In my last newsletter, I introduced the concept of Emotional Intelligence as a cornerstone of success, according to psychological and social studies. That is, people who are successful personally and professionally, do three things really well: they Manage Themselves, they Motivate Themselves, and they Manager Other People.

In my keynote and seminar on this subject (which is extremely funny and interactive, by the way), I spend a lot of time on each of these Three M’s of Success. In this article, I will highlight an introduction regarding the first pillar of performance – Managing Ourselves.

One of the hardest things we will ever do as adults is learning how to manager ourselves, especially under times of stress, transition, and frustration.


Often, when life throws it’s difficulties at us – our emotions can overwhelm and get the best of us; with in the literature of emotional-intelligence, this may be called an “emotional hijack.”

Have you ever had one or seen one?
Have you ever felt like there were two people inside you? Well…yes, there are.

One is the very rational-mature-adult side of your psyche which is in control most of the time; and the other is that irrational-childish-crazy person that comes out when things don’t go your way; i.e., getting cut off in traffic by a bad driver and we lose it by becoming overly steamed and upset.

In actuality, neurologists do make reference to the rational-cerebral part of our brain, and the more primitive-emotional part of our brain (often called the reptilian level of our brain – how colorful is that?). Therefore, a personality hijack or meltdown happens when the emotional recesses of our mind take over the more highly evolved complex part of our brain.

In the movie, “Kindergarten Cop”, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the role of a tough cop who is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer. One scene in particular is very entertaining; on his first day posing as the teacher, he joins the class very confident in his ability to handle the children – only to find out that teaching 30 five year olds is nothing at all like what he was expecting – hence he experiences his emotional hijack and runs from the classroom and screams in frustration.

These are like the Triggering Points in life which can overpower or at least derail us for a bit. So, the key question is, “how can I manage and regulate my emotions when I am under pressure?”

The answer which you provide to that question, may well determine your emotional intelligence – and hence be a predictor of your personal and professional success.

In my seminar on this topic, I outline 6 essential skills for mastering the domain of handling stress and anger.

However, within the scope of this newsletter, in the next issue, I’ll share with you one of my favorite “tricks of the trade” for reducing the power of your trigger-point stressors.

It’s called THE 999 RULE. Wait for it….wait for it….wait for it….in my next issue. It is well worth the wait. All the best,
Psychologist and Humorist, Bruce Christopher
Bruce Christopher Seminars