Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Authors in August: Shirzad Chamine Is Positively Intelligent

By Motley Fool Staff – Aug 18, 2021 at 1:33PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Bringing back to the podcast author Shirzad Chamine to discuss how to work toward becoming your best self.

Is it possible to train your brain toward happiness and success? The science says yes! Shirzad Chamine's Positive Intelligence is your guide to weaken the "saboteurs" that haunt your mind and strengthen your inner "sage." Welcome to Rule Breaker Investing.

To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.

10 stocks we like better than Walmart
When our award-winning analyst team has an investing tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Walmart wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

Stock Advisor returns as of 6/15/21

This video was recorded on August 4, 2021.

David Gardner: October 2020 was steeped in COVID negativity. Sure, the stock market was doing pretty well, but our world was not. Many lost due to COVID past with many more threatened by COVID future, numbers surging in different places around our globe. Well, it was in this milieu that we welcomed and got to know Shirzad Chamine. If you did not get to hear that first podcast, entitled Positive Intelligence with Shirzad Chamine, well, the date is October 21st, 2020, so definitely on Spotify or Apple iTunes or Google Play go directly back to that podcast, do not pass go and do not collect $200 because in that episode, you will hear the amazing story of Shirzad Chamine a little boy born into the toughest of circumstances in Iran, and how he matriculated eventually to Stanford Business School, had an epiphany and turned his life's work into making you and me more intelligent. Not necessarily more cerebrally intelligent or emotionally intelligent though perhaps those too. Nope, more positively intelligent, more able to rebound from defeats or disappointments, more able to see the positives in yourself, and in your friends, and in life, and how transformative that was for him and can be for you, and for me. 

While following that October podcast, I got numerous notes to the Rule Breaker Investing mailbag saying, "Wow, that really changed, improved how I think about things." So for many at Rule Breaker, Shirzad and his teachings break the rules and are an eye-opener and for me also. But one thing I hadn't yet done then was read his book. I was reacting to things I'd read on the web, but not reacting to things Shirzad himself had written into his New York Times best-selling book Positive Intelligence, which I have now gone on to read in full, sharing it with family and many of my friends. It's August, and that means this podcast takes its annual end of summer and new angle. For the past four years, we've called this Authors in August and kicking off the 2021 series, how could I not welcome back our new friend, someone everyone can learn something from, Shirzad Chamine, here to discuss his book, Positive Intelligence, only on this week's Rule Breaker Investing.

[...]

Welcome back to Rule Breaker Investing. A delight to have you joining me, not just this week, but I hoped throughout the whole month of August. I myself, am at the beach right now and one thing I do at the beach is I read books. Perhaps you are either at a beach or in your head at a beach, enabling you to make some time for our authors in August. I'm excited to have Shirzad Chamine this week. To start with, I want to give you two quick notes before I welcome in Shirzad. The first is next week, well, next week is the book Do More Great Work by Michael Bungay Stanier. I'm really looking forward to having Michael join us. I highly recommend reading this book. You may not have time before next week. You might not have finished Positive Intelligence yet for this week, but these are in part for you to explore, discover new books and the opportunity to talk through what is bad work in this world? What is good work in this world? But what is your great work in this world? It will be the domain of next week. 

That's bookkeeping note No. 1, the second and final bookkeeping note before starting this week's podcast. I want to mention on a sad note a previous author who had appeared with me in October of 2017. I have to admit I hadn't kept up with him and I'm sorry to say that he is no longer with us, but Anders Ericsson who wrote the book Peak, about how you and I can achieve, well, our human peak, whoever we are, whatever we're doing through deliberate practice, through putting in those 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell has popularized so well. Anders Ericsson, the academic behind a lot of that work in a delightful interview on October 4th 2017. I'm sorry to say he left this world in the last 12 months. I had not noticed and I want to thank him for all of his great work and reminding us that greatness can be achieved by all of us if you're willing to put your head to it. It's amazing what deliberate practice can help you become. All right, the year was 2012, nine years ago. Do you remember what you were doing in 2012? I don't really remember so well what I was doing, but one thing was happening for sure. Shirzad was publishing his book, Positive Intelligence, which has now been translated into more than 20 other languages besides English, in which I recently read it and I'm delighted now to share and welcome Shirzad Chamine with us to Rule Breaker Investing this week. Welcome, Shirzad.

Shirzad Chamine: Thank you. Delighted to be with you again, David.

Gardner: Thank you very much. I was thinking back to one of my favorite stories that you tell in Positive Intelligence. Again, when you and I talked last October, I hadn't read the book yet, so I didn't know the story. But it made a big impression on me and I bet it will for anybody who has not heard it before. If you would be so kind, Shirzad, let's start our conversation this week with you telling us the stallion story.

Chamine: Yes, the stallion story, I love that story because it illustrates one of the key principles of our work, which is that absolutely everything can be converted into gifts and opportunity. The stallion story that illustrates that comes from [...] China. It's the story of this age old farmer who lives on a farm with his prized stallion. One day he enters his stallion in a nearby village competition, and his stallion wins first prize. Neighbors are so happy and they come to him and congratulate him. "We're so happy your stallion won first prize." The farmer says, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" That's a very strange response to that congratulations, so the neighbors are puzzled, they go away. Recourse of [...], the thieves in the area have discovered the stallion has won first prize, he's more precious, he's more worthy. They come and steal the stallion. The neighbors bring their condolences and once again, the farmer says, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" Very strange response and [...] they go away. 

Another week or so passes, the stallion is a very free-spirited stallion. He breaks away from his captors, and finds his way back to the farmer's farm. Along the way, he is a very good looking stallion, he befriends all these precious wild mares, enters the farmers farm himself and all these precious wild mares. The neighbors bring their congratulations, and once again, the farmer says, "Who knows what is good and what is bad?" By now, the neighbors are beginning to think this guy is crazy, these are insane answers, so they're puzzled, they go away. Another week or so passes. The farmer has a young adult son who is trying to tame one of these wild mares, he is thrown to the ground and he breaks his leg. The neighbors bring their condolences and, once again, the farmer says, who knows what is good and what is bad? Right now, the neighbors are beginning to think this guy is getting really old, these are insane answers. We got to go get some help for him, they went away. Another week or so passes. By the way, this is a very eventful kind of village. Every week, a lot of stuff happens. It's a very exciting place to live. A week or so has passed and war breaks out in that region. That imperial army goes from village to village to conscript able-bodied young adults to go to war as soldiers. But they can't take the farmer's son because he has a broken leg. By this time in the story, the neighbors have gotten the idea. They don't even bother to come to the farmer and bring their congratulations because they know what he's going to say. What is he going to say? Please say it with me so we can remember it.

