’s ironic because my dad is that person that was robbing people with my older brother, who was also in Flint and a little bit older than me, so he’s used to that energy of the city. While at Georgia Tech, I realized those key components you came across doing Hack The Violence.

I was doing Hack The Violence, which is a Hackathon that I was casually doing. It was right around my mom’s anniversary from her passing away. I was like, “I’m going to do it.” While doing it, they reduce some type of violence by 40% by the year 2020. I’m like, “What’s the biggest type of violence I can think of?” Coming up in Flint and growing up in the south side of Atlanta dealing with much more people who want to be hood or thinks they’re hood versus people who were in Flint where people are murdering people. It’s a different caliber, a different cut. Dealing with that, it’s similar problems but like, “How can I help them?” and I chose emotional violence. Emotional violence is anytime you invalidate or trust your emotions to paint a reality that doesn’t matter. I can’t reduce emotional violence so I flipped it around. I can reduce it, but not in a tangible way. I chose to increase the world’s emotional intelligence and that’s how the app came about. That’s how MindHak started to be formed.

Through doing great research at UC Berkeley and Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and their Human Nature Lab, I came up with these three key components that every person needs. One is from Kristin Neff, she’s a great researcher at UC Berkeley, is the self-compassion aspect. That’s the self-kindness or loving yourself when it’s hard or it’s difficult. That common humanity that everybody suffers but no one’s suffering distributing anybody else’s. It goes into mindfulness over rumination. I accept when these negative thoughts come. Allow them to happen and they’re released versus ruminating and thinking the same thoughts over and over again.

Emotional maturity, that’s emotional intelligence with integrity. That’s making sure you’re not manipulating people and you’re giving them the benefit of the doubt and allowing them to be their best selves. I’m sure we’re going to have a deep conversation about as well is emotional resilience. That’s understanding that suffering doesn’t make you weak, it only makes you stronger. Those are the three that I’ve focused my app around and build all the different functions of the app and used AI to make easier to understand for the average person. That’s a brief overview, a little bit of my background, a lot about the app just to give you a good starting point.

GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: Suffering doesn’t make you weak, it only makes you stronger.


Where can people find this app? Is this app available for people to download and use?

We’re in private beta but if you reach out to me on LinkedIn, I’ll gladly send you a link and you’ll be able to test it out and put more data towards helping more people who are in that transitional phase in their life. People who are focused on their own personal development can gain access. You can gain access to the demo and the beta so that we can have more data and continue. It’s all an algorithm, it’s all big data play. The more data we have, the better our platform and app works.

How did you get into these three major hitters: the emotional intelligence, the self-compassion, and the emotional resilience? What made you choose those themes to create the app?

It was quite a journey. I never met my dad and my mom has passed away. Everything I’m doing in life, I was like, “I’m not doing it right.” I wasn’t validating all the stuff I was doing. I was being super hard on myself even though I was going to a great school. I transferred from one great school, Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta to Georgia Tech. I’m like, “I’m doing good stuff but it’s not enough.” I kept trying to compensate and do all this other stuff. I was like, “What are the key components that, as a child, if I had, not only with these situations, not be blossoming or becoming bigger issues, but how would I better handle this? What is my best self that would handle the situation?” I started off with emotional intelligence. That was all centered around how can I understand? I read Daniel Goleman‘s book about emotional intelligence and how that’s the new IQ. That’s talking about the interpersonal and intrapersonal parts of it.

I was doing a lot of research on the different types of intelligence. There’s a guy, a PhD at Harvard. He put all the different types of intelligence, intrapersonal, interpersonal, musical, visual and spatial. He’s analyzing all types of intelligence. I was like, “Those are cool but which one am I lacking and that I’m failing?” I’m an engineer at this point. I systematically solve problems just like everybody. Georgia Tech has me thinking about how I can solve this problem better and I’m in this and struggling through it.

