Emotional Intelligence

Episode 78: When You're on the Inside Looking Out

Stories That Remind Us It's All About Perspective

Jordan Gross was one of those kids in school who always seemed to have it together. He was an athlete, an academic achiever, played an instrument, and was a boy people wanted to be around. He had plenty of friends, and though he knew he was fortunate in his upbringing and genetics, he always had a feeling there was something else that he was missing.

He stayed the course in terms of what was expected of him as he finished high school and moved through college. He even got a great corporate job right our of college and was doing exactly what his family and friends saw for his future. And then he woke up. At 24, he realized he wasn’t living his life - he was living someone’s expectations of his life.

Our conversation reminded me of an earlier episode with Christine Homolko, from the opposite perspective. Christine thought she never really fit in, was always an outsider, and Jordan always fit in, but felt like an outsider. There’s a reality here many of us seem to forget, and it’s not just that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. The reality is that none of us really “fit in”, we all have our internal stories limiting and motivating us, and we are all on our own journey. The only difference, really, is the company we keep along that journey.

Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, visit his website, and take a look at his book, Getting Comfy.

Episode 77: You Can Find Joy and Satisfaction in Whatever You Do

During our conversation, I mentioned a post Thom published a few years ago about needles from one of his knitting machines that got lost in the cracks of the hardwood floor beneath them.

Episode 76: It's Harder Than You Think. Be Kind.

I had performed the National Anthem at baseball games a few times that summer as a duet with my close friend, and as a trio with that friend and my sister. Each time we performed together we heard rave reviews. As we walked away from home plate toward the fence and the bleachers, our home team would come up out of the dugout to high five us.

Episode 75: Does Anyone Really "Fit in"? How Stories Help You Find Your Community

Born in France to an American father and a German mother, Christine Homolko spent most of her childhood being shy and introverted. When her father decided to move back to the United States, she and her sister chose to move with him to a town just outside of Boston. She started her senior year of high school in a completely new environment, and realized she had an opportunity to reinvent herself in a place where no-one knew her or her history.

Episode 74: Analogies to Create a Visual Representation of an Emotional Experience

"Sometimes I feel like I'm in my car on the highway, stuck behind a big truck. I look up at the end car on the car carrier and pray it doesn't fall off the trailer onto my head."

Those words are the gift she gave me.

It took a few days, but then I realized how her analogy applied to my situation: For months I had been driving my car along the highway, stuck behind a big truck. Because I have a tendency toward being impulsive (don't laugh), I had been driving very close to the back of the truck. I had been so incredibly frustrated being stuck there, so I kept swerving out to check for an opportunity to pass the truck, only to find a blind curve or a line of vehicles coming toward me, so I had to swerve back behind the truck, more and more angry and impatient.