Tag Archives: Emotional intelligence

4 Paths to the Good Life I Learned as a Child

Lucky me, my parents showed me the paths to the good life. Eventually, I realized what they taught could be boiled down to four rules.

Rules for the good life

The paths we all need to walk in order to bring peace on earth.

A quick post inspired by this Word Press Daily Prompt.Childhood Revisited
by Michelle W: Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

The rules speak for themselves. Do they speak to you?


Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.



These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.


3 TIps to Avoid Being Victimized by False Expectations Appearing Real –

Do others see you through the eyes of prejudice? Do you victimize others by thinking you see them clearly when you do not? Some quotes to think about:

Prejudice quotess

This post is related to this WordPress Daily Prompt: A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma. Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

Actually, more than the prompt, I found  a response to my two previous  blog posts promoting sexual rules provoking me to write a bit about prejudice. One  person expressed outrage at the posts and only  saw part of me. That  caught both of us in the snare of prejudice.

Prejudice is a view of another person based on an incomplete picture of who they are. Dividing people into groups that let you think you know all about the people in the group is the stuff of prejudice and the fears that accompany it. See only color in thinking about a person – racism at work. See only religion and another prejudice at work. The list goes on and on.

Think you are not prejudice? Think again. We all are victims and dispensers of prejudice. Prejudice fuels fear and fear fuels anger. When angry you are in danger of victimizing others.

Jerome Kagan is the current human development theorist I respect the most.  The sages of Torah and Shakespeare are my earlier favorites.  Kagan made me a fan with his stance on uncertainty as a prime reason we do what we do.  He was not the only theorist to see this, but the one who finally seemed to work the most carefully in exploring this idea and other theories. I also liked him because he challenges much of the popular thinking about how we become who we become and mis-informs much mental health treatment.

Kagan makes the point that the infant takes in his or her environment and assumes that what s/he sees is what should be. Then around the age of three, those early images form the filter through which new or different experiences are judged. Many judgments reflect parental or cultural teachings, but many do not and are the child’s personal way of trying to make sense of life.

This relates to prejudice in the following ways.

  1. All humans have an inborn genetically based fear of the unknown -fear of the dark, fear of the strange, fear of the new, and fear of the different. These fears are part of Nature’s survival tools.  Such fears fuel our fight or flight reactions.
  2. These fears are uncertainties about what is happening or going to happen.
  3. Fears and uncertainties fuel unpleasant feelings and push us to act to bring back a sense of safety.  Blaming, getting angry and attacking the person or thing creating uncertainty is one consequence. Blaming yourself and feeling guilt, shame, weak or incompetent is another consequence. When you blame yourself you might also seek to better at controlling the behaviors that you think are at fault.

Several years of wrestling with how we become who we become lead me to pull together many ideas. This picture depicts my model, but only partly.

What makes us us - my theory.

This is simplified because the number of arrows and  influences go in many different ways and are  unlimited in number. particularly, when depicting individuals.

Some quick definitions are also in order.

  1. Nature refers to our genetic make-up, but also the changes brought to our biology by disease, injury, and trauma.
  2. Nurture refers to what we experience in our environments as we grow, but also as adults; earlier experiences do seem to be more powerful, but drastic changes in our beings and behavior can and do occur across every life stage.
  3. Beliefs refers to the ideas we form that guide our thoughts and actions as we traverse life and try to make sense out of what happens to us.
  4. Behavior is self-evident as what we do, but is often left out to the mix and it  strongly shapes  who we are.

Warning: My goal has always been to share knowledge in a way most can understand, and therefore may seem simplistic.  It is my hope that what I share will lead you to explore your ideas more fully, particularly those that make  you the person you are – self-awareness = emotional intelligence.


Emotional fitness tip one: The more passionate you feel  the more likely you are responding from your heart and personal experience and those are fertile soil for the seeds of prejudice.

Emotional fitness tip two: The more angrily someone attacks you the more they are responding from their heart and personal experiences and the more likely prejudice of one kind or another is operating.

Emotional fitness tip three: The fear and anger created by prejudices are best dealt with by facing them, staying calm, practicing kindness, looking for truth in the  other people’s view of things, and remembering what matters.

Not at all easy, but more hopeful for personal happiness and for creating peace on earth than fighting or fleeing.


Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.




These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.


5 Better Sex Tips Based on Some Secrets About Sex

The fighting, fleeing, and feeding survival instincts build into our genes have a fourth partner  that in less polite language also begins with and the letter F.

Five jokes about sex.

I hope you laughed.  And apologies that they  were more biased toward women.  I selected them as I do most jokes, to give you more than a laugh. Humor gives us food for thought.

As the jokes should indicate the not so secret thing about sex is that  the act of intercourse has different meanings for the participants.

The secret not often discussed? Sex is not designed for our personal enjoyment. Yes, if you are lucky, it is a joyous experience, delightful to both participants. However, unlike fighting, fleeing, and feeding, fu—–g has little to do with personal survival or pleasure; it is the creator’s way of assuring survival of the human race.