I come across some emotional intelligence and I start realizing, “Everybody needs this. How can I make it to where everybody has it?” I thought about my brother who’s in prison and I was like, “What can I help him have so that when he comes back into society that he can enter the world and flourish without having any issues or throwing anybody off?” I was studying hard on that and that’s when I came across self-compassion. I’m trying to teach him emotional intelligence, but you’ve got to have self-compassion first to know that he has to improve himself through loving himself. It’s a lot of stuff linked to one another. If you have self-compassion, you appreciate yourself and being kind to yourself, it’s like, “What’s the best way to be kind to yourself when suffering?” That’s when I came across emotional resilience.

They all play into each other and this is all while I’m developing the app in the background. I was already learning all this stuff and then the app came. As I was at the pinnacle of my research, somebody asked me to do this Hackathon and it was like, “It would be a great idea and you sign up.” When I signed up, I was worried because I didn’t have a team. The day before the Hackathon, this girl, Emma Doksansky, called me and was like, “Jalen, I love everything that you taught.” It was an open source thing where you could see how I made it and what my solution to the problem that I chose was. She loved it and she asked me why I started it, saying it’s similar and she loved my reasoning. She was like, “I’m definitely going to help you.”

We went into the Hackathon. We came together, got a great team and ended up winning the Hackathon. All those things came together, the struggle, the learning, the self-improvement had a head in the Hackathon. It was a test of my ability to be decisive, delegate and get the whole team on the same page. Get a concise website and all the social media and it was super helpful to me to get focused on what my life purpose is and it happened to be that I was already on that path. After I did the Hackathon, I went up to Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and learned more about it. I took the time to fine tune all the stuff that I thought I knew and then got to understand it even better.

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They teach emotional intelligence to children. They were helping them learn stuff like Meta-Moments and how to handle stuff as your best self. I was like if I learned this as a kid, I might not have created so much opposition to the suffering that I was experiencing. I might have embraced it and harnessed it sooner. Now, I get to tell people the struggles I went through and they’re like, “How did you even have to go through that?” Some people can’t even fathom the type of stuff that I’ve been through, but it’s good that I did because then I can help other people understand. It’s takes a lot of power in you once you can appreciate it.

What would you tell someone that may not know anything about emotional intelligence and are struggling with their situation or something like that? How can it help them? Give me some examples of how emotional intelligence has helped you.

First, if they don’t understand it and they know nothing about it. I would say take into account when you start noticing when you’re doing something. It sounds a little meadow. Say you’re feeling angry, but did you get overwhelmed with the anger or did you notice your mood shift? Starting to note when that shift does happen? What thoughts were happening when that shift happens? A little mindfulness would probably be the best way to start. In a way that’s one of the key components. Once you can note at a basic level, you get more self-awareness because then you can tell, “When I’m talking to certain people about these things, my energy is going this way,” or at least in a sense, it’s like riding waves. Emotions can be a lot like in over flooded with water or almost drowning in water because sometimes it’s overwhelming. It’s about understanding when a wave is happening and being with the wave instead of trying to be against it. That’s one big thing.

Noting is what I would definitely start them off and in hopes of helping them increase their self-awareness. One way that it’s helped me is no matter how bad of a mood I get into, I can always tell myself like, “Jalen, you may or may not be irrational but my emotions at this point right now,” and I can clearly tell someone what is going on with me in a way that is not condescending. It’s not offensive. I’m not attacking them. I’m not even warning them. I’m more being open about my experience to help them still feel comforted in their own niche.

A lot of people I have noticed, especially when you’re empathetic beings or people who understand emotions, they’ll feel as though they’re the reason for things happening. Sometimes it’s giving them a little release like, “It’s not you. It’s stuff going on with me and I’m going to try to alleviate some of the issues.” That’s helped me a lot in terms of interacting with new people, especially when you meet someone. No one knows your struggles or what you’re going through. If you are kind enough to tell them, “I’m having a rough day and I don’t want to talk about it, but I don’t want it to affect your mood. If you notice something is wrong with me or something’s off, it’s not you, it’s me. I’ll try my best to not affect you with these emotions or try to shift your emotions.”

GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence

Connected: The Surprising Power of our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives – How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friend Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do

Emotions are potent. One of the things I learned when I went to Yale, I met Nicholas Christakis as well. He wrote an awesome book called Connected. He’s a psychologist as well as a hospice doctor. He’s a PhD and MD. He studies human nature and how ideas spread through networks. He says this thing called Emergence Phenomenon. People feel how you feel and are affected by what you do, whether you want them to be or not. You can teach people stuff without trying to teach people stuff. They can learn through their own experience from your experience.

It’s like teaching people how to treat you. The way you behave, you can treat people how to treat you. Things they should or shouldn’t do and things you like or don’t like yet.

He does it even down to a more basic level than even that. That’s the Meta level. That’s great that you have already harnessed that part of it. Another level of it is he studied how if you have a friend and your friend starts to get bigger, how likely it is for you to get bigger. How obesity spreads to networks. If you know someone who’s died, then you get sad about them dying. Their significant other gets sad about them dying and that significant other is your cousin, you can potentially get sad from death. Death spreads to networks. He studied all types of stuff like that. He’s pretty much understanding that we’re social beings and everything you do affects the people around you.

He teaches self-awareness in a conscious way that you’re a part of a collective and that you can be more conscientious of the way you affect other people. The reason I brought all that in is that that’s one of the key components of it. That’s the social awareness of emotional intelligence. First is your self-awareness, then your social awareness or you’re aware of how you make other people feel, what they may react to what you do. Not necessarily perceiving what they’re going to react, but being conscientious that they potentially have the opportunity to react to what you did. People don’t realize that they’re thinking. It’s stopping the thinking and ruminating because a lot of times people don’t even realize like, “I’m thinking the same thought. I’m worried about this thing. I’m thinking about this.” Sometimes you have to stop and shift. It’s a great way to do it to acknowledge that people that you’re around to how awesome they are and their energy.

You made a good point about the two categories as the personal and the social. I want to stay here in the personal category for a while. What I believe one of the barriers to becoming more aware of emotional intelligence and using it to your advantage is self-sabotage. A lot of people don’t want to share their emotions. They’re afraid of sharing how they feel, letting other people know how they feel. I’m not talking about surface level. In relationships, you find out a lot just alone. We have to build relationships in business, personal relationships, marriages and things like that. We’re not intelligent enough to share, that’s why we self-sabotage ourselves. There’s this barrier to having that level of understanding and even self-compassion for ourselves. What are your thoughts towards that?

Self-sabotage is one of the number one problems I was dealing with before I learned all this stuff. Even now, I’m not Buddha or anything like that. I definitely understand that I still, at some points, even in the case of this podcast, the first podcast we had technical difficulties and my poor timing. I was a little bit flustered by it because I wanted to do it. That was essentially self-sabotage. I double booked myself. I wasn’t being conscientious. Even though you become more emotionally intelligent, you have to understand that you’re still human. Things still happen but it’s about how you handle the things that happen. That’s the resilience piece, you have to get back up and you have to appreciate that. I definitely think it’s a big point to be honest about it. If you can notice that you’re self-sabotaging, then that’s what you take to the next level.

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Some people will say, “I’m self-sabotaging,” but they’ll perpetuate it. They’re still, “I’m self-sabotaging,” and they let it happen. If you notice it, that’s the noting that I was talking about. What can you do to shift at that point? It’s more common than you think. It’s not like a thought. It’s not happening every 0.2 seconds. It’s happening every couple of seconds. You might start talking to your significant other and then you can create an argument. You know you made an argument but it took a few seconds for you to realize that you were being snarky. It’s acknowledging it though and then shifting from that point of acknowledgment. That’s the real difference between practitioners of mindfulness and then people who are mindful.

