Mental fitness and Positive Intelligence ®

The big idea
We’ve known about the importance of positive thinking for hundreds or even thousands of years. (Fun fact: Zhang’s Complete Guide to Positive Thinking was published in Ming Dynasty China in around 1640, although he would probably have given credit for many of his suggestions to sixth-century BC Confucius). But we’ve never had a very effective way of putting it into practice. Until now.
Shirzad Chamine has used the latest findings from neuroscience, positive psychology, cognitive psychology and performance science to turn a moment of insight (described in the video clip) into a thoroughly researched and verified model for how we can all develop our mental fitness in order to achieve our true potential.

His model shows that, using the fitness analogy, we’ve all got a positive mental muscle (the ‘Sage’) and negative (the ‘Saboteurs’).

The Sage helps us deal with challenges by using positive emotions such as empathy, gratitude, curiosity, creativity and self-confidence to help us take action calmly, confidently and with a clear head.

The Saboteurs have a different take on what’s happening in our lives. They give us negative emotions such as stress, disappointment, self-doubt, regret, anger, shame, guilt and worry. They come in different guises – Judge, Controller, Victim, Stickler, Avoider, Pleaser, Restless, Hyper- Achiever, Hyper-Vigilant, or Hyper-Rational – and they’ve not helping!

(You might ask why we have Saboteurs. They start off as our guardians to help us survive the real and imagined threats to our physical and emotional survival as children. By the time we’re adults, we no longer need them, but they have become invisible inhabitants of our mind. Our Saboteurs’ patterns of thinking, feeling, and reacting become soft-coded in our brain through neural pathways. When these neural pathways are triggered, we are ‘hijacked’ by our Saboteurs and feel, think, and act using their patterns.)

So who’s in charge, inside your head? They’re both at work, of course, the Sage and the Saboteurs, and the balance of power between your positive Sage and your negative Saboteurs reflects your Positive Intelligence ® Quotient – your PQ, a measure of your mental fitness.

PQ is the best predictor of how happy you are and the extent to which you are performing in relation to your true potential.

Are you one of the 80%?

You might not want to be!

Chamine’s research was based on work with hundreds of CEOs, with sales, operations, and technology teams, with Stanford students, with elite athletes, and with more than 500,000 other participants from more than 50 countries around the world. It was published in his best-selling book, Positive Intelligence (now translated into 20 languages).

It shows that 80% of us score lower on mental fitness than we need to if we are to reach peak performance. (You can find out your score, for free, in just two minutes, here). So it’s good news that his research shows that, using recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and technology, we can all now find a way to improve our mental fitness. And if we do it properly, we can start to see results within just six weeks.

How? Read on!

Increasing mental fitness

Let’s stick with the fitness analogy.

Your Sage ‘muscle’ harnesses five different powers: Empathize, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, and Activate. For peak performance, you need to boost these powers and know when to use which one.

Your Saboteur interceptor ‘muscle’ is also very powerful. It generates all those negative emotions that sabotage your performance. You need to disempower it, rather than nourish it.

And there’s a third ‘muscle’, self-command. It’s the crucial one, for building mental fitness. It’s the one that helps determine the balance of power between the other two. So this is the one we need to work on. PQ reps are a set of innovative 10-second exercises you can use to do just that. The more reps you do, the more you’ll end up in charge of your brain rather than just being run by it. Self-command enables you to make more use of Sage and stop being hi-jacked by Saboteur, leading to better performance and greater satisfaction, fulfilment and happiness.

This isn’t just an academic theory or yet another bit of pop psychology. It’s a proven scientific model. Shirzad Chamine’s great breakthrough was in realising not only that we can measure our PQs but that we can increase them. Using the fitness analogy again, we can significantly boost our PQs if we work on them, if we practise them, if we do our ‘reps’.

If we follow the programme!

PQ or EQ?

Mental fitness is all about PQ.

But this programme will also help develop your EQ.

It will give you a firmer foundation in all the 18 EQ competencies:


  • Emotional self-awareness
  • Accurate self-assessment
  • Self-confidence


  • Emotional self-control
  • Transparency
  • Adaptability
  • Achievement
  • Initiative
  • Optimism


  • Empathy
  • Organisational awareness
  • Service orientation

Relationship management

  • Developing others
  • Inspirational leadership
  • Change catalyst
  • Influence
  • Conflict management
  • Teamwork and collaboration

Working on your PQ will automatically help your EQ, leading to better performance, better results, a better life!

See more on this in Shirzad’s blog by clicking on the button below.

The Mental fitness programme gets fantastic results. Give us a call on 01582 463460 to talk through how it might work for you or your organisation.
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