Positive Intelligence Book Summary - Positive Intelligence Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Positive Intelligence summary

Shirzad Chamine

Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and how You Can Achieve Yours

4.6 (359 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine is a self-help book that teaches readers how to boost their mental strength and achieve peak performance. It offers practical techniques for identifying and overcoming the negative thoughts and behaviors that hold us back.

Table of Contents

    Positive Intelligence
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    Understanding your Saboteurs

    Meet Peter, a smart entrepreneur who’s figured out exactly what he needs to enjoy an early and happy retirement. $10 million. But then he rejects a $125 million offer to sell his business. Why? His college mate already sold his business for $330 million.

    Peter might have had high stakes, but his story is everyone’s story. Money, status and accolades won’t satisfy you because the targets keep shifting. To be truly happy is to be happy despite your circumstances, and the only place you can achieve that is inside your head.

    This starts by tackling your Saboteurs, those entrenched thoughts and habits that fuel your anxiety. These Saboteurs inhabit your Survivor brain, the part of your brain you rely on to keep you safe. It’s the Saboteurs that guide your survival instincts to run when you sense danger or find food when you're hungry.

    As you grow into adulthood where rational decisions matter more, these primal instincts can get in the way of progress.

    So what are these Saboteurs?

    Chief among the ten Saboteurs is the Judge. Your Judge consistently beats you up for not doing enough. You’ll set a target and achieve it, then the next minute you’re thinking about the next milestone. 

    Another source of anxiety comes from the Stickler who’s always craving perfection. The Stickler has this constant drive to do things better even at the cost of your health and wellbeing. And then we have the Pleaser. The Pleaser tries to humor everyone, eventually becoming resentful in the process. Meanwhile the Hyper-achiever Saboteur convinces you that working yourself to the ground will earn you validation.

    People with a Victim Saboteur believe displaying their suffering will earn them sympathy. And a Hyper-rational Saboteur will consistently dismiss emotional considerations, insisting instead on fact after fact. 

    There’s more. Many people are governed by a relentless pursuit of excitement. This is the Restless Saboteur at play. On the other side of the spectrum we have the Hyper-vigilant Saboteur, who’s always alert to the next pitfall, and the Controller, who resorts to micromanaging everything and every situation around them. Finally we have the Avoider Saboteur. This Saboteur consistently seeks only the positive and dodges any and all conflicts in the hope that their problems will go away. 

    Everyone of us deals with a combination of these ten Saboteurs on a daily basis. But there’s good news. These habits can actually be tamed into submission with some clever techniques. Hang on to your hats!


    Want to see all full key ideas from Positive Intelligence?

    Key ideas in Positive Intelligence

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Positive Intelligence about?

    Positive Intelligence (2012) provides a way to unlock your true potential by helping you identify and conquer common mental blocks. It also shows you how to tap into your deeper wisdom to live a more balanced, productive, and happy life. 

    Positive Intelligence Review

    Positive Intelligence (2012) explores the concept of positive intelligence and how it can transform our mindset and improve our mental well-being. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • By helping readers identify their saboteurs and boost their positive intelligence scores, the book offers practical tools for personal growth and overcoming self-sabotage.
    • With its unique blend of science-based research, relatable stories, and actionable exercises, it offers a holistic approach to improving mental fitness and achieving peak performance.
    • The book's engaging storytelling keeps readers hooked and motivated, making the journey towards positive intelligence an enjoyable and enlightening experience.

    Who should read Positive Intelligence?

    • Anyone who wants to unlock their true potential 
    • People looking for a motivation boost 
    • Self-explorers who want to learn more about their mind

    About the Author

    Shirzad Chamine is the former CEO of the world’s largest coach-training organization. He has trained managers and coaches in many of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as faculty at Yale and Stanford business schools. This is his first book. 

    Categories with Positive Intelligence

    Book summaries like Positive Intelligence

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Positive Intelligence FAQs 

    What is the main message of Positive Intelligence?

    The main message of Positive Intelligence is that our mindset plays a crucial role in determining our success and happiness.

    How long does it take to read Positive Intelligence?

    Reading time for Positive Intelligence varies. The summary can be read in just 15 minutes on Blinkist.

    Is Positive Intelligence a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Positive Intelligence is worth reading for its practical tools and strategies to improve mental resilience and achieve success.

    Who is the author of Positive Intelligence?

    Shirzad Chamine is the author of Positive Intelligence.

    What to read after Positive Intelligence?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Positive Intelligence, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Reset by Debra Fileta
    • You Owe You by Eric Thomas
    • The Art of Positive Thinking by Elizabeth R. Brown
    • A Year of Positive Thinking by Cyndie Spiegel
    • Real Life by Sharon Salzberg
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • 8 Secrets to Powerful Manifesting by Mandy Morris
    • And Then We Rise by Common
    • Languishing by Corey Keyes
    • Possible by William Ury