Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (book review)

Looking in the mirror-sometimes you like what you see, sometimes you don’t. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a look in the mirror of how you deal with emotions.

The daily challenge of dealing effectively with emotions is critical to the human condition because our brains are hard-wired to give emotions the upper hand (chapter 1).

Travis Bradberry and Jean Graves have done more than just put a mirror in our emotional face. They’ve given us something to do when we walk away from the mirror to improve the next look in the mirror. They provide access to the Emotional Intelligence Appraisal which reveals your standing in four skills making up your EQ: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. 

EQ is so critical to success that it accounts for 58% of performance in all types of jobs. It’s the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence (chapter 2).

After succinctly giving the big picture of EQ, the four skills, and how to develop a personal EQ action plan in the book’s first four chapters, the final four chapters offer 66 strategies of what you need to say, do and think to increase your EQ. Most likely, your EQ is raised just by reading this content. 

The only way to genuinely understand your emotions is to spend enough time thinking through them to figure out where they come from and why they are there (chapter 3).

When you don’t stop to think about your feelings – including how they are influencing your behavior now, and will continue to do so in the future – you set yourself up to be a frequent victim of emotional hijackings (chapter 6).

What you see in the EQ mirror is most likely the product of skills that don’t come naturally to you. If you desire to improve these skills, this book and the resources at the author’s website give you what you need to like more of what you see in the EQ mirror. They recommend reading this book and reviewing the skill development strategies at least once a year-a good recommendation.

Feedback: What do you know about EQ and how important would you say it is?


Answering Where May Answer Everything

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:7-12‬ ‭

This section of one of the most quoted Psalms attempts to answer a “where” question. If you choose to believe the author’s answer, you might find the root answer to any question you have in life. Here’s why: No matter where we go in our minds, our emotions, our spirits, or our bodies, God is there. This should present great comfort and encouragement.

  • There is no place where He can’t be present…that means in our highs and lows, He can and should be acknowledged
  • There is no place where He can’t provide guidance…that means in our clarity and confusion, He can and should be trusted.
  • There is no place where He can’t provide victory…that means in our peace and tumult, He can and should be worshipped.

Because God is present everywhere, guidance to victory is always available. 

Seek to always acknowledge Him, to trust Him, to worship Him.

Looking for feedback: what “wheres” in life do you find it hard to see God is there?

Could Spelling Save American Families?

Watching the 89th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, you saw more than just jaw-dropping spelling. Here are some of the adjectives used by the commentators describing the co-winners and their families:

  • Focused
  • Loving
  • Supportive
  • Committed
  • Trusting
  • Grateful
  • Respectful
  • Confident
  • Hardworking 

Throughout the broadcast, the cameras caught the mom’s and dad’s and sibling’s, even one grandmother’s, every emotion. The most prominent vibe was love. And for the third year in a row, co-winners were crowned. Yet, there was no sign of disappointment or bitterness. One father actually lifted up the other winner in victory-a heartfelt, celebratory, understanding gesture for what it took to achieve this accomplishment.

Maybe spelling itself won’t save struggling families, but couldn’t a family living this list of adjectives have hope?

Thank you to all the contestant’s families for showing America a model worth following. Congratulations!

A Verse for Life

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭138:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The first phrase of this verse is a statement of conviction, a reminder of God’s ongoing work in every person’s life.

  • God has a purpose for you. He intends to fulfill it. He is always at work on your behalf.

The second phrase of this verse is a statement of belief, a reminder of the how and why of God’s ongoing work in every person’s life.

  • Time doesn’t contain God. He has, is, will always be. That’s the how. The why is His love for you.

The third phrase of this verse is a request through submission, a commitment of surrender to the completion of God’s work in a person’s life.

  • You are in the best hands when surrendered to God’s plan and work in your life. This phase would be worth memorizing and maybe even becoming a life mantra.

Add this book to your library…NOW

Paul David Tripp’s book Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say & Do has been added to my list of must reads.

  • If you battle dissatisfaction, this book can help.
  • If you feel like you and God don’t get along or aren’t on the same page, this book can help.
  • If you work in ministry and have lost your joy, this book can help.
  • If you seem to be stuck figuring out your feelings, this book can help.
  • If you are angry with God, this book can help.
  • If you just can’t overcome complaining, this book can help.
  • If you have a shopping addiction, this book can help.
  • If you struggle processing what’s going on in the world, this book can help.
  • If you tend to control too much, this book can help.
  • If you struggle parenting, this book can help.
  • If you are looking to define success, this book can help.
  • If you aren’t sure whether heaven exists, this book can help.

Follow this link to Tripp’s website. Then buy this book. Read it soon. We are all at war over our awe. Learn why awe matters, what this war is even about, and let an awe correction change your life.

Important Question #2

Two entries ago was a post referencing the first of Tripp’s two important questions for God’s children. That question was “what in the world is God doing right here, right now?” Here’s the second question: “How in the world should I respond to what God is doing right here, right now?”

These must be answered sequentially. Why? Starting with what God is doing avoids going down the wrong road of what man is doing. Going down the wrong road, focusing on man’s actions, makes way for a child of God to respond more horizontally rather than vertically. Watch one hour of news and you’re moved to be overwhelmed with what man is doing. That’s horizontal. So you must find avenues that show you what God is doing. That’s vertical.

