Positive Intelligence Book Summary - Positive Intelligence Book explained in key points
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Positive Intelligence summary

Shirzad Chamine

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

4.6 (315 ratings)
17 mins
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    Positive Intelligence
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    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!


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    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. 

    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. 

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