Research in neuroscience, positive psychology, cognitive psychology, and performance science validates the principles of Positive Intelligence. With the innovation of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, neuroscientists and psychologists can now see how the brain works in real time. Scientists can pinpoint the parts of the brain involved in producing different thoughts or feelings. This is a huge breakthrough.
What does this mean? Scientists can now track the various parts of the brain that create our positive and negative emotions. Not only can we track them, but now we can see how to strengthen the muscles that create our positive emotions while weakening the muscles that create our negative emotions.
The right side of our brain, Prefrontal Cortex, is where our positive emotions can be found. This is where our positive emotions thrive. This side of the brain we will call Sage. The Sage area of the brain allows us to feel empathy toward ourselves, others and towards circumstances we find ourselves in. It also generates the highest success, sustained happiness, healthy relationships and provides the ability to be creative.
Imagine a leader who is excited, and laser focused while writing a grant, or who models trust, humility and courage while collaborating with her team, or exhibits positive, and healthy relationships with all employees, or sees failures as opportunities to grow. These positive qualities will inspire others.
The left side of our brain, Brainstem & Limbic, activates our Saboteurs. It is the area of the brain that tells us to move our hand from a hot stove. We call this part the Survivor brain. This is where our Saboteurs can be found. The Master Saboteur is the Judge. The Judge causes us to judge ourselves, others, and circumstances. Once activated the Judge fuels our negative emotions or Saboteurs. The Saboteurs are those negative emotions such as anger, frustration hopelessness, fear, guilt, and shame. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to not have the stress of these self-sabotaging thoughts bombarding you on a never-ending cycle?
Imagine being a leader who is continually flooded with voices at 3:00a.m. that says, “You are not smart,” “You will do a horrible job facilitating this staff meeting today,” “You will never get the grant you are writing because you are a terrible writer!” How will these voices affect your leadership? If you are unable to stop these self-sabotaging voices, will you be a successful leader who is respected and inspires others?
Through neuroscience we can see the brain builds muscles (neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections). In Mental Fitness training you will learn how to strengthen this muscle through consistently doing PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient) Reps which will weaken the muscle that controls your negative emotions or Saboteurs. The beauty of PQ Reps is they are versatile and can be done during a meeting, in your office or at dinner. So, what is PQ? It is your Positive Intelligence score expressed as a percentage, ranging from 0 – 100. It represents the amount of time your mind is acting as your friend, serving you, rather than as your enemy, sabotaging you. By doing consistent daily PQ Reps you will strengthen your muscle that produces positive emotions and weaken your negative emotions.
Positive Intelligence has an amazingly simple Operating System that can be used to solve all kinds of challenges people face, such as stress management, conflict management, parenting, and relationships. The Operating System also helps you maximize how you can have continuous growth by challenging yourself, organization, or family.
The simple mechanics of the PQ Operating System are based on 3 Core Muscles:
- The Saboteur Interceptor, mental muscle where negative emotions are found.
- Sage, mental muscle where positive emotions are found.
- Self-Command Muscle, muscle that helps you shift from Saboteur to the Sage Brain.
To explain this in simple terms:
- You have a negative emotion, Survivor Brain
- Recognize the negative emotion and STOP that thought in no more than one second.
- Do PQ Reps
- Move to your Sage Brain and turn the negative emotion into a gift or opportunity!
Being successful will depend on how strong your mental muscles are. It will take consistent daily practice which will take time. I promise you, if you do the work, you will not regret it.
Negative emotions challenge all of us. We were born with both positive and negative emotions. It is up to each of us to control how we want to walk through life. We can either have a positive mindset or a negative mindset. I have learned through personal experience that the stress that often plagues me can be turned into something positive. An example would be failing. Failing can be turned into a gift by what you learn because of that failure. Sometimes experiencing a failure gives you the opportunity to help someone else, or perhaps you need to be more humble, or it provides an opportunity to have a new perspective that would have never occurred to you unless you failed.
Honestly, I am much happier and successful because I now know how to rid myself of stress and all the negative emotions that try to take over my life. I now have more control over my brain, and I feel much calmer and happier.
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Next month I will discuss the Sage and Judge perspectives. Do you like what you see? Want to learn more? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below!