Friday, September 30, 2005



When you’re panicking you can’t think straight, and clear thinking is what you need. Whatever challenge you’re facing, you need resources, a strategy with action steps, and calm resolution to take the first step, and then the next, and then the next. In order to stay in the coping mode, what can you do? Here are 10 tips, including resources for those whose stress is partly financial.

1. Self-soothe

All forms of panicking involve losing your breath. You need oxygen to think clearly. Stop and take deep breaths, concentrating only on your breathing.

2. Clear your head and add positive self-talk.

Replace “I can’t take this,” with “I’m competent and can handle this.” Replace "This is horrible" with "I've handled difficult things before and been alright."

Or replace panicky thoughts with something neutral, the verbal equivalent of counting sheep. Run through the alphabet. Recite nursery rhymes. Do math equations.

3. Think Optimistically. Don’t blame the situation on something personal (It’s all my fault), pervasive (I screw up everything), and permanent (I always have and I always will).

Avoid the downward spiral by intentionally distracting yourself. Stay busy. Keep your social life going. Don’t allow time to ruminate.

4. Treat your body to extra care. Stress depresses your immune system.

Consult a nutritionist or wellness coach and get supplements. Get massages. Sign up for a tennis league. Take Yoga or Tai Chi classes. Hire a trainer to keep you exercising. If funds are tight, Find free public sports’ facilities or a friend’s apartment complex. Trade massages with your partner or go to a massage school. They have reduced rates because they’re practicing. Give yourself a makeover and add extra nutritional supplements.

5. Talk it out with someone you can trust.

Work with a coach or therapist, or talk with your minister or faith leader. If money’s tight, find a Stephen Ministry, available through many churches or check out non-profit counseling centers that have a sliding scale. Many coaches also take pro bono clients.

6. Drink water, be in water, look at water.

Take a cruise, spend time in a swimming pool or hot tub, picnic by a river, or go down to the ocean.

7. Give yourself nature and culture. They’re healing.

If you’re short on cash, visit local museums on “free” day. Borrow CDs from the library. Look at art on the Internet. Hike in local preserves or parks.

8. Attend to your spiritual life.

Available to all: Pray. Here is a place to start, if you need one. You can submit a confidential prayer request to Unity here. Find a Prayer Service and let them pray for you. Go back to your place of worship or go more often. Find an interactive Sunday School class. Take a Meditation course.

9. Do NOT isolate yourself.

This is the worst thing you can do for your health. It will have long-term effects beyond the current crisis.

Spend quality time with friends and family. Get back into groups you’ve let drop. Join new ones. Add a mid-week religious service. Do group-project volunteer work. Make and accept social invitations.

10. Develop and practice Emotional Intelligence techniques.

Work with an EQ coach who can teach you how to manage the emotions better.

In a calmer state, you can take action better. Make a plan. On a piece of paper make a column for each challenge and underneath it write down a list of action steps to take. A coach or therapist could help you with this, or work with a trusted friend of Stephen minister.

11. Get information. Get facts.

If your panic is focused around a certain issue, such as that the person you just met on the Internet is lying, or that your partner is cheating on you, investigative services such as TheCloser can get you answers, and provide resources, advice and facts, and provide emotional support. If you're recovering from your partner having an affair, let me coach you. It's one of the worst things you can go through.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005


SHOULD YOU STAY OR SHOULD YOU GO? A valuable resource when you need it most. Click HERE to order.

Guides you through a workbook designed to help you make the right decision. Case studies illuminate the decision-making process. Relying on self-discovery and is non-judgmental, the book goes deep into your core values and presents questions, examples and ideas that will help you gain insight. If you are ready to be true to yourself, try using this book.

Assertiveness Techniques

Active Listening

Setting Objectives and Achievable Outcomes

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Susan's "Worldly Wisdom" -- proverbs of the world and their wealth of knowledge about human nature and how things work. EMAIL ME ( )and put "wisdom" for subject line and it will be emailed to you.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Beware the icy, analytical, critical stance for those of you that like that position (see article below)

All studies show and I'm sure your own experience confirms that all married couples fight over the same things -- money, the kids, sex, in-laws, work schedules, house cleaning, and the like.

So what makes some survive, but barely, while some sink, and some thrive?

Well, I watched a couple I know the other day. Something came up that evidentally hit a nerve, and it was like one of them had thrown a lighted match into a keg of powder. They went from a "1" to a "10" in a nanosecond. It was comment -- attack -- counter-attack -- retaliate.

"How can you..."
"You always ..."
"You never..."
"Yeah, right."
"See? You can't discuss anything rationally."
"Here we go again."

You're such an idiot...
You're defensive ...
You're over-reacting ...
You're hopeless.

If just reading this puts a knot in your stomach, or brings back bad old memories, you aren't alone.

And, as you innately know, and research keeps confirming, those couples who make it are those who know how to resolve conflict without tearing each other apart.

EQ COACHING CAN REALLY PUT YOU AHEAD OF THE CURVE IN LIFE because these sorts of escalations occur in the workplace too.

Learning how to manage your emotions and resolve conflict amicably can add immeasurably to success in your relationships and career, not to mention your peace of mind, happiness, and HEALTH. It's also something you want to be able to model for your children, and teach them, by example. (Stop and think for a moment -- where did you learn the patterns you have?) "How to Develop Your Child's EQ" gives you some step-by-step instructions. Check it out.
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Would you be interested in learning a two word phrase that could potentially drop the amount of time you spend feeling bad in your relationships by 70%?

It's really easy to master and you can use it for the rest of your life. It's made a massive difference to my life and my clients absolutely love it.

I first learned this technique from Taylor and McGee in their book 'THE NEW COUPLE: WHY THE OLD RULES DON'T WORK AND WHAT DOES'. Simply put, if you're having a spirited discussion with your partner that seems to be heading towards an argument, or even a blazing row, one of you just says 'time out' and you both walk away for a while to cool off. Once you've both cooled off you can get back together and talk about what was really going on.

Think you don't need this? Well, start paying attention to the arguments you get into and you're likely to notice that they make very little sense. Try to recount them, either to a friend or yourself, and you'll observe that your arguments spin off in bizarre ways and get very messy.

You may well start out with a point you're hoping to make but that often gets forgotten in the desire to be right. When most of us get into arguments with our loved one's we behave in ways that could easily be construed as less than adult - dare I say childish? That includes the icy, analytical, critical stance for those of you that like that position.

When I was learning to drive my instructor was responsible for our safety. In some way he was the adult in the car and I knew that he was in charge and to be trusted. He had a set of foot pedals on his side of the car that would allow him to cut the
power and stop the car anytime he decided I was about to do something that wasn't in our best interest. Like the time I nearly pulled out in front of a truck doing 30 mph onto a roundabout because as far as I was concerned I had right of way.
I didn't always like him for cutting the power, and sometimes I felt a bit stupid, but as a result I can now safely drive a car.

A time out works in the same kind of a way. When it comes to an argument there are really only two positions you can be in - adult or child. You just need to get slick at spotting the difference. The poor me, leave me alone child is fairly easy to
identify but there is another type you need to be aware of - the critical child.

The critical child masquerades as an all knowing adult which can be particularly confusing. So if you're busy trying to win an argument by being clever or making a great point then you're probably stuck in child even though you sound super adult.