Gardner: Who knows what is good and what is bad?

Chamine: So there's profound wisdom in this story and I'll be glad to go more into it. But the way that we talk about it in our work is that while in the story, the farmer waits for something "birth" to miraculously turn into something good, we actually say if you believe you can convert anything into a gift and opportunity, you can. We teach this as a principle of proactively becoming yourself, fulfilling prophecy. Any "birthing" in your life, you can and shall convert into a gift and opportunity for yourself, and your loved ones and the world if you choose to do so, which is an important premise of our work.

Gardner: It is, and it's a great story. I wanted to start there because even for those who've not heard the phrase "positive intelligence" yet before, or who don't know the acronym PQ, that already bridges for anybody, a story we can relate to, to the work done that relates to it in the form of positive intelligence, your life's work, Shirzad. Thank you for sharing that.

Chamine: My pleasure.

Gardner: Let me start then, slightly more formally, this interview, by asking you, could you briefly upfront for those hearing it for the first-time, could you explain what is positive intelligence, and then what is PQ?

Chamine: Positive intelligence deals with the war raging inside of your mind between characters in your head that sabotage you, we call those, the saboteurs, agents of sabotage versus the part of you we call the sage that serves you. In a way, if you are a fan of Star Wars, it's the war inside your mind within your inner Darth Vader and inner Jedi. Every human alive has this going on, I have it, you have it. The level of positive intelligence depends on the strength of your sage, your inner Jedi, versus the strength of your sabotage, your Darth Vaders. Positive intelligence is about increasing the positive part of yourself and quieting and diminishing the negative part of you because your saboteurs are the agents of saboteurs' true, generating negative emotions and negative responses. Your sage, your inner Jedi handles all challenges in life with a positive mindset. A positive intelligence is the balance of power between these two. We want to grow your positive intelligence. The impact is peak performance and success comes from positive intelligence. Relationships are dramatically improved through higher positive intelligence and wellness, meaning peace and calm and wellness, worse, stress all the time is very much impacted by that too.

Gardner: Thank you. One way that I learned some of the math behind this, which we're about to talk about, didn't initially come from positive intelligence. But I'm assuming you were basing a lot of your work on some of these same insights. Psychologists have often said, tell us that the pain of loss is three times the joy of gain. The reason that that's important to anybody listening to this podcast is because we talk a lot about investing and it's amazing how many people fear losing money with their investment and now we know why, because we humans are hardwired to feel as if the downsides for evolutionary reasons you can explain are a lot more impactful, meaningful than the upsides. But the beauty of Rule Breaker Investing is that investing in math works exactly opposite, actually infinitely so. I would say Shirzad that for investors, the joy of gain is infinite times the pain of loss because a stock can only ever lose 100% of its value. I still really have never done that for any of our members that I picked stocks for, for 27 years. But the upside is truly unlimited. We've seen great companies go up 100, 500 times in value. It directly contradicts the math of our hardwired intelligence. That's where I can start coming in with the 3:1 ratio because when you talk about PQ, I would love for you to explain a little bit of the math of what's going on.

Chamine: Yeah, PQ, which just stands for positive intelligence quotient shows the relative strength of the positive part of your brain versus your negative. The factor of 3:1 that David just mentioned is precisely the point where your PQ is 75, which means that there's a 3:1 ratio happening. There's something profound that happens when you're positive versus negative ratio of 3:1 because it takes three times more positive to wash out one negative, precisely because of what David said that our brain holds onto the negative by a factor of at least 3:1 and some say 5:1. Therefore, you need to wash away a negative with at least three times the positive, so that PQ score of 75 is a tipping point beyond which people uplift that by internal vortex of positivity, only about 20% of the population is in that upward spacing vortex beyond the tipping point. About 75, 80% of the population is below that, which is why the book's subtitle is, Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours. Meaning, how do you uplift yourself? Get to that tipping point of PQ strength so that you're uplifted by your internal positivity versus constantly dragged down by internal negativity, which is what the game of the saboteurs is.

Gardner: Shirzad, that's 75 numbers. For all of us, that means 75% of the time or more, give yourself a big green checkmark. If you find yourself having positive interactions with a spouse, with a child, with a colleague at work, with the world at large, with yourself. Three-quarters or more of the time, if you are having positive interactions then you are in a good place, that upper vortex that you're talking about. But you're also mentioning if you're not quite there, like maybe two out of three times you do it but not three out of four. What exactly is happening to the brain? Why are these things true, Shirzad?

Chamine: Think about it. The negative has played an evolutionary role for our survival. Our ancestors lived in the jungle. The ancestor was really negative and assumed the worst about everything and just less paranoid and dark about everything. Then when a tree started shaking and that ancestor looked at what might be coming from behind the tree, always assumed that there's a tiger coming out to eat me alive. Paranoid, a negative ran away every time, 99 times out of 100, he was wrong or she was wrong. The one-time that she was right, it saved her life. Now, imagine if that doesn't answer, there was a positive leaning for, some answered, the tree started shaking. I don't know what's going on behind it but I have a good feeling about it. How often do you think is it? I think it's a koala bear coming to give me a hug. How long do you think that answers their losses? The predisposition to negative was helpful for our survival. It was much more important for you to remember the color of this poisonous snake that killed your neighbor versus the color of the butterfly. Who cares about the color of the butterfly? Because it didn't impact your survival. But remembering the negative was helpful for your survival, which is why your brain holds on to their negative stimulation more than by a factor of at least 3:1 relative to the positive. 

