Lemons and Jelly Beans

With the publication of Think Twice looming on the horizon, before I move along and refocus my attention, I want to make sure that my readers have the best understanding they can have of Go Suck a Lemon.


Let’s use our emotional intelligence strategies to figure out that one.

“What would it mean if you sold a book and a buyer was dissatisfied?”

“It would mean my book is bad?”

“What would it mean if your book was bad?”

“It would mean I am a bad writer and a bad health psychologist.”

“What would all that mean?”

“It would mean I am bad.”

“What would it mean if you were bad?”

“It would mean I am a worthless human being of very little consequence.”

“How is that idea working for you?”

Even I have to stay on top of my EI improvement.

Let me muddle along.

The main concept discussed in Go Suck a Lemon is that we can, using our imaginations alone, activate the same (or very similar) anatomical response to sucking a lemon as we would if we really were sucking one.   Think about it. It is a rare person who can be asked to imagine a ripe, yellow lemon filled with seeds and pulp and not wince at the thought of peeling it and sucking the juice from it.  Using our imaginations, we can conjure a psycho / anatomical responses that are limited  only by our imagination.  (A simpler example may be found in how you use your imagination when you meet someone you find physically attractive.  You may be familiar with how your imagination can prompt any number of different psycho / behavioral responses that are dictated wholly by your imagination.) The same goes for imagining the sizzling, burning sensation you feel on the sides of your tongue when you pop a cinnamon jelly bean into your mouth and mash it between the inside of your cheek and your teeth. Now think about someone or something you don’t like, A LOT! Now listen for your body to respond to that thought. You may increase your heart rate; you may start to shake, sweat or even feel rushes of heat running up the back of your neck just by thinking about it.

We train ourselves to think in certain ways about nearly everything.

The trick to improving your emotional intelligence is to imagine something you don’t like, but create, using thought alone, an altogether different psychological and physical response to it, much like sucking a lemon and tasting a cinnamon jelly bean. Wrapping your mind around changing these two seemingly exclusive sensations and going about reversing them is amazingly difficult.

Try it.

The connection between this exercise with the lemon and the jelly bean is that no matter what situation you are facing, you can teach yourself to imagine it differently.  No situation, circumstance or event has intrinsic meaning.  You have to add meaning to events for them to mean something to you. What used to be anger-provoking for you can become a sad circumstance.  Fearful situations can be imagined as uncomfortable.  Awkward social situations can be imagined as opportunities. You can live contentedly even when you’re facing what you’ve taught yourself is adversity.

That is, of course, if you want to.

Learning to go suck a lemon and instead  tasting a jelly bean is the key.

It will take force of will to achieve this.


5 responses

  1. Pingback: Elektrische Zahnbuerste

  2. Pingback: Lemons and Jelly Beans | eitheory.com

  3. Pingback: Go Suck a Lemon | eitheory.com

  4. Pingback: Imagination | eitheory.com

  5. Pingback: Go Suck A Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence | eitheory.com

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