So the deal is this, if you or your partner spot that one of you has slipped off into child you call a halt by saying 'time out'. It's a good phrase because it's totally neutral and it cuts all the power in the argument before you get yourselves into any real trouble. If your relationship is as valuable to you as my instructor's car was to him then this is a very good thing.

If you want to use this tip make sure you talk about it with your partner. Everyone likes a different level of drama in their lives - some as little as possible, some prefer Hollywood levels. When you start using time outs you'll cut the level of
drama in the relationship so it's possible that one or even both of you will feel like something is missing. It's a bit like when you gave up sugar in your tea or coffee (please tell me you did!). At first it wasn't fun but now you just couldn't go back.

Once you get an agreement in place that time outs are one of the ways you're going to protect your relationship it's important that they are respected. They build safety into a relationship but only work well if both people abide by them. It's not much fun having someone call a time out especially when you're convinced about being right. At points it can be infuriating but in the longer term it leaves you less mess to clear up. You end up having a simple discussion about whether it's worth pulling out in front of a truck even if you are in the right. In stark contrast to trying to work out how the hell you're going to work to pay for the car with so much of your body in plaster.


* When you call a time out do it in a neutral fashion. 'Time out you pig' is not neutral, neither is, 'I'm timing you out' said in your best punitive tone.

* When it comes to arguments it's worth asking yourself 'Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?' So much of what passes for spirited discussion is about point scoring which is basically silly. You're on the same team so give it up.

* Before you launch into an argument remember to H.A.L.T. Ask yourself are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? If you are it may be smart to take yourself a little less seriously until you sort yourself out.

* Always have a time where you can come back and talk about what was really going on. This is important, otherwise it becomes a way of avoiding ever having a heavy discussion. Some conversations are painful in their nature and need to be had.
Just make sure that they are adult conversations. Sorry kids, no disrespect Intended ;-) If you read my article called 'How to Have a Decent Argument' (link below) it talks about how to have a discussion without it getting overly messy.

©By MichaelMyerscough, professional speaker and relationship success coach. Michael has lots of great tips, tools and articles on his website that you can use. Visit him at and sign up for the fr*ee relationship information.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE - UK Study: Societies Worse Off When They Have God on Their Side

“The study shows that England, despite the social ills it has, is actually performing a good deal better than the USA in most indicators, even though it is now a much less religious nation than America.”

A study released September 27, 2005 by The Times in the UK is making headlines.
Conclusion of the study: The US is not doing as well in reducing social ills as other countries such as the UK, France, Japan and Scandanavia. “The non-religious, proevolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator. The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted.”

According to a recent study, religious belief can case damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today. In fact, they think belief in and worship of God may actually contribute to social problems.

The study compares the social peformance of Britain and other relatively secular countries with the US, where (according to the study) the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths believe their religion makes them "better" people, and has been described as “spiritual capital”. However, the study claims the opposite.

The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”

Gregory Paul, the author of the study and a social scientist, used data from the International Social Survey Programme, Gallup and other research bodies to reach his conclusions, comparing murder rates, abortion, suicide and teen pregnancy and other social indicators.

The study concluded that:
  • the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional.
  • rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries.
  • US adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates are "uniquely high"
  • “The study shows that England, despite the social ills it has, is actually performing a good deal better than the USA in most indicators, even though it is now a much less religious nation than America.” (quoting Mr. Paul)
  • the disparity was even greater between the US and other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added.
  • “I suspect that Europeans are increasingly repelled by the poor societal performance of the Christian states,” Mr. Paul added.

    Mr Paul delayed releasing the study until now because of Hurricane Katrina. He said that the evidence accumulated by a number of different studies suggested that religion might actually contribute to social ills.

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  • EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE - Is courage the facilitator of all the EQ Competencies?



    By hooking them in to a greater cause. Letting them know they aren't alone. Letting them know they have a leader. Holding out to them what they can accomplish. Talking about what they're up against in non-incendiary terms and emphasizing how well- prepared they are. Telling them you have confidence in them. Saying what you will accept and what you will not accept. And by talking "higher" -- higher purpose, higher calling, higher hope, higher source of help.

    (And you can do the same thing for yourself.)

    But let's let someone who knew how to lead show us how.

    You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine; the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe; and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle- hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeat in open battle man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

    Also by giving clear, followable instructions. Remember the famous, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes."
    What could be easier to follow, and, when you think about it, how would you tell someone when to fire? It also gives them something else to focus on during a very tense time, i.e., it keeps them marching toward the danger, until they are, as he says, able to see the whites of their eyes.

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    Tuesday, September 27, 2005


    I spent the weekend with a friend of mine who's intense about things. When she's not getting what she wants and gets in an argument, the tension shows all over her face and body. This, in turn, signals the other party (who may have just been "discussing" things) that there's a fight, and they tend to dig into their own position.

    I was able to interrupt and say to my friend, "How about if you smile right now?" She did. And then smiled an even bigger smile. Since she's young, she's able to take her experiences as they come, i.e., the ego and the neocortex don't interfere. (What do you think might happen if you interrupted an adult in the middle of a "fight", with "How about if you smile right now?")

    "I feel better!" she remarked.

    It was basically the end of the argument.

    When the other party saw her smile, they were changed as well.

    Children ... you will say ... they're easily distractible, easily influenced. And what is wrong with that if it makes things better in the end? Being invested in a fight with someone isn't always the best place to be. Flexibility is an EQ competency, and it means being able to self-adjust along the way. It means avoiding --
    **Just because someone makes you angry, you have to make your point
    **I MUST convince this person that they are wrong and I am right
    **I can't not stay mad. Then what would they think? They'd think I had no backbone!
    **I must ... I have to ... I can't not ... NO WAY!

    If you'd like to find out more about this, next time you're tensing up for an argument (be aware of this -- in your body), stop. (Understand that you have a choice at any time in the process of an emotion or exchange. Smile. Consider this an EQ exercise and don't try and "rationalize" it. Just smile. Putting your face into these muscle positions makes it nearly impossible to remain tense.

    Candace Pertman, the scientist who brought us the chemistry behind the first anti-depressants, suggests putting a pencil lengthwise in your teeth, thus forcing your face into the "smile" musculature. Do this many times a day if you want to feel good -- I mean in the body sense. Your body does not appreciate it when you're tense. It causes your blood pressure to go up, your heart to pound, your arteries and heart to work overtime, shuts down your breathing so you don't get the oxygen you need. Your BODY would appreciate it if you would put that pencil lengthwise in your mouth several times a day. Try it! I find when I do, the muscles in my stomach also relax.

    So what if you fail to continue being angry? Nothing much comes from being angry. ANGER IS GOOD FOR KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT. IT ISN'T GOOD FOR GETTING WHAT YOU WANT.

    Go ahead and be angry if you like, remain tense and stress your body out. It's your choice. You can also be good to yourself, note quickly what the anger-response is telling you ("I want something I'm not getting", or some ego-position blow) relax, smile, and make a plan.

    In this relaxed state, you can figure out how you might get what you want, or you can accept that you won't be getting it (now) and not add a second problem (tension and physical ills) to a first problem (not getting what you wanted, or having to do something you don't want to).

