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Thrive Sue Hurst DeliberatePresence.com

Thrive Sue Hurst DeliberatePresence

The photos above illustrate a point I want to make about people high in certain EQ skills. Weird, I know to compare plant behavior to people behavior—but hear me out to see what I mean.

In the photo on the top with the blue birdbath, there is a single jasmine plant that was purchased on the same day and from the same place as the two jasmine plants shown in the photo on the bottom (Yup, there’s only 2 on the right!). Here’s the contrast:

Thrive Sue Hurst DeliberatePresence.comThe Single Jasmine

  • Gets full shade, then partial shade, with only 5-6 hours per day of direct sunlight
  • Is in a flowerbed that is watered and fertilized more frequently
  • Has growth that spans 9 fence boards wide


Thrive Sue Hurst DeliberatePresenceThe 2 Jasmine plants

  • Get full (blazing) sun all day
  • Sometimes are parched before they’re watered and have been fertilized maybe
  • Spans 42 fence boards, is 2 feet higher than fence top, spills over the neighbor’s side of the fence & touches the ground

Here’s my point: the harsher conditions have been more productive. The fragrance of the blooms fills the surrounding yards. And while I find that interesting in plants, I am absolutely awed when I see it in people. What makes one person who seems to have so many advantages of talent and resources end up being disappointed with his or her life while someone with harshly challenging situations flourishes, prospers, thrives, succeeds…and actually blooms?

My husband and I have a friend who had a severe back surgery go horribly wrong. It left him bent and now he uses a cane—but in my eyes, he stands tall.

Because, and here comes the “high in certain EQ skills” part…my friend and his wife own a prosperous business. He is the primary consultant, working long hours with clients, mainly from his computer now that walking is more challenging. While others might have quit, he’s still working even though he’s several years past retirement age. He’s active in church, active with his family, and he loves to travel. Just a few of the EQ skills I see in him are integrity (he’s true to the calling he feels he’s been given), a bias for action, achievement drive, realistic optimism, resilience, personal agility, and intentionality. He blooms.

This encourages me because these are all behaviors and skills that can be learned. Emotional Intelligence can be learned.

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