If you bring this to the relationship that way that David was beginning to talk about. If I have a negative interaction that you criticize, will make you feel diminished, judge you and all that stuff. That's going to be held onto your brain by a factor of 3:1, which means I need to have a positive interaction that will praise you for something that is good, show your love, show your appreciation three times so that it gets to the balance of zero, which means really strong relationships are ones that relative number of positives and negative interaction is at least 3:1. Ask yourself, when you open your mouth and use the name of your spouse or significant other or your kid, are they cringing and saying, "Oh, my God. Here he is going to criticize me again," or are they expecting beautiful positive interaction based on the frequency of positives and negatives? If they're saying, "Oh, my God. Here we go again," it's a telltale sign that you only open your mouth when something is not right and you are not as proactive in opening your mouth when something is right. Why not open our mouths and say, "Hey, honey, you know you're lit up today." "Hey, honey, I just woke up this morning appreciating that you are my love." "Hey, how are you doing?" and really mean the question, not just merely asking. These are all positive interactions that have somebody feel seen, cared for, and loved so that when the criticism comes, there's an "Okay, I'm already feeling so great" and maybe he's going to now try to help me get even better. It's a welcome. I want to improve myself about anything good about myself. I'd welcome feedback when if I'm feeling off all about myself because of all these interactions then I don't want to hear anything else. You open your mouth. I don't want to hear it because it's all about what's not good versus what is good in our relationship.

Gardner: I'm just nodding my head as you said, because boy, guilty as charged at different points of my own life. A big part of your focus is also just on what we tell ourselves. That's the saboteurs, those are the voices inside our mind because those same interactions that you're having with others, a lot of people beat themselves up. They don't 3:1 themselves in their own mind and I gather that is just as important. A particular analogy you've used in the past which will make a lot of sense for this money show that you find yourself on this week, Shirzad, is that each time we interact, we're making a deposit. When it's positive, we are putting savings up in the bank, kaching, kaching, kaching, but if we are negative, if we bring somebody else down or ourselves down, that's an immediate withdrawal of three coins. So we have to keep filling up the bank so that when we withdraw, which we often maybe don't mean to, it's a lot less painful. Anyway, I loved the money analogy.

Chamine: That's awesome.

Gardner: One other thing about the brain, Shirzad, and here's where the layman, like me, doesn't really know that much because I haven't studied the brain or read lots of books about how our brains work. But could you explain a little bit more of the science going on just using some of the terms. What is the sage part of our brain called? What is the saboteur part of our brand called? Especially, I think modern knowledge about the brain shows us that it's much more plastic and changeable than they thought a generation ago where sometimes people would say, "Brains are fully formed at the age of 12 and you can't get any smarter after that. You can't learn new languages and all those things." That's all bunk.

Chamine: Yes. One of the most exciting things about recent neuroscience is neuroplasticity. Our brain is like a muscle and as you exercise different regions of it, it gets stronger and stronger, way into our advanced age. Indeed, all dogs do learn new tricks, that is one of the lies that we have been telling ourselves. Very importantly, all our saboteurs, the ones who generate negative emotions in response to challenges live in a region of the brain we call the survival brain. So there are a couple of chapters in my book about just the neuroscience of this, and that region, it's not just the fight or flight response, that's just a small part of it. It's a much larger region than that. 

What I want you to know is that when that region of your brain is activated, it doesn't matter what's happening in front of you. It doesn't matter how many good things are happening in your life. You are going to be feeling negative emotions. Stress, upset, disappointment, you just can't help yourself because that part of the brain can't help itself. It is wired to focus on the negative, to be fear based and to generate those negative emotions and the stress hormone, cortisol. We call that the survival part of the brain. The other region, we call it the PQ part of brain, entirely different areas, and there when that region of the brain is activated also you can't help yourself, you will be feeling positive emotions such as empathy, compassion, love, curiosity, joy of creativity, that's a part of brain that's wired for creativity, and also calm, clear headed laser-focused action. 

One of the things that we pay attention to is not just which voices are talking in my head but which region of my brain is activated because depending on which region of your brain is activated, it leads to the voice that's talking in your head. It's your saboteur talking to you, it's your sage. It's the inner part where there is a Jedi. This work is literally about developing command over our own mind. Not having our mind just run the show but us commanding our mind which region to activate and which voice to use. We become a master of our own life versus just being run by a lot of dysfunctions of our mind.

Gardner: Really well said, we're going to get more into that now because, Shirzad, in your book, Positive Intelligence, you basically laid down three strategies. They form the bulk of the work itself and the three strategies, and we're going to go through them one at a time. No. 1, Weaken Saboteurs, weaken those dark voices telling you that she did this for that reason because you always think this is about you. The saboteurs, the second strategy, the second big section of the book, Strengthening your Sage, that's the Jedis you said earlier. Then the third part of the book is Building Your PQ Brain Muscles. Again, these are the three key sections of the book. I think this is a good structure for our interview. Let's kick it off with weakening the saboteurs. If math serves me and memory serves me right, I think you've identified 10 saboteurs, Shirzad, but one of them reigns supreme over the other nine. Which one is that?

Chamine: Yeah, that's the judge saboteur. It's the only saboteur that everybody has. Just as an overview of this saboteur, the judges, the master saboteur, then there are nine other saboteurs with names like controller, avoider, victim, stickler, pleaser. We can talk more about that but for now, the judge is the universal one and it's the one that's constantly finding what's wrong with you, what's wrong with others and what's wrong with the situation and circumstances of your life. It's the one that wakes you up at three in the morning and says, "Shame on you, David, you stupid, idiot. Why did you make that's stupid mistake yesterday? When are you ever going to learn?" Or wakes up at three in the morning and says, "David, who the hell do you think you are to succeed in this thing tomorrow that you're going to do? You're just a fraud. You just got lucky until here." Basically, keep badgering you for the perfect person that you are. Also, of course, finding what's wrong with others in your life constantly, rather than what's right and what's wrong with your situations and circumstances, why you can't be happy versus what is perfectly right with your life and how you can be happy today if you really chose to be.

Gardner: On page 55 of the book, I'm just going to quote you a different points here, Shirzad, you write, "In all my years of coaching, I have never worked with anyone who was not substantially sabotaged by a persistent judge character, even though many were initially unaware of that fact, your judge saboteur is your private enemy number one. It impacts your well-being, success and happiness far more than any public enemy ever could." One thing I've learned, some through doing my work reading your book and I have the pleasure of having gone through the six-week course that you teach. You have videos, you welcome us each morning with a thought for the day and it's a deeper understandably experience than just the book. Now let me just be clear, the book on its own is amazing but part of what I learned about myself through going through your app, and this probably doesn't reflect well on me. But I decided that I actually don't kick myself that much. I tend to sit there in judgment of others. I know a lot of people are afflicted by their entertainment saying you're an impostor, you're not as good as you think. I'm actually somebody who probably tells myself I'm doing just fine too much of the time. But I sure do know my judgement. I sit there and I think that person could have chosen a better word there and I have tried to silence this and you can get better at it over time. But I realize, there is a lot of the world that kicks itself and I feel as if that's the majority of the world. Am I right in that generalization?