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    Monday, September 26, 2005

    EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE - Hurricane Rita Watch

    Just wanted to thank everyone for their concern. I received countless emails wanting to know if me and mine were okay here in San Antonio, Texas. I got emails from as far away as Wales, and appreciate it so much.

    San Antonio if pretty far inland, and Rita, though headed for the Texas Gulf Coast, swung to the north and west right at the end, heading back for that beleagured area around Louisiana. We had some high winds, but not even a drop of rain. I'm glad it wasn't worse for all concerned.

    Again, thank you so much for thinking of me.


    A "warning" like a hurrican watch is always instructive for observing emotional intelligence. Some people become very emotional and neglect "preparing." Others ignore emotional aspects but start "hoarding," unnecessarily. People as far north as Round Rock (north of Austin, which is about 400 miles from the Coast, started hoarding groceries.

    I noticed sometimes the people who were quickest to say "Everyone's panicing," or "Don't you think you're over-reacting a little?" were really the most emotional underneath. They didn't sound as hyper, but their reactive state lasted a long time ... after everyone else had quit talking about it, they were still chewing the bone.

    Of course we aren't judging anyone, it's just that if it turns into a crisis, you want to have remained calm enough to have thought it through, and to have done what needed doing.

    Myself, I've kept a small "hurricane box" for many years. It contains flashlights, batteries, candles, bottle water, and so forth. And we all remember to "fill the bathtub with water"! Lots of other tips going around all the time in this part of the country. Always glad when we don't need them.

    Thanks again!
    Stay well and dry,

    Sunday, September 25, 2005



    The following article by Rabbi Aryeh Spero of New York is making the e-mail list rounds.

    I want to add my perspective, as someone who worked with "the homeless" for many years.

    To go back a step, I also worked in propery management, doing marketing and PR for apartment complexes in the depressed oil belt in the 80s. Property management is "crisis management." You might not think so, but any time you have that many people together - living in an apt. complex -- and any time you have dwellings, you're going to have crises. Food, clothing and shelter and the 3 things we really must have, and conflict is what is going to occur when you have a group of people together, particularly when united only by a parking lot (which has been said of universities). An average day on an apartment complex someone's plumbing or AC or heat goes out, there's domestic violence, or there's a fight between neighbors.

    So in the apt. complex they gave us seminars all the time on "crisis management." I remember (being new to the field) the first one I went to. The facilitator asked, "What's the first thing you do in a crisis?"

    Our answers were so far off base it's a lesson.

    His answer? "Get help." Then he added "People."

    Yes, in a crisis you need people.

    Now, let me segue to the homeless shelter I worked for (again in PR, marketing, fundraising and grant writing). I got the money. The volunteer coordinator brought in the people. The shelter was a collaborative effort. The city provided the building. Moneys from state government and FEMA paid for certain things around the building, some staff salaries, etc. There was a dental clinic, a medical clinic, plenty fo food (provided by the wonderful St. Vincent de Paul Society) and a lot of volunteer labor.

    And where did the volunteer labor come from? Where did the people come from? Where did "the city" and "the state" turn when things got really bad? TO THE PEOPLE, and first and foremost to the spiritual leaders in the town. "Call First Presbyterian," they said, or "Call the synangogue." People would arrive. People from all faiths and colors.

    And the most important thing they gave, which all the money in the world couldn't give, was personal attention. The shelter was staffed every night, 365 nights a year by teams from religious institutions. 5-7 people came at 5 pm to check the homeless in, and then spend the night there.

    I would listen to their stories. They would bring music instruments to sing with the homeless or entertain them. They brought special food, or toys they had on hand. They brought their Bibles or prayer books. They offered to pray with the homeless, if that's what the homeless person wanted; or they just listened and talked with them.

    I learned the phrase, "the call went out." And "the call went out" with these hurricanes. Where I live, San Antonio, is once-removed from the Gulf Coast, bu we received tens of thousands of refugees, and "the call went out."

    I talked with someone yesterday who's been going to Kelly AFB to help out. She went down there Thursday night from 5 pm to midnight, after her regular job, to help out.

    This, to me, is America. The reason we needed volunteers -- people -- at the homeless shelter was because of the rehab programs. As you know, we could give a family $1000 which might pay for food, clothing and shelter for a month or two, but then where would that family be? We tried to rehabilitate them out of the poverty situation (and mentality), no small feat as you know, but someone has to attempt it -- people.

    Whatever causes poverty, it's a comglomeration of variables, and teasing them out -- for someone who wants to get out of the poverty situation -- takes time, personal interest, contact, holding out a different way, taking care of physical, mental and emotional needs, and connection.

    The third-generation "welfare mother" who comes to the shelter announcing that she and the father of her child won't marry "until after the baby come so we get the welfare" needs another pattern to follow. And if she's the "third-generation" who is going to suggest another way of doing things? Every family has its tradition. For one family it's education and work. For another it's welfare, living off the government (which means living off other people - never mistake where "welfare" comes from). Who will help her get the job skills (or the idea of getting some), the education (and the fortitude to stick it out, as 'getting education' is hard work), the myriad other things that might eventually make this woman self-sufficient and therefore impart to ther children another idea besides "welfare."

    At the homeless shelter where I worked, it was "people" who did this. American people. Volunteers. They came in all ages, colors, creeds, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds, just as the homeless individuals did.

    So here's the article from the Rabbi. It's nice to hear the other side. In every situation, hurricanes included, we see the good and the bad. Which we choose to emphasize and concentrate on is a matter of personal choice.

    From what I've seen in San Antonio, people are always willing to help people in need. And when "the city" and "FEMA" ran thin, "people" came forward and did what they could.

    It's an idea ...

    "Katrina... I Didn't See Racism, I Saw Brotherhood,"
    by Rabbi Aryeh Spero (New York)
    Posted Sep 7, 2005

    In New Orleans, beginning Tuesday morning, August 30, I saw men in helicopters risking their lives to save stranded flood victims from rooftops. The rescuers were White, the stranded Black. I saw Caucasians navigating their small, private boats in violent, swirling, toxic floodwaters to find fellow citizens trapped in their houses. Those they saved were Black.

    I saw Brotherhood. New York Congressman Charlie Rangel saw Racism.

    Yes, there are Two Americas. One is the real America, where virtually every White person I know sends money, food or clothes to those in need --now and in other crises -- regardless of color. This America is colorblind.

    The other is the America fantasized and manufactured by Charlie Rangel, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, who constantly cry "racism!" even in situations where it does not exist, even when undeniable images illustrate love, compassion and concern. These three men, together with today's NAACP, want to continue the notion of Racist America. It is their Mantra, their calling card. Their power, money, and continued media appearances depend on it.

    Often, people caught up in accusing others of sin neglect to undergo their own personal introspection. They begin to think they alone inhabit the moral high ground. It is high time these men peered into their own hearts at the dark chamber that causes this unceasing labeling of their fellow Americans as "racist." They may find in that chamber their own racism --against Whites.

    There is only one real America. Beginning Friday morning in Houston, thousands of regular citizens poured into the Astrodome offering water, food, clean clothes, personal items, baby diapers and toys, love and even their homes to the evacuees who had been bused in from New Orleans. Most of the givers were White, most of those being helped were Black. But there was Jesse Jackson, busy on TV, accusing the country of not putting Blacks-- i.e., him -- on some type of Commission he is demanding. Where was he early in the week? Not sweating with others from around the country who had scraped their last dollar to come help. With Jesse, it's always about Jesse.

