Key Point: The idea that our mind is NOT who we are, is worthy of serious consideration. Our mind is there as an instrument for us to control and NOT the other way around. Why not use it to be positive and our friend?
I have written much about the importance of developing deep self-awareness. Hence the value of understanding where you and I are on the Emotional Intelligence (Goleman, EQ) and Spiritual Intelligence (Wigglesworth, SQ) assessments. Science supports much of the work underlying the value of knowing both our EQ and SQ. In keeping with this self-awareness quest, neuroscience and positive psychology research ALSO points to the importance of understanding our Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ). Our PQ is a measure of what percentage of time our mind is on our side. This research suggests that PQ might be one of the biggest factors for reaching one’s potential. When our mind is on our side, we are more likely to succeed. When our mind works against us, we struggle.
In his book, Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine shares compelling reasons for focusing on, measuring, and improving one’s PQ. Chamine, a masterful executive coach widely acclaimed for his work, uses a measurement process that determines the fraction of all our emotional experiences that are positive versus negative. PQ, he claims, is more important for our success than IQ or EQ. Chamine writes, “Your potential is determined by many factors, including your cognitive intelligence (IQ), your emotional intelligence (EQ), and your skills, knowledge, experience, and social network. But it is your Positive intelligence (PQ) that determines what percentage of your vast potential you actually achieve.” Why does Chamine believe this?
He emphasizes, “Your mind is your best friend, but it is also your worst enemy. Positive Intelligence is the relative strength of these two modes of your mind. High Positive Intelligence means your mind acts as your friend far more than as your enemy. Low Positive Intelligence is the reverse. Positive Intelligence is therefore an indication of the control you have over your own mind and how well your mind acts in your best interest.”
Our positive mind calls for the voice of authenticity, calm, and positive emotion. However Chamine refers to enemies of this thinking that he calls Saboteurs — including the Judge, the Victim, the Avoider, the Hyper-Achiever, and others. These Saboteurs undermine us by triggering anger, anxiety, shame, regret, and other negative emotions. “Pretty much all your suffering in life is self-generated by your Saboteurs.”
According to Chamine, we can measure our Positive Intelligence Quotient, as a percentage, ranging from 0 to 100. For example, a PQ of 75 means that our mind is acting as our friend 75 percent of the time and is in self-sabotage mode about 25 percent of the time. He goes on to say, “The PQ score of 75 is a critical tipping point. Above it, you are generally being uplifted by the internal dynamics of the mind, and below it you are constantly being dragged down by those dynamics.”
To measure your PQ, you can do so here.
- I believe there is sufficient research to warrant better understanding of our PQ. Determine where you are by taking the assessment test above and/or do some of your own research.
- Learn more about improving your PQ, including being able to recognize and control Saboteurs. I recommend reading Chamine’s book. He offers specific ways to increase your percentage.
- Learn more about the idea of controlling our mind versus letting it control us. Our primitive mind uses negativity to support survival. However ample research notes that greater positivity makes it possible to thrive. As a result, according to Chamine and others, people with higher ratios of positive to negative emotions are more likely to flourish in life, experience better health, more satisfying relationships, and greater professional achievement. Why not you?
Higher PQ in The Triangle,