Chamine: You're right. As a matter of fact, I think one of the most transformational pieces of work that we focused on is to help people shift from the self brutality of their judge, the unconditional love of their sage for themselves. For example, I used to absolutely hate myself. I had a judge so brutal I called him the executioner. The voice was constantly in my head saying, "Shirzad, you're unworthy of any love or any success you've ever had, you're just a fraud. You'll be discovered for the idiot that you are." That voice, by the way, hasn't gone away, it's still in my head, except that I don't trust that voice anymore. It doesn't run me anymore. But that is my judge saboteur. But now, I start my stand [...] talk, I get up on stage and I say, "I want you to know that I'm absolutely incredible and probably awesome" and I mean that, I love myself. I think I'm an awesome and wonderful human being, my true self my sage is beautiful and I have nasty saboteurs like a very ugly judge saboteur. But that is not true. I'm aware of it, I acknowledge it, and I'm working on it. In that sense, I want all of you to be able to fall in love with yourself again, by remembering who you truly are, your true self and put on notice your false self, which is the saboteurs, and be able to start taking away their power and credibility.

Gardner: We did talk about the judge and appropriately enough because the judge is what reigns above all the others. But part of my discovery of your work last year was taking the personality test which anybody can take at positiveintelligence.com and find out what are the other saboteurs beside the judge that particularly speak to you or to me in ways that don't help us, that as you say, sabotage us and we're not going to go through all nine of those of course, they're right there in the book. I highly recommend the free personality test. We found it rather addictive as soon as my wife had taken it because a friend of hers mentioned it to her, she's like, "You should take this." I was like, "Sure, I love personality tests," I will take that one and then we had our kids do it. We told other friends, I think it's a really wonderful way to get in touch with some of this work. But I wanted to name each of the nine. We don't have time for that this time, but where do they come from, why do they exist and why did you choose this concept of self sabotage?

Chamine: First, people can find out about their saboteurs, positiveintelligence.com. If you click on "saboteurs," you can do a saboteur's assessments for free and it takes five minutes. In five minutes, you get a bar chart of those saboteurs, which ones are the strongest one. The reason we call them saboteurs is that what we show people is that feeling negative emotions is only helpful for the first second of being alerted that something isn't working. But then beyond that first second, staying in those negative emotions is sabotaging your effectiveness and well-being. For example, if you're in the middle of a project and mistakes and failures are happening, if you don't feel upset, angry, and disappointed or any of those things, nothing will change. A bad thing will become worse and worse. It's really good to say, "Oh, my God, this is terrible. This project is failing, I got to do something about it." Once the wake up occurs one second of negativity, then if you stay angry, if you stay upset, your brain is tunnel visioned into a place that creates contagion of negativity with everybody around you. Your tunnel vision, that part of your brain is not capable of clear thinking and clear action. What we want you to do is learn to shift your brain activation from the negative one to the one that's calm, clear-headed, laser-focused on, so what do I do now? How do I creatively figure out what to do with the situation so I turn even a failure into a gift. 

The reason we call the saboteurs "the saboteurs" is that they keep your hand on the hot stove. Instead of just feeling the pain and they're moving your hand, they keep your hand on the hot stove and you keep feeling angry, and you keep feeling the pain, and you keep feeling upset, and then you wonder why life is so hard. Clearly, they are sabotaging you, therefore, we call them the saboteurs. Whether it's the controller, avoider, stickler, victim, pleaser, whatever they are, they are the ones who generate negative emotions for more than half of our second, therefore, they're sabotaging you.

Gardner: I love that hot stove analogy. I also love this quote from page 33 of the book, which reminds us that from our earliest days, those saboteurs start for understandable reasons, and I quote, Shirzad, "Imagine if you put a cast on your broken leg when you were five years old to protect it from further hurt and then never took it off. As bizarre as that might sound, it is not too far from what actually happens to us mentally and emotionally with our saboteurs. The saboteurs were the initial casts that protected us, but not removing them in adulthood limits our mental and emotional freedom."

Chamine: Wow, that was well written, David, I like the analogy. Indeed, your saboteurs are agents of survival, they come into our life to help us survive mentally and emotionally as a child. For example, I have a victim saboteur. I discovered it long into my adulthood. Initially, it was because I was not getting much love or attention in my home growing up. Because I wasn't getting love, I gave myself self-pity through feeling sorry for myself, and feeling like a victim. That narrative was very soothing. Self-pity was a very soothing thing. It was a poor replacement but still a replacement for love which I didn't have. Range of my adulthood when I realize that, hey, self-pity, they are soothing, that victim saboteur brought me was no substitute for self love. But that took me quite a lot because I had no idea that I was even doing it. But it was a very effective survival strategy when I was a kid. All saboteurs do that in our childhood and then they outlive their purpose when they are adults.

Gardner: That's where they come from, their survival instincts and indeed they help us survive. The problem is, if they keep your hand on that hot stove, to use your wonderful analogy. I want to now move on to the second section of the book, strengthening our sage. Now, for our previous conversation last October, Shirzad, I was well steeped in saboteur understanding. I knew what mine were. For the record, I am a hyper achiever, an avoider, and a pleaser, and I've tried to get better at reducing those voices in my head. There's a positive side of every one of these saboteurs. Being somebody who's a pleaser, that's great up to a point. Trying to please other people, it has you thinking a lot about whether you are pleasing them, and there's some other centeredness that's not so self centered there. But the problem is when you take any of these too far and they become your own operating system.

Chamine: Yeah. Really, what we say is that it's not the saboteur that's useful, there are certain powers you have that the saboteurs' overuse and abuse. Basically, one way to look at any saboteur is that it takes your greatest natural strength and converts it into your greatest weakness by overusing or abusing that strength. To give you an example, David, you used the example of the pleaser role. When somebody tells me that a pleaser is a strong saboteur that they have, then I can tell you for sure that one of your greatest natural strengths that you were born with was empathy; that you're a caring empathic human being. I have that too. That's one of my greatest strengths. Now, when my sage comes in and uses that with empathy and caring, I have used that to the advantage in my career, and has been a very important part of my success in my career. That is not my pleaser saboteur, that's my sage using my empathy power appropriately. But when my daughter comes in and wants to do something, I know the right thing to say is to say, no, and set some boundaries. But my pleaser can't say no and I say yes, that's a reluctant empathy, which is the abuse of the empathy power, which is not a pleaser which doesn't serve. Being a pleaser is never helpful, being empathic under the command of the sage is always helpful. The same thing with, say, the controller. My daughter has a controller saboteur and I tell her her greatest natural strength is the force of personality, confidence, being driven and having high objectives and having charisma. These are wonderful things. If your sage uses them, you'll be used in service of leading people. But when your controller overuses them, then people feel controlled, people don't feel seen, people don't feel hurt. We never want me to be the controller, but we want to be a charismatic leader and sage model. My work with her is to keep the power, but don't let the saboteurs use it. Have your sages that positive power. Don't let your saboteur overuse it and turn it into a negative.

