Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.
Today I’m sharing my reflections on Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, a motivational speaker and coach who lectures at Stanford on Positive Intelligence.
Positive intelligence is one of the most practical and useful books I’ve read on leading a positive and happy life. Shirzad introduces us to our Saboteurs, who cause us stress and unhappiness, our Sages who embody our positive characteristics and our Superpowers who help us overcome the difficult moments we face in life.
We all have Saboteurs, but if you take the test yourself here, you can find out which degrees you have of each one by measuring your PQ or Positive Intelligence Quotient. You are required to give your email to receive the results, but there’s no spamming, just your results and some interesting advice on being more positive.
This quotient is based on research in neuroscience, organizational science, and positive psychology and according to the author, the relationship between PQ performance and happiness are interrelated. PQ measures to what extent your brain is working positively with your sages or negatively with your saboteurs.
These are our saboteurs:
The Judge is the master Saboteur, and we all have this one. The judge constantly finds faults with yourself and others, and generates most of your anxiety, stress, anger, disappointment, shame, and guilt.
Other saboteurs are the Stickler, the Pleaser, the Hyper-achiever, the Victim, the Hyper-rational, the Hyper-vigilant, the Restless, the Controller and the Avoider.
Fortunately, we all have our Sage Powers to combat the Saboteurs, these are: Empathy, Exploration, Innovation, Navigation and Activation.
The book is full of many practical examples for finding and dealing with life’s saboteurs within ourselves which stop us finding happiness, meaning and purpose in life. There are also chapters about working and living with difficult people (I found this chapter very enlightening), health and dieting and managing stress, including case studies with examples and strategies.
His proposals are related to mindfulness, meditation and self-awareness, by being kind to others and ourselves.
Watch this video where he explains it all in his own words:
Once we have understood these positive and negative influences we all have to varying degrees, he gives us ways to intercept these negative impulses which cause us so much pain and stress.
I found the book, the test and his words mind opening, especially for understanding other people’s struggles and behaviour and how to cope with them. For example, imagine one of your dominant saboteurs arguing with someone else’s! It will lead to an explosive situation. The solution is to use one or more of our sages to handle this situation. The ideas are based on scientific evidence; they are clearly expressed and simple to implement, and the results are incredible.
Take care and stay safe.
Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth
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