    After decades of hearing accusations from Jesse, Al, Charlie, the NAACP and certain elitists about how racist America is, it would have been refreshing to hear them for once give thanks to those they for years have been maligning. These self-anointed spokesmen for the Black community lead only when it comes to foisting guilt and condemnation, and not when it comes to acknowledging the good in those they have made a career in castigating.

    As a Rabbi I have a message I wish to offer to my fellow members of the cloth, Reverends Jackson and Sharpton: It is time to do some soul searching. Your continued efforts to tear this country apart, even in light of the monumental goodness shown by your White brothers, is a sin.

    There are no churches in the world like the American churches. And there are no better parishioners and members of churches anywhere in the world.

    These churches are saving the day. Their members -- infused by the special and singular teachings of our unique American Judeo-Christian understanding of the Bible -- are, at this moment, writing an historic chapter in giving, initiative, and selflessness. They are opening their homes to strangers. They are doing what government is incapable of doing.

    America works because of its faith-based institutions. It always has. That is what makes it America.

    So next time the ACLU tries to diminish and marginalize the churches, saying there is no role for religion in American public life, that an impenetrable wall must be erected separating the citizens from their faith, cry out "Katrina."

    Next time the ACLU goes to court asking that U.S. soldiers not be allowed to say Grace in the Mess Hall and that communities be forbidden from setting up a nativity scene, ask yourself: without the motivation of Goodness sourced in Faith, would people offer such sacrifice? Where else does this Brotherhood come from but the Bible which teaches "Thou Shall Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself."

    I saw brotherhood on Fox News, where 24/7 reporters used their perch as a clearing-house for search-and-rescue missions and communication between the stranded and those in position to save. In contrast, the Old-line networks continued with their usual foolish, brain-numbing programming.

    Those who always preach "compassion" chose profit over people.

    The New York Times has utterly failed America. Its columnists could have used their talents and word skills to inspire and unite a nation.

    Columnists such as Frank Rich and Paul Krugman, however, revealed their true colors by evading their once-in-a-lifetime chance to help and instead chose to divide, condemn, and fuel the fires and poison the waters of Louisiana. In them, I saw no Brotherhood. The newspaper always preaching "compassion" verifies Shakespeare's "They protest too much."

    Similar elitists here in the northeast and on the west coast have over the years expressed their view of the South as "unsophisticated" and Texans as "cowboys." Well, the South has come through, especially Houston and other parts of Texas, whereas, as I write this on Labor Day, the limousine moralizers are lying on east and west coast beaches thinking they're doing their part by reading Times' editorials and calling George Bush "racist."

    How sanctimonious life becomes when proving you are not a racist depends not on living in a truly integrated neighborhood, but by simply calling others racist.

    Like so often in history, facts trump platitudes. Reality reigns. Those who always preach brotherhood, thus far have acted devoid of it. Those who for decades have been accused by elitists of not having compassion are the ones living it. They are: the churches, the military, and the sons and daughters of the South.

    Saturday, September 24, 2005



    Articles and articles about leadership. Is it charisma? Can it be taught? What makes a great leader? All over the world people want to know this. In fact, I’ve just been asked to submit a proposal to do a workshop on EQ and Leadership in Saudi Arabia, for a bank. They knew the competencies of emotional intelligence and they know they want their people to have them. It’s a worldwide phenomenon, and for good reason.

    Can leadership be learned? Yes, I think so. In the same way that you can learn to be a therapist. They used to tell us in graduate school, “It can’t be taught, but it can be learned.”

    Three things factor it: wanting to be a leader, observing good leaders with your thinking cap on and your feeling heart open, and then practice – on the firing line!

    We’re observing this right now with President Bush. As I write this from my office in south Texas, we’ve been under threat of Hurricane Rita for two days, and millions of Texas have fled to hopefully higher ground. I just opened an article in the Washington Post that began, “President Bush flew here ahead of Hurricane Rita on Friday to show command of a federal disaster response effort that even supporters acknowledge he fumbled three weeks ago.”

    Everyone seem to have fumbled the ball with Hurricane Katrina. Those who learn from their mistakes still have a chance. Bush appears to be one of them. He is quoted as having said to reporters before leaving Washington, “I need to understand how it works better.” He is also, of course, scrambling to regain the confidence of the people. At his level, he gets to fail in public. But he also gets to succeed in public.

    I read also that a military leader was heading out to the scene because he “wanted to watch the troops in action during a disaster.”

    I can't stress enough that a leader shows up and pitches in. I see this frequently in offices. There's a deadline -- let's say the brief has to make it to the 4th Circuit which means a 7 p.m. Fed-Ex deadline, and everyone’s working overtime already. There are two ways the head guy (or gal) can handle this -- well, 3 actually.

    One is to disappear completely, because it's chaos. That gets minus 2 points. (Ask Bush.) Hiding in your office is bad. The major point about primal leadership is that the leader models the emotion the workers are “supposed” to have, and we do pick up on that. If the leader disappears at the crucial moment, we are left to our fantasies, and they are never going to be positive.

    The second is to stand around looking worried, disgusted or angry – say off to the side with your arms crossed. While everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off? This gives you zero points. I don’t think people who do this understand the impression this makes. I might even give this a –2 and give the disappearance the zero. It smacks of arrogance, of disdain, or being separate from, or above it all. The first thing they tell us in management class is if there’s a crisis – get help. More hands are needed. And there’s a set of hands that won’t pitch in? This annoys people. To say the least.

    The third way is to show up, smile, look confident and PITCH IN. Last-minute production involves grunt work - in the case of a brief, attaching CMRRR receipts, punching holes, stuffing envelopes, filling out Fed-Ex forms by hand. (It may be going to 15 lawyers as well as to the Court, and all must be served.) The leader who considers this "beneath" him or her, makes a statement. If you don’t value the work your employees do, how do you expect them to? Studies show that as many as 60% of workers are engaged in “present-eeism” – showing up, but in body only. The leader who stands at the end of the assembly line, and seals the envelopes, calm and confident, gets 10 points. And lots of support in the future.

    One example I saw of this was an executive chef for a 5-star resort here in town. The banquet was set to go in an hour. The pre-formed pasta nests hadn’t shown up. There were none to be had in town. Noodles had to be boiled, then BY HAND shaped into nests. Guess who stood at the head of the table, smiling, and forming gooey little nests? The sous chefs hadn’t known how to do it. Chef Rene didn’t either, but he figured it out and showed them.

    There are few things as chaotic as a kitchen before a big banquet, and you tend to get some temperamental types to begin with. When emotions run high, the leader shows up and pitches in. And looks confident. It works wonders.

    If you aren't a walking-around kind of manager, boss or leader, you never really get the FEEL of the situation. If you hide in your office and rely on the reports of your likely-to-prevaricate mid-managers you're going to hear only what they think you want to hear. Unless you go to the scene and observe, in person, you won't know who's really pulling their weight, who buckles under pressure, who rises to the occasion, who the "real" leader of the team is (not always the one with the title), who supplies the positive can-do attitude, who drags the team down -- a host of EQ traits that move your team toward goals.

    But it doesn’t count to go and just stand there and make mental notes. You won’t be part of it so you won’t be able to feel it, and you’ll appear to be critical which will add more tension to the situation. And popular you will not be. Yes, you need to be popular, because motivation is not a thinking word.