Gardner: It's a great example. A lot of this is about the responses that we give to others or even ourselves, but it's how you respond, and that you can choose your response, especially as you gain more self command, more self awareness, you truly can choose how to respond. It's about a sage response instead of a saboteur response. Shirzad, earlier this year, I did the 300 weekly consecutive podcast for this Rule Breaker Investing Podcast, and there were three sections and they each had a one-word name. The second section was simply the word is. It's about what is and accepting what is. I'm going to quote you from page 72 of the book, you wrote, "The sage perspective is about accepting what is rather than denying, rejecting, or resenting what is the sage perspective, except every outcome and circumstance as a gift and opportunity, period." I don't know if it's going to be on your gravestone one day, but it is almost synonymous in my mind with so much of your work around positive intelligence. Obviously, the stallion story that you led off with this week is a great example of accepting everything as a gift and opportunity. But it is about the responses that we give things and choosing the best ones.

Chamine: About half of the people that I coach. I coach a lot of CEOs. About half of them have a spiritual practice of some kind. What they tell me is, "The sage perspective that everything is a gift and opportunity, that's what my spiritual tradition teaches." I say, "Okay. Awesome, great. Then use this perspective as a way of living your spiritual practice." But then half of them are agnostics and what I tell them is, "Don't believe the sage perspective that everything is just an opportunity, as a matter of spiritual leap of faith. Believe in it because it is a self-fulfilling prophecy." If something is going wrong in a project and you say, "Oh, this is terrible, what's wrong with us? Awful stuff is happening." If you allow that, then start a cascading of negative emotions, the strength gets contagious to the people who are working with you. But what happens if you say, you know what? Mistakes and failures have happened, we can and we shall turn this into a gift and opportunity. Imagine what emotions you're going to be experiencing. You're going to be feeling optimistic, you're going to be feeling curious, you're going to be feeling creative about how do we turn this into a gift? What is the gift? In that you generate positivity, not just in yourself and others, you activate everybody's brain in the region, that's wired for creativity and resourcefulness. You figure the gift, you generate it, not because it's a spiritual leap of faith, but because it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The question is every day as things don't go your way, as things aren't exactly what you had wanted and wished for, what's the self-fulfilling prophecy are you bringing into that situation? Is it the saboteurs saying this is bad which will make it worse? Or is it saying I cannot sure convert this into a gift? Which self-fulfilling prophecy are you choosing to live your life out of?

Gardner: That's a beautiful rhetorical question, and we'll leave that one right there as we move on now. Let's discuss these a little bit. We've been referring to the sage. You've identified five sage powers, and I'd like to just list those now. I do have them committed to memory as a reader of your book and a fan of your work. I know in no particular order, although I think I have the right order to empathize. No. 1, to explore, No. 2, to innovate, No. 3, to navigate, No. 4 and No. 5, to activate. Each of those, you would say as a sage power and is the right response that you should choose for the appropriate context. I know the most important of those five, I think you would say, is empathy. In fact, I want to share back one of those beautifully written passages that a certain author I'm talking to you right now shared in his book. I'm going to read it back again from page 176 and I'd love to have you say a little bit more about empathy. You already have some, but here's the quote, "Empathizing with someone else who's just stubbed their toe doesn't mean you are rewarding their carelessness or encouraging them to do it again. It simply means you're feeling their pain and letting them know it. Empathy should be decoupled from problem solving or deciding on a solution. It is a critical stand-alone sage power that makes people more willing to bring other sage powers into their interactions such as innovation, navigation, and activation."

Chamine: The reason empathy is the starting point is that the judge usually, which is the contour reaction to empathy, the judge is constantly finding what's wrong with the situation? What's especially wrong with the other person or you? It begins a cascading of negativity. When I say something is going wrong in our interaction, if I bring empathy to myself as a valuable human being that I am as opposed to anger and shame to myself, what the hell are you doing this wrong for? It begins the spiraling of the positive energies in my brain rather than the spiraling of the negative emotions. Remember, I was talking about brain activation. Which brain are you activating to deal with a challenge? Empathy is a very nice doorway to activating the sage part of your brain so that you handle the situation positively and it really starts with us embracing ourselves as the imperfect human beings that we are. We will all go to our graves still very imperfect beings and in a perfect mix bag of extraordinarily beautiful sage and some really off footing saboteurs. I am that way, you are that way, every one of your loved ones is that way. Why not embrace that as the human condition and even find the beauty of imperfection? Bring empathy to us being such valuable imperfect human beings so that we can get off of shaming and guilting ourselves constantly and get on with, now, given this imperfect situation what went wrong, how do I turn even this into a gift? How do I even turn my imperfection into a gift? It creates a very different experience. 

The empathy power is first and foremost, and I want to say, put it on yourself first. Bring it to yourself first. The oxygen mask on yourself is another selfish thing to do if you are busy falling in love with yourself, not arrogantly, but really loving yourself for the beautiful being that you are, as imperfect as you are, you're going to be much more compassionate, much more forgiving of others' imperfections.

Gardner: Such a wonderful one there.

Chamine: If you're constantly beating yourself up, why treat others any better? You're beating yourself up, let's treat the other one the same way. It starts with you.

Gardner: Thank you for that. This conversation, by the way, if I ask you all that I would want to about your book, it will go too long. We could go two hours or more, but I'm going to try to be a little bit more self-disciplined. I want to set you up with each of the other four powers of the sage, which really empathy enables, as you just pointed out, and maybe just give us your one best thought about each of these. The second one after empathy, is exploration and exploring.

