Brenda Wade is the President, CEO and founder of Heartland Productions, Inc. She’s also the producer, host and writer of the PBS television pledge special, Power Choices which aired nationally. She also hosted the nationally syndicated television program Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Brenda is best known for her dynamic, love-centered approach to transformation. Her signature blend of psychology, science and spirituality has earned her numerous awards as a psychologist, author, television host, producer, keynote speaker and workshop leader.

Tammy Lawman: You talked a little about the science behind it. Does science tell us if there are specific success skills in the relationship?

Brenda Wade: Absolutely. There are three things that are the most important. We talked about one tool, which is to stay away from the Four C’s. Those are predictors of divorce. In a relationship that has high levels of Criticism, Coldness, Contempt and Combativeness, we can predict with 80% accuracy that within five years, that couple will be divorced.

We can also predict that those couples with high levels of the Four A’s, and who will give one another Affection, Admiration, Appreciation and lots of Acceptance, will have strong marriages that grow and get stronger over time. That’s one important tool. Work with those Four A’s. Stay away from the Four C’s. A second thing we know about has to do with Emotional Intelligence.

People who feel very confident and have a high level of confidence and self-esteem, get it from high Emotional Intelligence. They know themselves, and know how to work problems out and find solutions. They don’t feel like they’re victims. They feel confident that they can move through life. Those people will have better relationships. It’s common sense, isn’t it? If you feel confident, you’ll do better. The third thing comes from a study that was done at Harvard Business School.

They asked people who were graduating three questions. They asked, Do you have clear goals for what you will do with your degree? They also asked, Do you have a written plan on how you will reach those goals? Is it written down? The last question was, Do you have written action steps that you will take to implement the plan to reach the goals? Tammy, do you want to guess what percentage of those graduating students had a ‘yes’ to all three questions?

Tammy Lawman: I would say it was a small percentage.

Brenda Wade: It was small. Count the five fingers on your hand. It was 5%. That’s really low. For the other 95%, nada. Twenty years later they questioned those same people on the phone, and said, Tell us how you’re doing. The 5% who answered ‘yes’ and said, I have goals, I’ve written them down, and I have written action steps, had a net worth that totaled more than the other 95% altogether.

They had more net worth in that 5%. Here’s the kicker: Not only did they have more net worth than the other 95% combined, they also had the best relationships. They reported more satisfaction and fulfillment in their relationships. Guess what, Tammy? They also were the biggest contributors to their communities. What does that tell us?

It tells us that when we engage the big, super computer – our brains – to do careful goal-setting strategy and planning in our lives, we are actually growing our capacity to create the lives we want. In my courses of the Power of Love and Money seminars, the very first thing I teach people is the process called ALIVE. ALIVE means being Authentic and Learning what love is.

The ‘I’ in ALIVE stands for setting your Intention. Intention is what the 5% of the big success stories from Harvard were able to do. Your intention in your life, when you’re clear with your business, money, relationships or contributions to your community, how you do anything is how you do everything; and everything grows. That’s why I said at the beginning that I love Healthy, Wealthy nWise.

When you start growing in the two important areas of love and money, everything else grows, too. It’s the way our brains work. The brain loves to learn and grow. It’s designed to grow and learn. We don’t often say, How can I use my brain power in my relationship? We think we have a magic wand and we can just get into a relationship and fall in love and that’s the end of the story.

That’s bogus. Happily-ever-after is something you work for and learn to do. You learn through skill building and taking classes. We should have those classes in every school, probably around the fifth grade. Fifth graders, and maybe even younger children, can start learning those skills and build the patterns into their brains. It’s very important. We can learn to set Intention with money, relationships and any area.

The most important takeaway is …

Want to learn more? This article was just a small portion of an hour-long interview. If you want to get the full interview, visit

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