    Get in their like Chef Rene, roll up your sleeves and join in. Get the feel of it. Combine that with your intellectual understanding of the logistics, and your gut, and you will be learning leadership. It never ends. Ask President Bush.

    ©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, . Coaching, executive coaching, business programs, distance learning courses, and ebooks for leadership, career, relationships, transition, resilience. Coach certification program. for info and free ezine.

    Friday, September 23, 2005



    As I blog this entry (Friday night), Hurricane Rita is hovering around the Texas Coast, but it looks like she will hit around Beaumont, instead of Galveston, which is closer to where I live -- San Antonio.

    We have spent the past day and a half near radio, TV or computer, experiencing a variety of emotions. Incredulity that this hurricane is bigger, and might hit New Orleans again. Thinking that's not a bad idea, because of the shape the city is in, and (we understand) the people are all out of there. Then feeling guilty about that. One of my friends pinpointed the place along the Texas coast least inhabited and prayed it would hit there.

    We've reminisced about past hurricanes in our area. We're pretty far inland, but there are always effects. (We hear we will have a wind advisory tomorrow, but no rain).

    We've talked about the panic and hoarding. I called my cousin in Round Rock, north of Austin, 100 miles from here, and she said the grocery store shelves were bare. However, some of the evacuees from Houston and Galveston had arrived in Round Rock last night, and we presumed it might just be more people buying food than usual, not hoarding and stock-piling.

    While the world is still reeling from the effects of Katrina, we're now bracing for something that could be just as bad, or worse. And individually, having recovered from the effects of various "crises" in our lives, we shared our resilience and our tales.

    "You've never seen a line at a gas station," said Martha. "You should've been in North Carolina in the early 70's. I sat in a line for an hour."

    "Yeah," said Tom. "My cousin got married in Houston in the 80s and the men took turns taking everyone's car to the gas station so we could get to the reception and wedding and back home. I'll never forget that."

    "To me," said Tina, "this is a crisis. We used to get stranded in the Corpus Christi airport at Christmas time. My son was two months old. I was running out of formula and diapers."

    "Well, they always have milk in the restaurants," said Bill.

    "There were no restaurants in airports back then," said Tina. "That's a crisis -- your baby starving."

    The older folks had more stories, and they were also more calm. We learn resilience through life's adversities, and we learn staying power from elders. Grandmas never seem to panic over the same things as Moms do. They've usually seen worse. LOTS worse.

    "Things will be fine," said the Elder Statesman of the Group. "They always are."

    "Everything always turns out for the best," added Stewart.

    "Well," I added, because this is how I see it, "something good always comes from everything."

    There ensued a short discussion of whether "things always turn out for the best."

    From my standpoint, as an emotional intelligence coach, I think it's your call. Some people suffer adversity and are the worse for it. Something good doesn't come from it, and things definitely don't turn out for the best in the end.

    They become "victims," bitter and cynical. Sometimes it's expressed as hostility, sometimes as depression. They live in a negative world and attract negative people and situations, digging themselves deeper into their black holes. Their response to the adversity is "why me?" and "it's an evil world," or "I have bad karma," and they add a much larger adversity to the original one. They attack before they're attacked, and ward off kindness with suspicion.

    A loved one dies and they harden their hearts and never love again. They suffer a job loss and hate "bosses" from then on. Someone cheats them one time on a contract and they decide no one is ever to be trusted again. They fail to get into the college of their dreams and they decide the world is forever against them.

    If you have positive messages about adversity and resilience, I hope you'll share them with others at such times. I think of the times my little world was shaken when I was a kid -- my parents were upset about something -- and I would run to my grandmother. She'd be sitting there smiling and would say, "Everything's fine," and pull me up into her lap. When I was a teenager, and my heart had been broken, my mom wasn't sure what to say or do, but my grandmother knew. "There'll be another train along soon," she would say, and just smile.

    It wasn't what she said. It was how she was. She had endured much adversity in her lifetime, and knew that we can survive nearly anything if we keep our spirits up and our hope alive.


    Resilience is an EQ competency that can be learned. We learn it by approaching the adversity in our life in a certain way. The good news is it can be learned. The bad news is that you'll have lots of opportunities. Or you could reverse those two. However, your life is what you make of it, and people who are happy are generally happy because they've decided to be, not because they have any more reason than you and I, or any less.


    "If you didn't leave," says the news reporter, "it's time to hunker down."

    "Everyone trying to do the right thing -- go somewhere -- and getting nowhere fast."

    "Stay calm," says the Texas governor, "stay patient. You've done the right thing."

    "YOU'VE GOT YOUR MEMORIES ... YOU KNOW ... HERE (pointing at head) AND HERE (pointing at heart)" (Galveston resident talking about his preparations to get out of Galveston in anticipation of Hurrican Rita)

    As Hurricane Rita heads toward the Coast of Texas -- Galveston and Houston -- the heart of the country's oil industry, we here in San Antonio, already housing thousands of evacuees from San Antonio, Texas, are waiting.

    The big questions ... where ... and when ... will Rita hit. And, of course, what will it mean to us here in San Antonio, and to the poor people more clearly in the path of the storm.

    As we talk about it here, asking, "Should we be worried?" we don't have enoguh information to know. Some people in SA are hoarding supplies, some are topping off their tanks (surely gas prices will go up again), and the question that often comes up -- "If it happened to you, what would you take with you?"

    Most people say "photographs."

    The memories that live in our hearts, and in our heads.

    Thursday, September 22, 2005



    Identity fraud is a growing concern to those of us who use the Internet a lot. We can’t do without the convenience of it, but it also puts us at-risk if we aren’t careful. I think it’s been years since I got a book anywhere but, or a CD for that matter. I use PayPal for my coaching business and also pay others Through PayPal. And, yes, I’ve bid a time or two on eBay. But along with this convenience, we face identity theft, which is a nightmare.


    One of the ways identity fraud is perpetrated is through something called “phishing.” These are emails that you receive that look like they come from PayPal, eBay, or even an individual (known or not known to you), but are sent by fraudsters who are trying to get you to (1) click that you’ve received it and
    thereby reveal youremail information; (2) open attachments and get a virus; or (3) reply to the hyperlink in the email and reveal personal financial data, codes, etc.

    I receive emails from individuals wanting to know who I am and why I emailed them. This is because someone has appropriated by email address and sends out things as if they were from me.

    At first glance these emails can look like they come from legitimate sites, but there are some clues to look for. First of all, they often try and hook you in by putting threatening Subject lines, such as “Your account is about to be closed”.

    The message in the email often includes the logo and official copy, but remember, these things are easy to rip-off. It’s easy to replicate whole websites. One clue to look for is poor grammar, typos, and broken English. I personally have never
    received one that didn’t have one or the other of those. It’s as if fraudsters advertise by their poor command of the English language (which is why I encourage marketing clients to make sure their copy in emails and on their websites is clean. It makes an impression!)

    Whatever the reason, that’s one clue. I’m talking about reading the email, which is okay to do, but whatever you do, don’t reply to it, don’t click that you’ve received it, don’t open any attachment that comes with it, don’t go to any of the URL sites
    listed, and never, never enter information on those sites.