Chamine: Yes. Explore is the power to be truly in a beginner's mind. I'm really trying to find out what's really happening before you decide on an action. We notice that we often aren't truly in deep curiosity in a beginner's mind. When we ask questions we are coming from the judge or the controller or other saboteurs that really pre-load the question and the kind of things we want to find out. Therefore, we are not in deep exploration. The pure explore mode of the sage is total beginner's mind on attachment to what we're going to find out. Deep curiosity about what is really going on here? Without being attached to what we were going to discover.

Gardner: Cultural anthropologists about ourselves and those around us in situations that we find. Just being deeply curious and wanting to learn, and not thinking we already have the answer and just putting it out there. That's explore and exploration. The third one is innovation. Now, that's an important word for a lot of people hearing this podcast. In our businesses, we try to innovate. As a stock picker and investor, I'm always asking who's the innovator and generally trying to put my dollars there. In a lot of ways, it's obvious that it's a sage power. But what is not obvious about innovation and innovating in this context?

Chamine: As we talk about these five parts, I want to make sure they're not pulled out of thin air. They came from factor analysis work, which is trying to figure out all the saboteurs and the sage powers came from factor analysis work. Because at the root of all of the differences in positive and negative behavior, what are the building blocks? What are the route building blocks? On the negative side, it ends up being the 10 saboteurs. On the positive side, it ends up being the five sage powers. Massively simplifies our attention to improve ourselves because we not only focus on the core building blocks, and then everything else takes care of itself. When it comes to innovate, a very helpful thing to know is that the region of the brain that is wired for creativity is the sage region that you've talked about. If you are in deep analytical thinking, if you're thinking really hard about something, you're actually activating the left region of the brain, which is not wired for creativity. One of the key things that we help people realize is the analytical mind is really helpful, but that's a hammer that's good for nails. But if you think really, really hard and bring more analytical thinking, you're actually moving away from the region of the brain, of the early sage list, which is a more right brain, which is wired for thinking out-of-the-box and coming up with things that are truly innovative.

Gardner: Thank you very much. One thing I've learned, trying to make it a habit. I'm not sure I'm there yet, but I love it. I am always trying to pull something positive out of whatever your friend, colleague, your brainstorm-mate. Whatever they said, as cockeyed or crazy as you might have actually thought. Whether or not you're right, whether that's you're judged, telling you something wrong or your sage saying, that's not a very good idea. Nevertheless, at least 20% of whatever you just were exposed to, you probably can pull out and say that you appreciate that and that connects with you as well. It's that yes and game that a lot of us know for improvisation and professional improv. I'm not one of those people, but I know that's the game you encouraged us to play as we innovate.

Chamine: Yeah. What we say is in any conflict, the other party's at least 10% right. The other party is not a complete idiot, they have some value, admit it. In the saboteur way of interacting with the other is, we tried to prove ourselves 100% right. The sage says that on every challenge in conflict, the other party is at least 10% right and gets curious about what 10% is true on the other side. What happens, when as I'm listening to you, I keep finding what's right and build on it and keep hammering on what's not, completely changes the nature of the conversation and shifts both of us to what's generative, which is what innovation needs rather than diminishing, which is what the saboteurs bring to a conversation.

Gardner: Well said and so true. One of the truisms that I learned as a younger person and I've tried to keep this top of mind for me is that we tend to judge others by their results and ourselves by our own intentions. As I cut somebody off on the highway because I'm a faulty creature and I wave at them briefly and I am sorry, but I have to get to this exit, I think, "I know what I was trying to do there, I'm a good person overall. I just made a mistake and I'm sorry that I cut you off." If we've been cut off, a lot of us will instantly think that person was malicious, possibly evil. Why were you targeted? What was it that you did that had them cutting you off? We tend, again, to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their results. I've tried to suggest subverting that. If you want to become a better human being on this earth, start trying to judge yourself by your results and outcomes and others by their intentions. There's some cultural anthropologists there and there's some yes there as well. Well, let me keep moving here, Shirzad, because the fourth sage power that I want to get to quickly is to navigate and navigate. What do you mean in that context?

Chamine: To navigate the power of this sage, you live your life in a way that's in accordance with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. One of the "techniques" that we use or games that we play to access that is we ask your wiser elder self at the end of your life, looking back at the situation, what would still appear as important and meaningful to pay attention to? Anytime I'm not quite sure what's important in a situation, I ask myself at the end of my life, looking back at the situation, what would still appear important? I'll be glad that I paid attention to that. Often that question has us really realize that 95% of stuff we concern ourselves with are completely trivial stuff that really don't have any lasting importance. What really matters is relationship, what really matters is integrity. What really matters is if we lived our values, if you acted positive, all of that stuff. That becomes really clear when you ask a navigate question from yourself. We call that consulting your own wiser, older self at the end of your life looking back at a situation.

Gardner: It's a wonderful way to help us navigate. Sometimes, that wiser elder self will want you not to do what you're thinking you're about to do. Other times, that wiser elder self, will hope that you do take that risk or do that thing that you're thinking, whether you should do it or not. It's a wonderful framework and I've used it to good effect myself and that's navigate. The last of the five sage powers is activation.

Chamine: The activate, we call that the ability to move into calm, clear headed, laser-focused, fearless action. It's very powerful and it makes things happen. The analogy I use often, it's like the Jedi in war being attacked by five different people, five different directions. She's not all frenzy then upset and scared and all of that stuff. She's calm, clear-headed, laser-focused in the midst of the most urgent challenge of her life. Why? Because she knows if she's upset and stressed and why did you attack me, I thought you were my friend? The other person is going to kill her because she is not focused anymore. Activate is about really being that much in command of your mind. You are laser-focused, calm, clear-headed, and fearless as you take action rather than all the drama of the saboteurs. Stress and all the other drama that they bring, which is defocusing from what action really needs to be taken.

Gardner: I guess the reason you included the final one is because after doing some of that empathizing and some of that exploring, and some innovation, and some navigating. In the end, we all need to be creatures of activity. You obviously coach a lot of CEOs. You're used to working with people who, bottom line, have to take action. A lot of us can delay as long as we can. Sometimes, the procrastinators among us take action. That could even be positive in some circumstances, perhaps your wiser elder self would counsel you in some context to procrastinate a bit longer. But in the end, when you're ready to take action, it's about doing it as you say, in a laser-focused manner. I do love that Jedi picture. Shirzad, are you a big Star Wars fan or is this just a fun framework?

Chamine: Big Star Wars fan because I share a lot of the principles we teach as Jedi minds. You are not upset and you don't bring negative energy and your fears are powerful and yet caring, all of those. Yes, I'm a Jedi [...] in that.

