I’m currently reading the book Positive Intelligence by life coach and business expert Shirzad Chamine. Chances are you may not have heard about it yet, so let me give you a brief summary.
In the book Chamine states that only 20% of individuals, as well as teams (whether they be organizations, families or even couples) are reaching their full potential. What’s holding 80% of us from reaching our full potential? In a word, “negativity”.
Based on his research, and the years he’s spent as a coach for leaders and organizational teams, Chamine believes that it’s actually the critical voices inside everyone of us that drain us of our energy, our positivity, and, as a result our full potential to perform our best.
If you think about it from your own experience it makes sense, doesn’t it? How often have you had everything going for you in your life at least on paper, but still felt dissatisfied?
I know from conversations with Millennial friends that, at least from the outside, look like they have it all together, that this problem is one that a lot of us grapple with. Happiness, Chamine believes, is an “inside game” and the key to happiness is quieting our inner critics.
Chamine calls these critical voices “saboteurs”, and links them to what he dubs the survival brain. The functions of the survival brain, Chamine claims, were much more important to our forebears – who had to worry more about bear attacks than consuming too many bear claws.
So where am I going with this whole subject line about becoming a lab rat? Well, on page 117 of his book Chamine throws out a challenge. His solution to weakening our inner saboteurs is first to recognize that they exist, and second, to combat them by working what he calls our “PQ brain” — the parts of your brain where your sense of well being comes from — by spending 10 seconds in mindful concentration on the world around you 100 times a day for at least 21 days, the time it takes to establish a new habit.
According to Chamine, everyone who has done this 21 day regimen has experienced improvement in how they feel — in many cases what his clients call “life-changing” improvement. Well, I’m going to give a try. I like to be scientific about this, so I’m taking Chamine’s PQ assessment which will gauge my “baseline” positivity before this experiment.
Then for 21 days I’m going to track how many times I can do a little rep of 10 second mindfulness per day using one of these old time-y analog tally counters. Then at the end of those 21 days, I’m going to take Chamine’s assessment again and report back on whether or not I feel better and feel like I’m able to work more to my full potential thanks to his advice.