The self-compassion can help out a lot because we’re human and it’s okay to feel those emotions. You get upset with yourself because things don’t work out. Maybe you are the reason that things didn’t work out. Maybe you didn’t do things quite the right way and so now you’re beating yourself up. We can have compassion for ourselves and realize that it’s okay. What am I going to do from this point? That requires a level of maturity and understanding that, “That has happened, but I’m going to let it go. I’m going to be mature enough and give myself some self-compassion. Realize that I can’t change that and what I’m going to do moving forward.” That’s not only emotional intelligence, but that’s emotional maturity.

Having that level of understanding and self-awareness of our emotions can be the difference, the game changer. I want to share I have been emotionally overwhelmed with having being paralyzed from the neck down. I’ve dealt with a lot of anger in my life because I was mad at the world. You deal with anger and then you feel a certain way when you see people moving on with their lives. They’re going on and doing all the things that you wish that you could do, in terms of moving their bodies and things like that. You start to feel left out. You start to feel as if life has dealt you a bad hand or God doesn’t love you or what have you done. It takes a certain level of emotional intelligence to bring that back into perspective and to look at what matters. What are your strengths? What can you do? That’s leading into that emotional resilience. What are your thoughts about emotional resilience and the application of it?

That’s how I’ve been able to persist here because I’ve definitely felt that. I don’t know what your situation is with your father, but I never met my dad. A lot of people I meet like this start to harbor some anger and then they don’t point it in any direction. They are angry and then, “It’s nothing like that. I don’t care about him. He’s never been in my life, why would I care?” If you’re not honest with yourself and allow yourself to release that anger in an open way, that anger can hold you back. You’ll be angry and more furious about situations where you’re getting mad. For instance, I’m at the point where I’m mature enough to be like, “That suck. I can’t lie.” When I was growing up, it made me feel the way. I have brothers and sisters and we have different dads. They had their dad, I didn’t have mine.

My girlfriend, she has both her parents. I was wondering like, “Am I harboring some type of negative energy towards the fact? Am I jealous? Am I angry?” It’s not necessarily any of those severe emotions. The fact that I can even acknowledge that I had anger prior to it and accepting my suffering, that’s the key that a lot of people don’t know how to do that. The Buddhist practitioners, Taoism and Hindu people all have this good idea and understanding of suffering. Life is your ability to deal with suffering essentially in their religion.

Another one of my good friends. He considers it you were either at the wall of suffering or getting away from the wall of suffering. At the wall of suffering, it’s hard to hear, it’s hard to listen to people, and it’s hard to be appreciated. You can’t accept compliments. Life is hard. When you’re at the wall of suffering, you’re usually calling yourself the victim, which is level one of emotional maturity. You’re down there and everything is somebody else’s fault. Once you start to accept yourself then something beautiful starts happening. You start to see life isn’t what I thought it was. There are parts and colors of it that I had right but it’s different, vaster, more fruitful, more fun, and more serendipitous than I could even imagine. Once you start to appreciate that suffering is part of it, a lot of people think the best people live lives without suffering. No, the best people are suffering so much that they turn their suffering into something great.

GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: At the wall of suffering, it’s hard to hear, it’s hard to listen to people, and it’s hard to be appreciated.


Steve Jobs was saying that he didn’t have certain types of technology. He’s marketed in a way that he got over it. He said, “I want to get my story out there. I need a way,” so he made his podcasts. It’s different for each person, but it’s about figuring out a way to get your message out there and understanding that your story and your suffering gives you strength. That’s what grows me about emotional resilience. It helps me understand like, “I have my purpose here and all that suffering was here to make me greater than I was before.”

