EQ Anyone?

People talk about IQ and EQ a lot, and we can typically identify folks by “gut” that have low EQ (without a clear definition), but I think frequent LinkedIn contributor Travis Bradberry does a good job boiling it down for us.  It also gives us a list of things to work on.  One of his points is that EQ is something that we can work on (good thing) and we’re not stuck with whatever we’re nature/nurtured to be.  His list is good, and it does make me interested in his book.  If you are interested in being a top performer, this could be just what you need.

Telltale Signs That You Lack Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Travis Bradberry


Steps Forward:

  • Effectiveness
  • Healthy
    • Mind
    • Spirit
    • Heart




There is Reason to be Optimistic

It is a good time to be optimistic about things. I don’t say that because of I think that either of the two leading Presidential candidates are going to make America everything we know it can be. As of this writing, I don’t even know who our next Commander in Chief will be, but I do know that there is reason to be optimistic. I see it in my children. I see it in my children’s classmates. I see it in the kids at church. They support each other. They accept each other. They encourage each other. They love each other. Could this next generation be learning something important that today’s leader’s have lost touch with? Do they understand that it is not about THEM but about OTHERS? I think they might.

The Little 2016 Election

When my oldest daughter (5th grade) ran for student body president her sister helped her film a video for her campaign. Her friend Jordan helped her make posters. Classmates genuinely cheered for her when she won. They stopped by the house to congratulate her after school. I did not see even a hint of envy. Instead they gave her genuine encouragement. There was no ego anywhere. That little election was was so much more genuine, honest, and honorable than anything that we saw in our country’s Presidential election. The kids get it. Why don’t we?

Below is part of her campaign video that she and her sister put together:

The Optimists

Last night she was given an award by the local chapter of the Optimist club. My daughter was attended by her principle, her grandmother, and her family. We were warmly greeted and the Optimist members gave us nothing but love, encouragement, and kindness. They had no agenda other than to celebrate and encourage today’s youth.

My daughter

Most of the members of the club were a generation older than my wife and myself and they seemed to “get it”. There was no pretense. There was no ego. There was just love, support, and encouragement. The evening opened with a prayer and featured a wonderful speaker Christina Flowers.

Christina has risen up in the Baltimore community and advocates tirelessly for the homeless. She has used what money she personally had to start supplying housing and can be found in City Hall advocating for the homeless and holding the government accountable for effective management of funds allocated to support the homeless. She does it all out of love and gives the credit to God. Her program has grown and has housed over 500 people.

Christina Flowers
Christina Flowers: Homeless Advocate

There is Reason to be Optimistic

Forget Trump and Clinton. We can be optimistic because prior generations “got it” and still  encourage our youth with love, support, principles, and role models. And we have real leaders, like Christina Flowers, who sacrifice everything to help others. And our own children understand it all better than we do. They love each other, support each other, accept each other, and encourage each other.

The Optimist Club Creed


  • Steps Forward:
    • Health: Spirit + (hope)


Positive Thinking

I really enjoy listening to Zig Ziglar programs. I have downloaded a bunch of them from Audible.com and I like pretty much all of them. As anyone who listens to a lot of Zig’s stuff will tell you, a lot of the various programs cover the same material. Zig brings this up himself and makes no apologies for it. The content he is teaching is really good stuff so that is what he consistently shares. It bares repeating. Of course this also means that you can buy a couple Zig programs and listen to them more than once and benefit similarly to someone who buys every Ziglar program released.

If you have not listened to Zig before, he is the very definition of a “Motivational Speaker”. He doesn’t cover new ground, but he hammers home core principles that you already know but need to be reminded of. He believes very strongly in strong character, principled living, positive thinking, and helping others.

Here are some of his quotes:

  • “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
  • “Success Occurs When Opportunity Meets Preparation”
  • “People don’t plan to fail, the just fail to plan.”
  • “A goal properly set is halfway reached”
  • “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”
  • “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
  • “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
  • “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.”
  • “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
  • “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
  • “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

If you are interested in some of his programs, I’ve really enjoyed these:

When it comes to positive thinking Zig is the master and he can help get you on that road too.  He says:

“Positive thinking will NOT let you do ANYTHING, but it will let you do EVERYTHING better than negative thinking will.”

Well you can’t argue with “Old Zig” (as he sometimes refers to himself). Zig advocates that you must constantly talk to yourself and affirm yourself. When you wake up tell yourself what a great day it is going to be. Affirm your positive characteristics and those you want to strengthen. You will believe yourself.

“Before you change your thinking you have to change what goes into your mind.” -Zig Ziglar

This quote applies to inside and outside talk. That outside talk includes what you watch on TV, consume on the Internet, and the people you associate with. If you are being brought down all the time by any of this then you will stay down. Only you can pull yourself by making your thinking positive. You do this by changing what is going into your mind from the inside and outside.

Steps Forward:

  • goal oriented: + (setting your course with strength)
  • effective: + (“… do everything better than negative thinking will.”)
  • health:
    • Mind: + (lower stress)
    • Spirit: + (lifted self image)
    • Heart: + (courage and strength)

Productivity and Wellness is an affiliate member with Amazon, which means that if you buy the product through a link on this site, Productivity and Wellness gets a small percentage of the sale. I will always be honest with you about any product I feature or review, and only endorse something I can honestly associate my name with.  That is a principle I will not waver from.


Productivity and Wellness

As a human being we have almost limitless potential in this world.  In order to make a worthwhile difference during our short lifetimes we must hone our abilities so we can have maximum impact in alignment with our values.

We must be:

  • organized
  • goal oriented
  • prioritized
  • proficient
  • efficient
  • effective
  • principled
  • healthy in mind, body, spirit, and heart

As we improve in these areas we can more successfully direct our optimized selves toward achieving that which is truly worthwhile. Can you imagine being maxed out in each of these areas?  I think it would be awesome. You would be unstoppable.  You would be your “optimized self” and be able to accomplish almost anything.

This is typically expressed as “be all you can be”, “reaching your full potential”,  or “See You at the Top” (Zig Ziglar).  No matter what you call it, we are all capable of optimizing ourselves.  Let’s do it.

I sure would like to max these out for myself.  So I am going to try.  I would not be surprised if along the way this list of eight criteria changes and evolves. I plan to do a lot of reading to understand what advances these attributes in people and I’ll be reflecting on them in my own life.

Does the title for my blog, Productivity and Wellness, really capture something as ambitious as all this? To be honest, I am not certain. I have thought about other names, but I think the simplicity of “Productivity and Wellness” captures what we are talking about in a humble way.  We can explore that more.  Who knows; we might end up renaming this thing along the way.

Give it some thought. Are these the right criteria that we should be measuring ourselves against? By maxing these out would we become “optimized” and reach our full potential?  What does it mean to be productive and well?  Share your thoughts as we begin this journey.

Until next time, be you and be awesome,