    Generally they will tell you you need to change information on your account, or that they’ve added an email to your account, or something that supposedly requires you go to the URL listed. Don’t do it.


    You can’t be sure, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are some resources for you to educate yourself. Here is a link to the FTC site that explains how to avoid being phished.

    Here is a report from the FBI on phishing and spoofing.

    And here is a site on comprehensive identity theft (sorry about the sound effects) from the University of Oklahoma Police Department.


    Most commercial sites we deal with specify that they will never email you asking for your code, social security number, or any other personal or financial information. When in doubt, get in touch with the site claimed. Don’t reply, don’t go to the
    website and enter any information, and don’t make any purchases. Remember that truly secure sites begin with https:// and that logos and whole websites can easily be faked.

    If you think you’ve provided sensitive information to a phake site, take action immediately. Go to the real site and change you information, call your bank, do whatever it takes to protect your online identity.


    P.S. Do us all a favor and turn these things in. Things that look like they come from PayPal and eBay, you can forward to . When you forward them, first of all, they will respond to you almost immediately with an email telling you
    it’s a fraud or phish, which will put your mind at ease. Then they say they investigate each of them, and shut down the websites, which we hope is true. So it helps all of us if you forward these emails.


    If you are corresponding with someone and begin to wonder if it’s legitimate, or need some information, why not look before you leap. Whether it’s a “date” from one of the Internet sites, like MillionaireMatch or eHarmony, someone you’re considering doing business with, or thinking about hiring (wouldn't you like to know if they've sued former employees?), why not investigate? The Closer will find out for you – far beyond what you can do on your own on the
    Internet. They have reliable databases not available to the public to investigate criminal backgrounds, financial information, sex crimes, litigation history, where they've lived and with whom, and so forth. The Close is discreet, efficient and confidential. They have no interest in why you want to know, they just do the job.


    For coaching go here for THE EQ COACH.

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    EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE - What Are Your People Worth to Your Business?

    Jim Collins present his research in "Built to Last" and "Good to Great,” about how PEOPLE matter to ORGANIZATIONS.

    “Built to Last” reports on a six-year project at Stanford University Graduate School, in which the authors took a look at what makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies.

    One of the dominant variables was "people". These companies, it was found, practice what they preach re: the role of the emplohees in their organization. The core ideologies of these visionary companies consistently highlight the importance of people and their contributions as the basis for companies that are built to last.

    In “Good to Great”, COllins talks about what makes companies "great" instead of jus "good." The qualities that surface, again, are the quality of, and focus on, employees throughout the organizations, and the quality of leadership.

    What comes through, writes reviewer Jack Phillips, Ph.D., in "The Value of Human Capital: What Logic and Intuition Tell Us," is "not the innovative products, the unique markets, the nature of the business or some other technological or resource advantage. The real advantage of these great companies is the people who make them great and then sustain that greatness over a long period of time." [emphasis mine]

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005



    This is not good EQ. Holding grudges, harboring resentment, counting up "she owes me"s, and plotting to retaliate won't do you any good in the world, and will do you bodily harm over time. Anger put in a memo becomes cynicism and chronic hostility. Sadness put into a memo becomes pessimism and depression. Fear put into a memo becomes chronic anxiety and phobias. Injustice put into a memo becomes victim-ology. Loneliness put into a memo becomes isolation.

    Lewis Carroll said it well:

    "The horror of that moment," the King went on,
    "I shall never, never forget!"
    "You will, though," the Queen said,
    "if you don't make a memorandum of it."
    ~ Lewis Carroll

    Are you one in a million? CLICK HERE to join



    It never ceases to amaze me at the worldwide phenomenon that is emotional intelligence. I was just asked to bring an EQ program to a bank in Saudi Arabia.

    This bank is international and "right on." Did you read about the trials and tribulations of the new CEO of Sony, Howard Stringer, as he tries to learn how to make the Japanese laugh (when giving a speech). (There's a more important task to learn first -- among business people in Japan, what is the attitude toward humor in a business setting, involving the CEO of a major international corporation.)

    It's for sure the world is getting smaller and I find it exciting. With the Internet and ease-of-travel, we can swing a very wide net if we want to, for business, for socializing, for
    finding a mate, and for networking.

    I have trained and certified coaches all over the United States and in the following countries:

    The Philippines

    This is enriching for me, adds to my knowledge and ability to help you learn how to apply EQ to diversity and multicultural, and reinforces to me that EQ is THE universal language. It is understood by people all over the world, because it's waht we are all about.

    Though I see variations on themes in different parts of the world, my Foundation Course is immediately understand, and the applications are much the same. People everywhere have "feelings," work in teams, care about their intimate relationships, have to work with "difficult" people, are stressed, are experiencing physical symptoms up to and including fibromyalgia and heart attacks (the most documented, but by no means the only diseases related to mismanagement of emotions). They have heard about "this thing called emotional intelligence" and want to learn about it.

    I also receive email regularly from university and graduate students around the world who are doing research on EQ for their degrees and want to talk with me about it.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005



    "I have spent many days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung." -- Rabindranath Tagore

    How do you regain "that loving feeling?" How do you learn to sing your song, or to seing it again.

    There are different ways people talk about it, depending upon their field and where they are on the spectrum personally -- finding your passion, getting motivated, being enthusiastic, having a reason to get up in the morning, giving a d***, life energy.

    With depression and stress epidemic in the US, sometimes it's hard to find someone with this sort of life energy and enthusiasm.

    EQ is about getting back in touch with your feelings. If you wince when you read that, chances are you have some heavy stuff to deal with - grief, disappointment, anger, resentment. There are emotional rules, just as there are rules to physics. One of them is that if you stuff down one emotion, you stuff them all down.

    If you're numb (out of self-defense or a recent trauma), or seething beneath the surfae (which is never really beneath the surface), or having lots of physical symptoms (headaches, aches and pains, fatigue) these are all signs that you're emotions need to be dealt with. Learning EQ is learning how to let them move through you, not get dammed up.

    When we say "I was very moved by that speech" we're talking about one of the roots of the word "emotion" which is "movement." If you block an emotion, you lurch along, never really able to get in the moment and enjoy the present. If you've become numb, you're just going through the motions without the feeling part that's what life is all about.

    Try some EQ training. Take the EQ FOUNDATION COURSE, sign up for coaching, get your show back on the road. EMAIL ME ( and let's get started. I love to coach emotional intelligence because I get to watch the most amazing things happen. Let it be you this time!

    Monday, September 19, 2005


    ARE YOU WORTH A MILLION? You don't have to have a million to join ... CHECK IT OUT! We did and we like it a lot.
    Not having much luck dating? Check out this article:

    “If You’re Immature and Controlling, Please Call Me and Waste a Year of My Life,”

    That’s an advertisement one of my clients put in her Internet dating profile. Let’s call her “Julie.” Julie also announces these specifications whenever she’s around single men – at work, at a party, on a cruise, at church.


    **Looking for immature, controlling, analytical man to mother. Sons have left home, need someone to fuss over. Engineers, and lawyers particularly invited to apply. If you like me to call you by your childhood name, i.e., Nickie or Sammy, you get one bonus point. If you live within two blocks of your childhood home, and have lived their your entire life, add two points. If your father abandoned the family or was emotionally absent and you lived in a female-dominated household, add three points. If you’ve never committed to a mature relationship with a woman, 10 points.