I call it channeling because that’s a lot of negative energy that you can harbor as a result of suffering, as a result of hard times, the injuries. My father wasn’t around. We didn’t have a good relationship when I was young. My mom got married and the man that she married, he’s who I call father now. He and I have a wonderful relationship, but that relationship didn’t start until I was close to being ten years old. I had those feelings of my father not being around and being angry about that. As I got older, it did affect me. Ironically enough, I said I’m going to use that energy to motivate me. I played football and playing football, you scrap up any type of energy that you can to be your best on the field.

I got into the habit of channeling certain types of emotions, anger, and things like that and use it for my good. How can it make me better? When I got hurt, I realized that being angry and emotionally upset all the time was miserable. It wasn’t getting me anywhere. There was no return on that. I developed a strategy not knowing much about emotional intelligence that was going to channel that energy into something bigger and something greater. They have the terms emotional resilience and emotional IQ, which I want to dive into a little bit more, find out more about that. At that time, I knew that I needed to take this energy and transform it into something greater. For our audience, at a basic level, those emotions are going to come up. It’s what you’re going to do with it? How are you going to respond to that? If you feel you’re on the wall of suffering, what are you going to do about it?

I would love to add one more point to that. Sandy, she’s an awesome friend. One of her most brilliant quotes is, “It only comes up when you’re ready to deal with it.” In your case, when you’re ready to harness it or make it work for you. You’re not going to be overwhelmed by emotions dealing with the fact I don’t have parents. Every time that it happens, I’m in a position to handle it. I’ve been overwhelmed, but even when I’m in overwhelm it’s all for something greater. It’s not just about me. Once you realize, you can be doing everything in the world that you need to do for you. When you realize you’re not here for just you. I’m not saying I have kids. I’m not saying you’re here for your parents. I’m saying it’s more than that. I’m here for people like you. I’m here for people who can’t understand or can’t get out of their own way. A lot of times it’s stuff that’s greater than us. I’m sure you can understand and attest to that as well.

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This may seem strange to a lot of people. Sometimes the suffering gets your attention. It gets you to a place where you start looking for answers, not realizing the answer’s already inside you but it starts you on that journey. You start to realize, “I learned this about me as a result of this. I learned about this capability. I learned this skill. I can help these people. I can serve these people.” Your purpose starts to come out and you realize it’s much bigger and greater than you. Unfortunately, we don’t go into suffering from that mindset. That’s what the Game Changer Mentality is all about because I believe that in every hardship, every challenge, there’s something in there that is for you that can make you better. Let’s think about it. When you go into a challenge, something that you’re facing, you have that level of mentality that, “Here we go.”

It’s an opportunity. You don’t go in it with the woe is me. There’s not the complaining, the bickering, and the blaming. You’re open enough to receive, “What do I need to change? How do I need to mature? What areas do I need to focus on to bring out, express and self-actualize the gift that I have inside of me?” That’s what it’s all about. If you can look at your suffering, if you can look at your challenges as an opportunity for you to grow, an opportunity for you to get better, become more self-aware, become more resilient, self-actualize even at a greater level. If you have that mindset about what you’re going through, the possibilities are endless for you. The potential is vast. I believe that that’s the game-changing attitude when it comes to managing your emotions.

A point I would add to that is that self-actualization is powerful. That’s the next level. Before you even get there, we talked about the self-awareness of it. I want to make sure we hit all the key points in emotional intelligence because it’s got a lot of depth to it. After you get the self-awareness, you get self-regulation. It’s how well you can control yourself or self-management. How well you can make yourself do certain things. A lot of people don’t realize they have either a weak willpower or short attention span. That’s a sign that they don’t have as much control over their mind as they think. You definitely want to cultivate at least some meditative practice so that you can have that self-regulation. Once you get self-regulation, it will definitely help you after you get to social awareness. What’s next is relationship management.

