Just notice the difference between me saying “I will fail tomorrow” versus “My pesky Judge Saboteur says I’ll fail tomorrow.”
You feel the difference? You weaken your Saboteurs by exposing and labeling them.
Now, how would your Sage respond in the same exact scenario?
One of the most brilliant things about your Sage is the Sage perspective. Every outcome or circumstance can be turned into an opportunity.
So you ask, “How do I turn my failure in this project into an opportunity?” This perspective changes everything.
With this perspective, you keep the positive-intelligence brain activated, which gives you access to five great Sage powers:
Empathize. Your Sage knows that beating yourself down when you’re already down is absolutely insane. So you feel compassion for yourself and others as fallible humans. This keeps you energized and positive.
Explore. You become the fascinated explorer kid in the woods, turning over every rock to see what’s underneath it. You become fascinated to discover all the factors contributing to your project’s failure. You discover things you couldn’t have seen if you were upset or defensive.
Innovate: You become the innovative kid on the beach, building sandcastles again. Since your positive-intelligence brain is wired for creativity, you can take all of these discoveries about your project’s failure into creative new solutions for the project.
And in the interest of time, you then navigate by choosing a direction and move into fearless, bold action. Your Sage performs a lot better and remains positive even in the middle of this crisis.
Now, you would only be able to perform this way if you have strong Sage muscles. Functional MRI of the brain shows that one technique to build powerful Sage muscles is to shift your attention to one physical sensation for ten seconds a few times every hour, a few reps an hour. This leads to some surprising recommendations.
For example, if you want to perform better in your job, then really, really taste that bite of your crunchy apple, really see the hundred shades of color in your friend’s eyes, or hug your loved one so attentively that you feel her heartbeat.
This surprisingly sounds too good to be true until you study the neuroscience evidence. In order to track your progress, we can now actually measure the strength of your Sage muscles versus your Saboteurs, based on your emotions in a typical 24-hour period.
We have defined this ratio as your positive intelligence quotient or “PQ.” Independent researchers have now shown that with increased PQ, people are far happier and less stressed. They also perform much better.
For example, almost 40% better in sales and a third better in team performance metrics. Everyone can learn to strengthen their Sage muscles with a little practice.
And finally, you can help strengthen the Sage in your loved ones. Unlike my daughter, Tisa, my son, Kion, loves tickling. So I have invented a game with him where I start tickling him and stop only if he gives me all the right answers.
So I start tickling him and ask, “Kion, why do I love you so much?” He has learned to say, and he says, “I don’t know, Daddy. Why do you love me so much?”
I ask, “Is it because you’re so handsome?” I know, it’s his mother’s genes – right? – you don’t have to tell me that. And he has learned to say, and he says, “No, Daddy, it isn’t because I am handsome.”
I ask, “Is it because you get good grades?”
“No, Daddy, it isn’t.”
“Is it because you’re good in sports?”
“No, Daddy, it isn’t.”
So I go down a long list of his great qualities, and he keeps saying, “No, Daddy, it isn’t.”
So at the end, I pretend great frustration, and I say, “So why is it, Kion, why do I love you so much?”
And he has learned to say, and he says, “Daddy, it’s because I am me!”
Daddy, it’s because I am me!
His beautiful true self, his Sage. What about you? What would life be like if you fully reclaimed your beautiful true self, your Sage?