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Part of brain marries emotional, intelligent responses

January 30, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

OK guys, here's something that might help in your ongoing search for perfection.

Well, perfection might be too lofty a goal, but aren't we all looking for a way to better ourselves?

There's a book called "Emotional Intelligence 2.0" by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves that helps - or tries to help - people get emotional control of their lives. They start with the story of a surfer who came nose to nose with a 14-foot great white shark and lived to tell about it. Oh, he went through the stages of extreme fear and sadness at imminent death, but he forced self-control and made it to shore without a scratch.

The authors say: "Butch and the great white weren't fighting the only battle in the water that morning. Deep inside Butch's brain, his reason struggled for control of his behavior against an onslaught of intense emotions."

The physical pathway for emotional intelligence, they say, starts in the brain, at the spinal cord. Primary senses enter there and travel to the front of the brain before we can think rationally about anything. On the way, they travel through the limbic system, where all emotions are felt. It makes sense, then, that "emotional intelligence requires effective communication between the rational and emotional centers of the brain."

This little book is about one thing - increasing your EQ. That's emotional intelligence. We have IQ, and now there's EQ we have to worry about.

"'Emotional Intelligence 2.0' has one purpose," the authors say. That's "increasing your EQ. ... You'll discover time-tested strategies that you can being using today to take your EQ to new heights."

There you go. And if you go to the Hospice Ball on Saturday, you can buy a copy of the book - along with "Soul Sounds: Reflections on Life" and "Enlightened Chocolate," a cookbook with tons of extreme recipes - during the silent auction.

Remember, they're raising money for the work done by Trinity Hospice that isn't covered by insurances or Medicare, so while you're helping them, you can be helping yourself or your friends.

The Hospice Ball, by the way, will be at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites. Tickets are still $40 today, but go up to $50 tomorrow. If you want the lower price, give Dick Michael a call today at 573-3641. He and his wife Crystal are co-chairmen of the event along with Connie Lind-Fraher. He doesn't care if you call him today.

"Since our brains are wired to make us emotional creatures, your first reaction to an event is always going to be an emotional one," the book says. "You have no control over this part of the process. You do control the thoughts that follow an emotion, and you have a great deal of say in how you react to an emotion."

That 'splains a lot. Maybe I better just buy back the book and keep it open to that passage. Then, if - OK, when - I explode when, let's say, somebody does something dumb, I can prove there's a reason I exploded. My first reaction to an event is always going to be emotional.

Anybody who knows me, though, doesn't need a book to tell them that.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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