Relationship management is how you continue to have great interaction. Have that excellent chemistry and be mindful of what causes it or what the key is. Where’s the spark? Where do you guys have that commonality? Where do you guys bond gets strengthened? For me and you, we obviously know this resilience. It’s understanding suffering. It’s understanding that I help people not suffer as much as they think they need to and stuff like that. We understand that and that gives us a better relationship to manage and it’s awesome that we’ve already reached that. It’s awesome also to have other people to be able to see it and feel it because then they’ll be able to use it in their own lives as well. Those are the four key components. I’ll have to go back on this regulation point and focus on motivation. I always say five key tenets instead of four. Those four are the typical ones: self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness and relationship management. Under self-regulation, I always star motivation. Motivation is a part of self-regulation, but it’s an ability to get you to do something.

Some people don’t realize they’ve been overwhelmed by depression or they haven’t suffered enough or they suffered enough that suffering is what they’re here for so they don’t want to do anything to change it. Having that motivation is super critical because I’ve been in homeless shelters. I’ve been doing research for my app in transitional centers. Every now and then I come across some people who are, “I’m okay with this living off the system. I’m living on food stamps. I don’t want a job,” and I’m realizing that they’ve given into the suffering versus growing from the suffering. That comes back to what you were saying about self-actualization, which to me screamed growth mindset, which is the Game Changer Mentality practice. You’ve got to have that growth mindset. If you’re not taking steps forward, you’re probably either stagnant or stepping back. You’ve got to understand that suffering is always with you and there are always more ways that you can harness it.

I believe the key to getting anything you want in life, especially when it comes to being happy, self-actualizing, self-expression, relationships, is self-mastery. That’s the key. A lot of people are looking for intelligence and all of those things. You’ve got to have education, you’ve got to have intelligence, but you can have all of that and still not master self. If you can’t, you feel you’re unable to get it because probably you’re not mastering yourself. You are what withholds you from whatever it is that you want. What we’re talking about here are the keys. These are the techniques. These are the gatekeepers to self-mastery because it’s your emotions that are driving your behavior.

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You can want something. You can have a great desire for something, but if your emotions prohibit you from doing those things. I’m going to use pain and pleasure, for example. You could want pleasure so bad that you get emotionally involved with that pleasure, that that drives your behavior. You can want certain types of pleasure so much that that drives your behavior and it doesn’t serve you, it’s to your detriment. There’s a balance between that pleasure, there’s a balance between the pain. Some people associate discipline with pain. It hurts too much. It takes too long. It’s being able to master the level of pain, the level of pleasure.

If you ever saw someone that has become successful to a certain point, but then their drive goes down, their hunger goes away. They’re not as driven because they’ve tasted a little bit of success. Now, they’ve gotten satisfied to a certain extent and their behavior has changed, but they still want more. They still want to go to the next level, but they can’t seem to move. That’s a lack of self-mastery. When you can master yourself and then to me what you’re talking about, what you’re deeply involved in and giving to the world is keys to self-mastery. Once you can understand your emotions and you can become in control of your emotions, you become the master of you. We think we are in control, but we’re not as in control as much as we think we are. We allow our emotions to drive us more so than anything else. We condone it. We think it’s okay because it’s how I feel. If I don’t feel like it, then it’s okay because it’s how I feel.

I do want to highlight the fact of how powerful it is that you’re saying that especially we’re in a patriarchal society. A lot of men in powerful places have a hard time accepting and being honest with themselves about emotions if they even experience emotions. I don’t know if people realized that a little bit before our generation, most people were thinking, “A man’s man. Are you’re feeling like that? That’s weak. You’re married and you have kids. How can you say that feeling emotions is weak?” It’s a contradictory statement. Some ideologies have been happening. I’m glad we’re following up with time and that level of consciousness where we can appreciate that these are what drives our being and what drives our motivations. The better we understand them, the closer to self-mastery we will be.

GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: A lot of men in powerful places have a hard time accepting and being honest with themselves about emotions.


What you described is an indication of someone who doesn’t have a high intelligence. They think that being macho was manly, but being in control of your emotions is more male and more mature because you’re not driven by feeling like a man. You understand what a man is and that a man can have feelings.