Species survival requires babies, but also babies who will be cared for. Men are driven by their penises to create babies, women are driven by a greater sensitivity to seeing that the young survive.

Any woman who has a baby knows that her desire for sex often flees after the child’s birth; sometimes it returns, often it doesn’t. A painful birth, an unwanted child, an unloving relationship add to the likelihood intercourse will be low on a woman’s “must do list.”

As the last  joke points out, however, deprived of sex generally makes men meaner. It also makes seeking a new partner more likely.

This link at the Live Science web site notes that the  hormone most driving sex is testosterone. The article  details the following facts:

  1. Testosterone is a steroid. Remember steroids increase strength and aggressiveness
  2. Testosterone makes men manly and able to have sex.
  3. Woman have testosterone, but at a much lower level than men.
  4. Testosterone levels are highest during the teen years and early twenties  and decrease as the man ages.

These facts explain the difference between men and woman, but how those difference play out in real life are greatly influenced both by culture and  testosterone failure.

Henry VIII’s failing testosterone was probably as much to explain the beheading of several of his wives as was their failure to produce a son. And that was his failure – men determine the sex of a baby.

Also important to note in the saga of Henry’s life and the killing of his wives,  was his putting aside of Anne of Cleves. That was a political marriage . She was a princess, the marriage was political.

Main point? Because she was  not a wife he selected based on who spoke to his penis, he could not be aroused by her.  Because she the marriage was political, she was not beheaded and the marriage was annulled  because it was not consummated. Henry blamed her for that, but at least he spared her life. Moreover, after the annulment she was referred to as Henry’s beloved sister, and ultimately, she outlived Henry and his other wives.

Many men are not so generous to women who do not speak to their penises. What is a combination of testosterone and early cultural imprinting about what constitutes a sexy woman plays a strong part in what arouses men.

Arousal is more controlled by nature than by the person. Leads to  problems.

First problem: Men are  prone to blaming women for not arousing them. This often leads to the search for newer partners. That search often involves what called forth arousal during the days of their youth. Explains why many men look for partners that resemble early sexual encounters.  Also may play a part in some who become gay. But that is a topic for another blog post.

Second problem: Culture  plays a part about what is okay in terms of sex, as well as what turns you on.  In terms of what terms you on, just think for a minute about in many cultures fat was a sign of wealth and so fat was considered sexually attractive.

More destructive cultural beliefs abound. In many societies raping slaves, wives, and  prisoners of war was, and still under Sharia Law, not just acceptable but promoted. Many such societies also approved raping children and in some cases animals. Finally, in our “enlightened” world views, many societies approve of same sex relationships while others behead or stone same sex lovers. Culture at work.

Third Problem; Culture became a stronger force for restraints on women’s sexual behaviors when it was realized men played a role in procreation. Men wanted to be certain a child a woman carried was his and not some one else’s.  In early Roman days, wives had to be sexually virtuous, while men could dabble sexually wherever they wished.

Fourth  problem: Women are blamed and punished for arousing a man’s penis when he either cannot do anything (erectile dysfunction) or culture demands abstinence.   

The push for women to dress modestly so men will not be aroused is the most potent example of this. At the extreme end of this are those cultures who insist a woman be covered from head to toe and feel free to rape or behead a woman immodestly dressed.

Getting aroused when culture dictates you cannot act on the arousal creates fear of being a bad person; for men it has been all to easy to blame the woman rather than nature’s push for procreation or their own sexual needs.

I think LBJ was on target when he suggested it was men’s responsibilty to ” Keep their pecker’s in their pockets.”

Fifth problem: The veneration of chastity, abstinence, and celibacy. My personal opinion is that this started with impotent old men who had political power but either never could get it up or had lost the power to get it up. Certainly, Christianity’s veneration of  celabacy, abstinence, and female chastity. It began with St. Paul. Formerly Saul of Tarsus, he changed Judaism to fit his need to promote and sell Christianity. He was by then middle aged and I suspect prone to impotence. If not him, do remember that most of the power brokers throughout history have been men who survived youth and so as time went on became less and less physically potent.

Sex  at its best is a joyful experience for all.  Nature wants us to procreate, and  knows pleasure is a potent motivator.


Emotional training tip one: Knowledge is power, it is particular important for both men and women to understand the difference in how nature programmed them to procreate.  At its simplest knowing that men have to get it up and woman on the other hand can be aroused to want sex by the act, opens pathways to better understanding.

Men have to stop blaming woman for both arousing and not arousing them.

Women have to stop waiting to want to have sex, and be ready and willing when a partner they are involved with wants it.

Emotional fitness tip two: Know and abide by Emotional Fitness Training’s Safe Sex Rules. Originally designed to help parents teach preteens and teens about sex, they apply to all.