When you do, then you can move on to the second question. You should move on to the second question. Why? Being an applauder of God isn’t being a follower. Acknowledging awe of God is more than just identifying what He’s doing right here, right now. A follower of God gets in on the action rather than settling to be a spectator. A follower of God remains in awe of God’s work and chooses to no longer live for themselves but to respond to God’s guidance (see Galatians 5). 

  • So how do you respond when man is causing division? Look up to get the self-control and peace from God to redirect man’s division to God’s unity.
  • So how do you respond when man wants to ignore truth? Look up to get the love, patience, and kindness from God to redirect man’s passions to God’s glory.
  • So how do you respond when man wants to gripe and complain? Look up to get the joy from God to redirect man’s disappointments to God’s faithfulness.
  • So how do you respond when man pursues evil? Look up to get the goodness and gentleness from God to redirect man’s darkness to God’s light.

Ask question #1…move on to question #2

Good News, Bad News, Good News

Good News #1:  Goal Met


The link above is to a fundraising page created in support of a church in Detroit.  As you read the cover page on this site, you’ll read they’ve been in a campaign to raise $20,000 by Memorial Day.  Good News: they’ve reached their goal…two weeks ahead of schedule.  This was phase one of a year-end goal to raise $50,000.

grastonBad News #1:  Sidelined

My right calf has been giving me fits for almost two months.  I finally saw a doctor yesterday and running the race this Sunday is out of the question.  Nothing longterm, just have to work out some scar tissue through therapy (follow this link about graston technique) and rebuild.  But, that means the dollars donated for this cause and this race seem unresolved.  Nothing more frustrating to me than not being able to run a race that is paid and trained for with a goal of helping others attached.

Good News #2:  Transferable

It hit me that through the Race 13.1 series, they might have a transfer policy in place to allow you to move your registration from one race to another.  Sure enough, checked the website, and that was an option.  So Good News: I can train for another race this year without losing the registration, and not only should I be able to honor the intent of the funds already raised, now we can further assist Storytellers as they move into their next fundraising phase by raising more funds before my rescheduled race.  

Stay tuned to find out the rescheduling and how you can support this next phase for Storytellers.


Important Question #1

In chapter 9 of Awe, Tripp says there are two important questions to the child of God. The first one is, “What in the world is God doing right here, right now?”

Notice the question isn’t why is God allowing what is going on the world, nor is it how is God allowing what is happening to me. Those two questions, whether we like to admit it or not, turn the inquiry into worship of man rather than worship of God. Tripp suggests that our awe has been repositioned when we turn the question to focus on ourselves.

What a temptation. What natural questions. It goes against our spirit to not think how circumstances impact us directly. However, when we live life in that view, it can be extremely burdening. It’s a burden to have to understand all the whys of life. Freedom comes by changing the question from why and how to what. Focus is put back on God and away from feelings or even circumstances. When God is the object of the focus, hope is restored, faith is strengthened, and worship is realigned and unforgotten.

In these days of political uncertainty, try asking what is God doing.

In your days of family challenges, try asking what is God doing.

In your season of job insecurity, try asking what is God doing.

In the valley and on the mountaintop, in the winter and the summer, at the beginning of life and the end of life, protect your awe. Ask God what He is doing.

Word to the Groom

Had a first today. Went to a men’s event for a groom getting married this summer. We were asked to bring a used tool for his tool box. But not just bring a tool, also give a life application that tool represents and share a relatable Bible verse. 

I took a tape measure. Lots of application could be said using that object. You could talk about managing your money, keeping good margin in all areas of life, even who’s boss when it comes to decorating the house, even at the holidays. But I went down the Luke road. If for no other reason, because these verses (Luke 6:37-38) actually have the word measure in them.

Do not judge, and you would not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. But with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Good relationship advice straight from Jesus’ mouth:

  • You don’t want be judged or condemned? Don’t do it yourself.
  • You want to be forgiven and to receive? Forgive and give.
  • The amount/measure you do these things will determine the amount you receive them.

Many good measured years to the bride and groom!

Moses: 40 Years of Captured Awe

Exodus 3&4 recount the call of Moses out of a 40-year exile to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. God’s awe-filled display is dismissed by Moses’ fear. Read Paul David Tripp’s words on this scene (chapter 2 of Awe):

At the end of God’s glorious display of power, Moses begs God to send someone else. It’s as if fear of personal inadequacy and political danger has completely blinded his eyes to the awesome glory of the One sending him. Moses is not in awe of God. No, the awe capacity of his heart has been captured by fear of the Egyptians, and all he can think of is being released from the task to which God has appointed him.

Captured. Has your awe been captured? What does that even mean?

It means your awe has been redirected toward something or someone that doesn’t represent your best option, purpose, or worship. In Moses’ 40-year-captured case, this happened because of fear. 

You may think a lack of focus or maybe thoughts of doubt or confusion are to blame. Most likely, the root of your captured awe isn’t doubtful, confusing thoughts or inability to focus. Most likely, a fear is responsible.

Might it be a fear of comparison…of failure…of rejection…of success…of loss…of uncertainty…of loneliness…of pain…of expectations?

What if you saw God as the source of love…of purpose…of forgiveness…of healing…of power…of everything?

What if you remembered that God filled your lungs with breath…took you as you were…brought you out of the dark?

What if you released fear and gave God back your captured awe?