Gardner: Love it. Well, I'm going to give short shrift to this just because of time considerations, but the third key section of the book that I'm outlining here in this interview with you is your Build Your PQ Brain Muscles section. Now, a lot of us may fully understand what you're saying about saboteurs and sage, or if not fully, we understand a lot more than when we started the conversation today, but still a lot of us might be unclear. What are you saying or counseling us to do when you say build your PQ, that's positive intelligence quotient, positivity basically, build your brain muscles, how?

Chamine: Ultimately, this work is about self-command of you running your mind rather than letting your mind with all of its chatter and negativity around you. We literally call this the muscle of self-command that activates that positive region of your brain when you find yourself beginning to go negative. It actually is done with this simple technique we call a PQ wrap. Just like if you do dumbbell reps, you build up your bicep muscles. If you do PQ reps it builds up your self command muscle and the entire region of your brain where your positive sage lives. There are simple things that we can do. Those 10 second exercises the book has more than 100 of those examples but let me give you one example that you can do today. Right now, if you take two fingertips and gently rub two fingers against each other with such attention that you can actually feel the fingertip ridges on both fingers, what you have just done if you have your head on their functional MRI, you would have seen that it's ever so slightly quieted the region of your brain where your saboteurs live and ever so slightly activate the region of your brain with our your sage lives. You issued commands to your mind, you told your mind, I don't want you to think about yesterday and tomorrow under this, I want you to just focus on what I want you to focus on. You're building self-command. Now, if you are familiar with meditation mindfulness, you realize a similarity here. What we have done is go through the core building block of which meditation and mindfulness are a special form. 

The beauty of these PQ reps as you can do them with your eyes open. You don't have to be in a meditation room with closed eyes with mantras or music or whatever. The close eye versions, open eye versions which means that you can shift your brain activation in the middle of meeting a big challenge of your lives in the middle of the crisis on your investment so that you need to shift a clear headed to figure out what decision and you're like in the middle of a fight with your spouse, in the middle of handling the challenges of life you learn how to shift your brain activation so you'll get access to the power of your sage.

Gardner: Speaking of which, I'm very happy to say Shirzad has graciously consented to do a five-minute set of PQ reps as a Rule Breaker Investing weekend extra. This Saturday morning or sometime during your weekend, if you'd like to hear Shirzad talk you through some of these and help you wherever you are that will work for this weekend or anytime in the future, it's a wonderful taste of some of the work that he does with his six-week guided course in the application that some of us have used after reading his books. Thank you for that Shirzad. I look forward to doing that together.

Chamine: My pleasure.

Gardner: We'll now return to the final section of our interview. This is the Anything Goes, let's have fun with a few questions. Shirzad, for seven years now, on this podcast we spend about a third of its time on investing, that's why it's called Rule Breaker Investing. A third of its time is on business, because there is so much overlap between investing in business, and a third of its time on life. I thought if I could spot you starting with investing, a couple of lines of yours that feel like they speak to investors or business people or fellow livers of life. You could give us like 30-60 seconds of coaching on each of these. Are you up for playing this game with me?

Chamine: Sure.

Gardner: Excellent, good. I have two for investors. The first one, bear markets are a gift and an opportunity. Do you agree or disagree?

Chamine: Absolutely. Bear markets give you a chance, first of all, to really expose the saboteurs and your brand which all operate on fear. Anything that makes you feel afraid is that total sign that your mind isn't in self sabotage mode. What we know is that the greatest wealth opportunities come from people who actually begin to purchase stock when they are completely beaten down and right before the third market is over. Clearly, historically, we know that the bare market has been quite helpful for those who have been wise enough to not run away at the wrong time and therefore, you can begin to learn from history and make sure you're not fear based in your decision-making. Their markets are indeed great gifts and opportunities if you're in the positive sage mode of your brain about it.

Gardner: Thank you. One other thought for investors, we've talked a lot about how to truly invest successfully over the course of one's life. That means regularly buying in and not selling very often. That's what we do as Rule Breakers, which I've talked a lot about. Much of the world, it seems to me, Shirzad, thinks that when they're looking at their stock market portfolio, they should be selling off the ones that are doing well to raise money to invest in the ones that are not. Now, as a Rule Breaker and somebody who likes to look at conventional wisdom and take a shot at it, I've always thought it's the exact opposite. I first heard this from famous investor Peter Lynch, who said, "Much of the world is trimming its flowers and watering its weeds and instead we should be watering our flowers and trimming the weeds." This to me connects with keeping one's hand on the hot stove. Do you see a similar connection there? Is there anything you'd like to add to this concept?

Chamine: What this connects to is that a lot of our saboteurs create an expectation of life being hard and painful. We don't trust the good experience. No pain, no gain is like one of the lies of the saboteurs. If you don't trust the positive experience then when the positivity is continuing this sabotage even say I know it can be quite like that. Something on here. Let me go into the difficulty. We've got to be the place where the negative and the fear and the pain lives and so we want your sage to have you trust the good stuff. Actually feel that rather than trying to bring yourself back to the medium.

Gardner: That is a great observation and thank you for that. From those two bits of investing advice, let's move to business advice. This is really lifted right from Positive Intelligence. But we have a lot of people in the world of business listening to us right now and a lot of them are in sales. I thought it'd be fun Shirzad for three bits of business advice to spot you up with how to sell, which you cover a little bit in Positive Intelligence and bit of advice No. 1 on how to sell your PQ channel is more important than the data channel. Could you briefly break down what you mean by that and help those of us in sales?

Chamine: Anytime you're communicating with another human being there are two channels in which each communication is happening. One is that data channels where the facts and figures and information is being communicated. The other is the invisible PQ channel on which energy in motion in context is being transmitted. Human beings respond a whole lot more to what's in that invisible energy and motion in context, rather than to what data they are being fed. The main thing is that you want to make sure when you are in sales that you are communicating the right stuff in that invisible energy motion channel. The challenges that if you are in saboteur mode means you are in your fear based saboteur energy. No matter what you say, the other person is going to be impacted by the negative energy in that channel. For example, if you are all stressed out about meeting your quarterly numbers, no matter what your use says, I'm here for you dear prospect, I really care about you and all I care about is you. At an unconscious level they are going to pick up that you are in the fear-based channel, and you triggered their fear-based channel. 