Emotional Fitness Training tip three:  Learn the Joys of Sex. This book was a best seller during the free love time before AIDS dimmed the joy. The main point is that good sex is a skill that both participants need to develop. The sex therapists start with having you learn to pleasure yourself.

Yes, that does mean masturbating. The extremes of the anti-sex fanatics surfaced recently when a religious fanatic told masturbating men they were going to be punished in the after life by having their fingers become pregnant.

Laughable to most of us,  but the prohibition against the Big M remains so strong that is not talked about as a way to  help prolong abstinence or prevent AIDS.

Emotional fitness training tip four: Realize the happier  your partner, the better the sex. 

Emotional fitness training tip five: Maximize the other pleasures in close relationships.  Here’s another joke, I found when researching this article.

A mother is in the kitchen making dinner for her family when her daughter walks in. “Mother, where do babies come from?” The mother thinks for a few seconds and says, “Well dear, Mommy and Daddy fall in love and get married. One night they go into their bedroom, they kiss and hug, and have sex.” The daughter looks puzzled so the mother continues, “That means the daddy puts his penis in the mommy’s vagina. That’s how you get a baby, honey.” The child seems to comprehend. “Oh, I see, but the other night when I came into your room you had daddy’s penis in your mouth. What do you get when you do that?” “Jewelry, my dear. Jewelry.”

One of the gains for woman should definitely be the pleasure of giving pleasure, even when not in the mood. One of the gains for men, not in giving jewels to a partner, but in giving sexual pleasure.


Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.


Emotional Fitness Training Business: As this post shows, I am no longer including a Post Inspiration Connection at the end of my posts. If I were to do so, here would be Today’s link Nightmares. 

I would like your opinion on whether my former efforts to include a post inspiration link added or subtracted from your rating of my EFTI posts.


These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Three Things You Need to Know About Therapy

In therapy, but nothing seems better? Thinking you need therapy? First some jokes about therapy, then some thoughts  and to[s about therapy.

Three jokes about therapy

All three jokes relate to what you need to know about why therapy might not work.  In the first joke, the therapist remains locked in personal problems and more help to him than his clients.

Most therapists are drawn to the field out of a personal need to both better deal with their problems, as well as to help others. Many therapists have been patients and found therapy personally helpful. Having had problems solved in therapy often makes for a better therapist. However, not always and so it seems with joke number one.

In the second joke, the psychiatrist is so busy diagnosing others, he seems to have lost the more common human capacity to offer compassionate help. In real life, in the same situation, hopefully most psychiatrists would also offer practical help. However, many therapists are all too focused on what’s wrong, finding someone to blame, attaching labels, and seeing only weaknesses.  Not helpful.

The third joke reflects a bit of the second joke, but also on the need for good reality checking. Therapy cannot solve all problems and is not a cure-all.

Bad habits can be turned into good habits, but sometimes the bad habit is the only way a person can survive. When the person lives in a war zone,  therapy will not work until safety is establish. War zone  does not just mean bullets are flying, someone is being treated violently in other ways: think of domestic violence or bullying by peers at school. Finally, biological problems, either genetic or caused by illness, brain injuries, or trauma, often make change impossible.

The third joke also serves as a reminder to all seeking therapy. Therapy is not  magic.  You  need you to do the work.  Which is the subject of another joke: How many thearpists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one if the lightbulb is willing to change. However, even doing the work may not find you are being helped the way you want.

Emotional fitness tip one: Whether in therapy or thinking about therapy, get clear about your expectations. The best way is to set a SMART goal for therapy and share it with the therapist. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic, and time limited.

Emotional fitness tip two: Measure progress.  Here’s an easy to use Goal Measuring Poster.  Give therapy time to work, but also be clear with yourself and your therapist about how things are progressing.

Measuring goal progress

For more tips, exercises,  and inspiration browse the EFTI Store.

Emotional fitness tip three: Get realistic. In order to get the best from therapy,  become an educated consumer, make sure you are getting competent care. Next  be honest about your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Then do all the things everyone is told to do to stay strong–eat properly, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, have balance in your life between work and play, keep up social relationships,  take any prescribed medications as directed.  Add Emotional Fitness Training Exercises  to your daily routine. Finally, don’t let stigma keep you from seeking therapy when nothing else seems to be working.

If everyone worried more  about being kind to self and others, instead of whether someone was mentally ill or not; many of the world’s problems would be solved.


Remember sharing is caring and the easiest way to practice kindness is to share this post if you found it helpful.  Share it even if it doesn’t speak to you, it will speak to some. Didn’t like it?  Comment and tell me why and how to improve.


POST INSPIRATION:  Today’s WordPress Daily prompt: State of Your Year
How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

It as not been an easy year. Why? One reason? Aging and what cannot be changed and what has to be lived with as we move forward.  Particularly frustration personally is that I am stalled in my efforts to get more eBooks out. Then there is the state of the world. Finally, there are the everyday minor and major  problems that hurt you or those your love.

My biggest achievement is that I keep going and doing what I can, when I can.