    **Looking for a woman substantially younger than me from a moderately dysfunctional home to marry me, then get stabilized, let me pay for her Ph.D., become preoccupied with her career, have an affair with one of her professors, and leave me with a broken heart and debts.

    Add one point if you’re more than 15 years younger than me. Add two, if you’ve never held a real job and are looking for a father figure. Add three if you’re over 35 and never been claimed because no other man wanted you, though I will fool myself that it’s because you were saving yourself for me. Add four points if you’re the only girl in the family, and the “baby.” Five points if when you leave me, you do it in a way that humiliates me publicly, and 10 if you manage to get at least half of my assets in the divorce settlement.


    ** Looking for a man who is gorgeous, vain, spoiled, and has some major flaw making him unsuitable for marriage. Someone who says they have an exotic profession is preferable, something glamorous like venture capitalist, yacht salesman, or “promising” writer, but it doesn’t have to be a real job. Must be someone I can be infatuated with, but one I can’t fall in love with, so I won’t get hurt again – too young, bankrupt, something like that. Since I’m used to taking care of everyone, please be jobless, or marginally employed, and expect me to support you.

    One point if you’re ambivalent about your mother and take it out on me. Two points if you keep promising you’ll get a job and don’t. Three points if you do recreational drugs behind my back, so you have no motivation, but lots of unpredictable mood swings. Four points if you’re jealous of my children, and compete with them for my attention. And a big 10 points if you move in with me, then disappear one day with no explanation, then call two months later and try to borrow money from me.

    No, of course these aren’t real ads. No one intends to attract such awful relationships and go through so much pain, but it happens, sometimes repeatedly if we aren’t mindful about what’s going on.


    As a relationship coach, I often help people discover and become aware of self-defeating dating patterns like these. “The beginning of wisdom,” say the Chinese, “is to call things by their right name.” If, as one man told me, you can walk into a room of 200 women and find the one who’s an alcoholic, then you are “looking for” an alcoholic, even if you don’t want one consciously.

    It doesn’t matter how these patterns come about, or why (that’s more the realm of therapy), just that they be recognized. Self-defeating patterns like these can be changed, with awareness, dedication, and practice. Our behavior is functional, that is we work to get rewards and avoid punishment, and in this case the ”punishment” is there, but what leads up to it needs to be recognized earlier. It requires breaking the process down into steps you can analyze and change.

    Julie figured out that since she’s raised three sons alone, she was in the habit of “mothering” men. She learned to recognize this knee-jerk reaction, and to stop herself at the first sign that she was “mothering” or “counseling” instead of behaving like a romantic equal. When she refused to do that, the men who wanted “mothering” quickly left.

    Edward decided to do some work on the EQ competency of “constructive discontent,” realizing that he had trouble with the relative assertiveness of women his own age, preferring a younger woman he could dominate … for a while. He was tired of getting beaten up, and losing portions of his heart and assets, and was willing to “try something different.” He had been in relationships with women half his age for so long, when he got with a woman his own age, their personalities seemed “domineering,” when they actually weren’t. When Edward’s ability to handle what he called “confrontation” increased, which it did quickly once he realized what was going on, so did his self-esteem, and he was no longer primarily interested a “trophy wife” or “eye candy” and began to date women with whom there was the possibility of what he really wanted – mature, female companionship and a long-term relationship that would build and last.

    Burned one last time, Pamela was poised to change and it moved fast. She “sat down and had a talk with herself,” decided she wanted to get married again, and had best find someone suitable. She knew herself that she’d been dating “safe” men, and her list of the ideal husband revealed she knew what would work and what wouldn’t.
    What helped was when I asked her to make a list of the qualities that would prevent her from marrying a man. “That’s easy,” she said. “I’ll just write down everything about that last one.” Once she got in touch with her intentions and true desires, it was easy for her to avoid men who weren’t marriage material for her.

    If you’re dating and it’s not going well, take some time and write down the characteristics of the individuals you have chosen to attract. Chances are you’ll see a pattern. Some patterns are so deep-rooted they require working with a therapist, in which case, please get help. Other patterns you can change more easily once you get authentic, and honest about what you want, and working with a coach can help you clarify, stay true to your purpose, and learn and practice some winning skills.

    Good luck!

    Dating on the Internet and afraid they're lying to you? Suspect your partner of cheating? THE CLOSER can help -- They find out. Discreet and confidential. One congenial person to deal with, a host of resources, articles, tools, and free giveaways. Your identity is always protected.

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    Let The Closer answer those nagging questions you have.


    Time Gets Better With Age

    I learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing "Silent Night".
    Age 5

    I learned that our dog doesn't want to eat my broccoli either.
    Age 7

    I learned that when I wave to people in the country, they stop what they are doing and wave back.
    Age 9

    I learned that just when I get my room the way I like it, Mom makes me clean it up again.
    Age 12

    I learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up.
    Age 14

    I learned that although it's hard to admit it, I'm secretly glad my parents are strict with me.
    Age 15

    I learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice.
    Age 24

    I learned that brushing my child's hair is one of life's great pleasures.
    Age 26

    I learned that wherever I go, the world's worst drivers have followed me there.
    Age 29

    I learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
    Age 30

    I learned that there are people who love you dearly but just don't know how to show it.
    Age 42

    I learned that you can make some one's day by simply sending them a little note.
    Age 44

    I learned that the greater a person's sense of guilt, the greater his or her need to cast blame on others.
    Age 46

    I learned that children and grandparents are natural allies.
    Age 47

    I learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
    Age 48

    I learned that singing "Amazing Grace" can lift my spirits for hours.
    Age 49

    I learned that motel mattresses are better on the side away from the phone.
    Age 50

    I learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
    Age 51

    I learned that keeping a vegetable garden is worth a medicine cabinet full of pills.
    Age 52

    I learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you miss them terribly after they die.
    Age 53

    I learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
    Age 61

    I learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
    Age 62

    I learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.
    Age 64

    I learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you.
    Age 65

    I learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision.
    Age 66

    I learned that everyone can use a prayer.
    Age 72

    I learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.
    Age 82

    I learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love those human touch-holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
    Age 90

    I learned that I still have a lot to learn.
    Age 92


    It doesn't hurt to take a hard look at yourself from time to time. This little test should get you started.

    During a visit to the insane asylum, a visitor asked the director what criteria indicate a prospective patient should be institutionalized.

    "Well," said the director, "we fill up a bathtub; we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the prospective patient and ask him (or her) to empty the bathtub."

    Okay, here's your test:

    1. Would you use the spoon?

    2. Would you use the teacup?

    3. Would you use the bucket?

    "Oh, I understand," said the visitor, "a normal person would choose the bucket since it is larger than the teacup or spoon."

    "No," answered the director. "A normal person would pull the plug."

    So how did you do?

    Saturday, September 17, 2005


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    JULY 2003

    "Catherine II on How to Attract Good People"

    As a CEO you know the secret is your people. Your vision’s worthless without people to implement it; your leadership skills moot without people to lead. Whatever your goals, you can’t do it alone. We could rewrite Carville’s mandate to Clinton, adding the respect you are due: “It’s the people, sir/madame.”

    And of course you want the best people. Let’s take a look at a pro who had a serious need for more good people. Space limits here, so I’ll connect a few dots and leave the big picture assimilation to you.