That’s the power of understanding the masculine and the feminine and how they work in a yin and yang way. If you can appreciate that, that’s when you hit that next level of mastery. You’re starting to worry about how strong your meditative state is. If your third eye is open, if your pineal gland is calcified, that next level of consciousness is awesome and that’s what you’re focused on as well.

Your application has a lot in there with regard to emotional intelligence. We can’t even talk about it in this time to a level that is satisfactory. What’s the benefit of this app and how does it work?

What the app is doing is I’m harnessing AI like we harness suffering. I’m harnessing AI, the fact that it’s super powerful and uses what we call neural networks to store information. Instead of storing data in a simple way like we’ve been doing before as you store it on your hard drive and stuff like that. It’s like blockchain where they have nodes and networks and then the nodes store information. What’s happening when I’m using this AI and I’m using a lot of machine learning is I’m giving people resources personalized to what sentiments is analyzed and what they think.

I could tell you’re in a good mood and I want to make sure you continue to have a good mood. When you’re talking, my body talks to you. You’re talking to the chatbot. The chatbot is like, “How’s your day going?” You’re like, “It’s great. I want to maintain it.” They’re like, “Cool,” then we give you personalized resources. You can use it in music, video, articles, potential games, little things you can do, like random acts of kindness. All in hopes of either maintaining your mood or making your mood even better than it was. That level is trying to help you understand why you’re there and then how you can shift that mood. It’s all resources and references based on your individual interaction.

Always improve your life. Share on X

Always improve your life and that’s essentially what we’re focused on. I’ve been alone in this space of like, “I feel this way. I don’t have parents. I feel this way. I don’t want to talk to my siblings about it.” Our generation is super more into the internet. I’m making an easy, accessible way to make it to where you’re not alone. You have some support. You have somebody that cares and it’s taking the time to provide you with these resources. No matter if you’re transitioning, no matter if you’re alone, no matter if you just came out of prison and it seems everything is against you, you can have a little bit of a reprieve from social media and all this other stuff that’s telling you what life is supposed to be like. It gives you your research about what your internal life is like, that you can practice and cultivate.

That’s a 30,000 feet overview of it, but it’s mostly you interacting with a bot or a chatbot. If you’re a severe case, it will refer you to a doctor. If you’re at a base level where you’re just having a tough day, you want to talk about it, letting you get that off your chest. She’s a machine learning to reframe. Let’s say we’re talking to each other and you say, “I’m feeling pretty crappy. It’s probably because it’s the interaction I had with somebody,” and then it will reframe to you, “I heard that you’re not feeling that great. Is it because of the conversation you had with somebody?” Clarifying that that’s what you said and then give you resources based on what you said.

The app is going to give you suggestions on how to feel. It’s prompting you to shift those emotions, becoming more aware of how you are feeling, and then give you some opportunities and content to shift that mood. You can download this to your phone, you set up a profile and it starts that way.

We have it to where it plugs into Facebook. It’s super simple. In that way, you’ll be able to have some other friends that you could recommend it to and potentially talk to the other friends about it. That way, it can give you more and more resources for both you and your friends to talk about. I’ve noticed a lot of people talk to their friends about how bad they feel versus they’re not improving. You know somebody who wants to take the advice or references from your friends. This will give you both the same resources and references.

Does it go deeper? Does it grow with you as you become more aware and emotionally intelligent? Does it upgrade?

Absolutely. What it does is it starts off with the basic tenets of emotional intelligence and some basic parts of self-compassion. As it improves, it helps you to be able to cultivate each individual. It teaches little lessons of what self-compassion is, what emotional maturity is, what emotional resiliency is. As you grow, it grows. It’s like an app. First, it was just a chatbot. On the side, there is more stuff that you can do, like little games. The better you’re doing that, you learn from that, the more it improves and then your level increases. When it refers you stuff that you can do, it gives you a wider range of stuff you can do the more you learn through that.

Resilience and understanding suffering makes you strong. Share on X

Tell us where people can find you, Jalen.

You can find me on LinkedIn at Jalen Gildersleeve. You can find me on Facebook, @JGildersleeve, I’m super open. Any social media platform, if you type in Jalen Gildersleeve I’m probably the only one that’s going to come up. You’re free to find me at MindHak.com, you’ll find us there. If you want to learn more information, we have a great Facebook page as well. We’ll be responsive on that.

You’re in beta phase. When do you think the official launch of the application will happen?

We want to launch the least by the end of September into a public beta so we can get more and more data. There’s a little bit more tweaking and refining because we want to launch this also social impact company and it’s also a public benefit corporation. We publish our data in ways to help other people use our data to improve their company, improve their overall workforce. When we make it a public beta, we’ll be using that data as well. We want to make sure that our algorithm is fine-tuned so that when we go to halfway houses, transitional centers, homeless shelters, and adoption centers, we can help people in more severe states.

GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence: We publish our data in ways that help other people use our data to improve their company, improve their overall workforce.


You’re soliciting other people to come and check this thing out. Please, audience, go check out Jalen Gildersleeve. What is the name of the app?

The name of the app is MindHak. The company is MindHak Incorporated.

Go check out the MindHak app. Download it to your phone. Check it out. Become more emotionally intelligent, emotionally resilient. Master yourself. This has been an awesome show. It’s been awesome talking to you. Do you have any more words you would like to say to the audience?

I always like to end on these three things. They’re three of my favorite things. One is awe. Always remember you’re a part of something bigger and something greater. When you look at the full moon, you go and see a mountain or go to see giant trees. I’m in California so I get to see the redwoods. You get to see you’re a small part of something awesome. Always remember that. Always practice altruism. You don’t even understand that will help change your whole neurochemistry and neuroplasticity to always want people to be growing and understanding. You’re here to help other people and sometimes you don’t get anything. That’s okay. The third thing I always want to typically end with is to understand synergy and co-creation. You’re always in a position to create something great with someone else. The more synergy you can find with them, the better co-creation happens.

Rodney, thank you so much for having me on your show. I appreciate the co-creation and the melding of the brilliance. I’m looking forward to watching more of your awesome podcast and learning more about more awesome people like that who believe that resilience and understanding that suffering makes you strong.

It’s been a pleasure. Thank you as well. I love the work that you’re doing. Keep it up. Go out there and change the minds of all those young people that are in your group. That is important. Keep that up. You’re doing awesome work in the world and it is making a difference for me to you. Thank you for reading another episode of the Game Changer Mentality Podcast. Check us out next time as we deliver you another game-changing episode. We love you. Take care of yourselves.

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About Jalen Gildersleeve

GCM 22 | Emotional Intelligence

Jalen is the Founder and CEO Of MindHak, an AI-based application that teaches people emotional intelligence, self-compassion and emotional resilience.
Having been born in Flint, Michigan, Jalen grew up surrounded by the belief that struggle, drugs and violence were the only obvious options for survival.
After his mom moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia while in college he was able to begin to witness and create new obvious options through self-compassion and emotional intelligence. It is these key tenets that led to the creation of Mindhak during Goodie Nation’s Hack the Violence event.
Goodie Nation charged him with reducing the worlds emotional violence by 40% by 2020. After deciding to re-focus on increasing the world’s emotional intelligence instead, Mindhak works to do so by providing resources to it’s users, especially those underserved by today’s society.

Are you ready to shed your past, rise above your present, and go confidently in the direction of your dreams? The first step? Decide. Choose right here and now to make a move. Set your intention. Then simply ask Rodney for help. https://rodneyflowers.com/mentoring/ 

Want an inspirational story and a magnetic personality plus interactive actionable strategies to transform your audience? Book Rodney for your next event. https://rodneyflowers.com/speaking/

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