    In 1762, Catherine II became empress of Russia. Her reign featured imperial expansion (like your business) which brought its problems.

    Catherine gained the throne by deposing her husband, Peter III. Although the grandson of Peter the Great, he was unpopular. Raised German, he was considered a “foreigner,” the moreso because he made it clear he hated things Russian, forcing Prussian drills on the army, opposing the Russians’ Church, and even wearing a ring with the image of the Prussian king.

    (Don’t let this fly below radar -- you can’t show disdain for what people value and expect to remain their leader. There’s truth to Mascagni’s lament, “I was crowned before I was King.” It’s a rare thing ‘to be a king and also be 40’ because it takes staying power – the continuing consent of the ruled.)

    When Catherine took the throne, the Seven Years War had just ended. Catherine, a German princess, had been christened Sophie August Friedeike of Anhalt-Zerbst, only taking the Russian Orthodox name Ekaterina, or Catherine, when she married Peter.

    Without an ounce of Russian blood in her, she made herself “the Great,” winning the hearts of the Russian people when she learned their language and adopted their religion and customs.

    According to one writer, “[Catherine] dominates the Russians, because she sees them from the perspective of an outsider. If she were Russian, she would be lost in the confusion of vague ideas, which animate Russian thinking. She is German, calm, clear-sighed, methodial. German in race and character, she became a great Russian Sovereign.”

    Setting aside opinions about nationalities, let’s extrapolate the core message: How does an outsider do better than an insider? By using their EQ as well as IQ, assimilating with objectivity. This is why consultants can see the problems more clearly, but offer simplistic remedies because of their lack of theor “feel” for the internal emotional climate, the greater factor with which to contend. To lead, you must be part of it, yet above it. You must understand it emotionally and deal with it mentally.

    Catherine, described as “charming” and “intelligent,” had the winning combination.

    When she took the reins, the country’s financial and social situation was dire. In her first meeting with the Senate, she found no accounting of taxation and the army, still abroad, hadn’t been paid in months. No one knew how many towns there were. No one even had a map.

    She gave someone money from her purse to go buy a map (one concrete, action), then decided to focus on building Russia’s wealth (the goal), which was based on agriculture (the strategy). There was lots of land and resource (opportunity), but not enough people (workers) to make it profitable (the problem).

    Meanwhile, the Germans, recovering from years of war and chaos, suffered crop failure and economic disaster. The sensible Germans were fleeing the country. They were, as we say, “ripe for the picking.”


    To invite the Germans to Russia, Catherine issued her Manifesto (1763). You can read it here:'s%20Manifesto.htm or google-it, but do read it.

    Catherine’s Manifesto is as fine a piece of hortatory rhetoric as exists. It combines inviting and suggestive language with rational attention to detail. It is (1) the offer and (2) the reason to take the offer, deicions being ultimately emotional.


    Let’s look at some of the high points from the point-of-view of the employee who is considering “re-location”:

    1. Who says so?

    It begins with “By the grace of God!” In case you were wondering.

    2. Are you the decision-maker?

    Next Catherine rolls our her credentials: “We, Catherine the second, Empress and Autocrat of all the Russians at Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Czarina of Kasan …” It goes on for a paragraph. (Nice business card. Not that you’re an autocrat, but winners attract winners.)

    3. Would I want to work for you? Can I trust you?

    Catherine uses phrases such as “announcement of Our pleasure” and “the extent of Our benevolence to [your] benefit and advantage.”

    4. My culture!

    Managing cultural diversity grows in importance daily. Culture is an appendage (learned), but we feel like its an internal organ (innate). We take seriously our beliefs around time, work, food, authority, religious matters, traditions, and the treatment of people.

    Catherine’s first enticement is “the free and unrestricted practice of [your] religion according to the precepts and usage of [your] Church.” (“Here are you free to…”)

    But … (There’s always a ‘but’. We’d just as soon hear it upfront, and you don’t want to leave yourself exposed.) Catherine proceeds to say who they can and cannot try and convert to their religion.

    5. Relocation Expenses.

    She offers immigrants land, supplies, relocation expenses, someone to go to with concerns, no taxes or military conscription, and self-government locally. (Do you?)

    The closing sentence is a rhetorical gem: Ask for it if it’s not here, she say, and, “after examining the circumstance, We shall not hesitate to resolve the matter in such a way that the petitioner’s confidence in Our love of justice will not be disappointed.” (Notice she tells you she loves justice AND that you have confidence in this. Since we each have our own definition of “justice,” which generally bends in our own favor, wouldn’t you like to work there … I mean move there?)

    6. And what’s expected of me?

    Well even the best of jobs requires that you show up. When it comes to listing eventual obligations, she says: “the ordinary contributions and, like our other subjects, provide labor-service…” The taxation (working, getting along) is “moderate” and a “contribution” (no extortion here!) and the labor-service (deadlines, time clock, and no flip-flops), she “normalizes,” using the inclusive “like our other subjects.” (Yes, you’ll have to learn imanage, like everyone else. No big deal.)

    7. What about the place I’m leaving?

    Catherine, a leader with class, focused on the good at her place, not the bad at the place they would be leaving. Knocking the competition never makes you look good (or feel good), and we like to work for people with class.


    Did the Manifesto work? In 1768 the Germans issued a counter manifesto forbidding their citizens to emigate “into regions which have no connection with the German Empire.” Around 27,000 had moved to the Volga region.

    Friday, September 16, 2005




    What if he believed he couldn't do it?

    In 1939, 24-year-old George Dantzig began his graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

    "I arrived late one day to one of [Jerzy] Neyman's classes," he later recalled. "On the blackboard were two problems which I assumed had been assigned for homework. I copied them down. A few days later I apologized to Neyman for taking so long to do the homework - the problems seemed to be a little harder to do than usual. I asked him if he still wanted the work. He told me to throw it on his desk. I did so reluctantly because his desk was covered with such a heap of papers that I feared my homework would be lost there forever.

    "About six weeks later, one Sunday morning about eight o'clock, Anne and I were awakened by someone banging on our front door. It was Neyman. He rushed in with papers in hand, all excited: 'I've just written an introduction to one of your papers. Read it so I can send it out right away for publication.'

    For a minute I had no idea what he was talking about.

    To make a long story short, the problems on the blackboard which I had solved thinking they were homework were in fact two famous unsolved problems in statistics. That was the first inkling I had that there was anything special about them."

    Dantzig, George (1914-2005) American statistician [noted for his development of the simplex method of linear programming]

    Got a problem? Why not "make it homework". Maybe this will calm your brain so you can apply your top thinking. Our emotions effect our ability to perform in all areas of our lives!

    Want some coaching on this? Call me at 210-496-0678 or send this email back. I love to work with people in emotional intelligence because it frees their potential!
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    Thursday, September 15, 2005




    b. 9-15-77

    d. 4-1-99


    Now cracks a noble heart.
    Good night, sweet prince,
    And flights of angels sing thee to they rest.
    The birds brought seeds
    & flowers & bits of brightly
    colored string & placed them
    in her hair while she slept
    so that she would remember
    the wild joy of spring
    when she finally awoke.


    "RAGE OVER A WHAT?" - Sigmund Freud

    Check out Beethoven's "Rage Over a Lost Penny"