When you are in saboteur mode, you actually are shifting the other person into their saboteur brain because of mirror neurons that make the brain's contagion effect happen. When you have shifted the other person to their fear-based saboteurs, that part of their brand is likely to say no to you because the saboteur is like the status quo. You have inadvertently shifted the other person into more willingness to say yes since I note to you and on yes. Which means your job No. 1 in sales is to shift yourselves to deeper positive emotions of the sage which means you have activated that vision of your brain so much that even if it's the last day of the quarter and even if you haven't met your quarter at all, you are so in the positive energy of the sage that your only concern is truly deep empathy for the other person. I don't know oh, my God, if that's going to happen to me if I don't make the sale. Then you're going to make the sale. That takes brain activation. You can't think your way into it, you literally need to do these PQ reps to intercept the saboteurs or shift your sage so that you authentically feel positive emotions and activate the same and the other person.

Gardner: Very well explained and just intuitively it makes so much sense. It's hard in practice sometimes for a lot of us and that data channel, the phrase that you used to describe what we're actually seeing often can look very different. The movie versus the transcript word by word of it.

Chamine: David, to give you an example of the power of the PQ channels as they're the channel, let me say this to you, David I absolutely and totally hate you. I just don't like you at all, man. I don't. My goodness, I don't like you at all, David.

Gardner: You say that with a smile on your face. I can see it because we're doing video with each other to make this podcast happen, but wow you look so positive, but it was so dissident with what you said.

Chamine: I know. You're hearing the data channel, you're hearing I don't like you, in the PQ channel, you're feeling the energy of, I actually like you so much that I'm willing to tease you. The question is, did you buy the words that I don't like David or did you buy the energy and emotion that says, "Hey, man. I care about you, I'm teasing you right now. Which one impacted you more?"

Gardner: I have to say I generally felt confused by it. One thing I'm sure of is I'm not buying today. Another bit of business advice you give directly related to this year's item and to quote you again in the book page 186, "It's helpful to remember that the PQ brain is wired to thrive, to say yes, to opportunities, new ideas to explore, to empathize and connect, and to expand." The survivor brain is wired to say no and preserve the status quo and that's why your advice on this point is that your buyer is much more likely to say yes if her PQ brain is being activated.

Chamine: The way to help them activate their PQ brain is you activate your own PQ brains, that is the contagion effect. Brains have neural neurons and they create contagion and the other. Therefore, one of the things we advise successful people to do is right before an important sales interaction, we want you to do a whole lot of these PQ apps. In our app, we have all different ways of doing PQ app so that you charge up, you activate that region of your brain so that you're much more likely to create a contagion effect and that you're not going to be seeing that worried about making the sale, but you're sitting there, deep curiosity, deep creativity, deep empathy, you're feeling those feelings right I'm going to the technical motions of empathy, technical motions of caring about the other. Because that falls under the PQ channel, people can get that it's not true.

Gardner: The last piece of business advice, actually it's just a question for you Shirzad. Do you think a salesperson can truly effectively sell if he or she does not believe in their product or service?

Chamine: The short answer is no, and then a little bit of a longer answer is one of the really important things you want to do in sales is to connect what you're selling to that navigate power of the sage, which is what is the meaning and value and purpose of you selling this in the world? In what way is it adding positivity to the world? In what way is it having an impact that at the end of your life looking back, you're going to say, this was a good thing I spent my life in. Connect the work that you're doing in sales with something that's a little bit more lasting in terms of values and purpose. Then that's going to set a fire inside of you that will be far more contagious than any other techniques of sales that you may want to use. Because it comes from a deeper and authentic part of you as a human being.

Gardner: Very instructive. Thank you for that. From some investing advice like bear markets are a gift and an opportunity to some business advisors like your buyers, much more likely to say yes if her PQ brain is activated, which means you need to activate your own to really sell well, I'd love two more bits of advice from you Shirzad, in this case, not about investing in your business, but life. But before I do that, could you remind us again, for those who will read, I hope everybody will, your book, Positive Intelligence, find themselves inspired or maybe they are in a position where they'd like to receive some more coaching. How can we go deeper with you in positive intelligence?

Chamine: Well, what we find is that beyond the generating insights from the book, what's important is to build mental muscles so that these positive rates become the habits of your mind because the negative ways of saboteurs have become such a habit that built neural pathways in your brain, muscles in the brain you fight muscle with muscle. We want you to help generate positive muscles in your brain neural pathways. To do that, the minimum amount of time we have found is that you need at least six weeks of practice, 15 minutes of day of practice. What we have done is create a six week positive intelligence training program that uses weekly videos and also uses an app that guides daily practices. It's called the Positive Intelligence Program, it is on our website, positiveintelligence.com. David, I understand you and Margaret, both did that and that's how you became so wise about all these.

Gardner: I'm a fan and you're mentioning that my wife and I went through the course together and we've really been enriched by it. I'm happy to say even after the six weeks ended, those who want to keep going do and I have. Thank you for that, Shirzad, right on your website, positiveintelligence.com. Two closing bits of life advice, could you briefly tell the story of tickling your son and asking him why you love him?

Chamine: Yes. Working with a lot of high achievers, what I realized is they don't really have much love for themselves and they're constantly trying to achieve, achieve, achieve so that they can feel a little bit better about themselves. What I realized as a father, my most important job was to make sure that my son had a sense of himself of being unconditionally loveable rather than conditional. When he was young, he loved tickling and so I'd start tickling him and taught him that he has to give me all the right answers for me to stop tickling him. I'll tickle him a little and say, "Tell me, why do I love you so much?" He would say, "Well, I don't know, daddy, why do you love me so much?" Then I will say, "Well, is it because you are so good at sports and soccer," and you've learned to say, and he would say, "No, daddy, it's not because I'm good at soccer." "Is it because you are so good at math and schoolwork?" and he said, "No, daddy. It's not because of that." I would say, "Is it because you're so handsome," he's very good looking, and definitely got these genes from my wife, "No, daddy. It's not because of that." I'd go down a whole list of things of being kind and generous and all these things, and at the end, I would pretend it's great frustration and I would say, "So why is it, Kian? Why do I love you so much?" He learned to say, and he'd say, "That is because I am me. That is because I am me."

Gardner: That's finally what would stop the tickling?

Chamine: Yeah, it would. Then sometimes, I would ask, "So what does that mean I am me?" and he would say, "I'm the person you held in the hospital. That person has never changed. The essence of that person has never changed, that's who you love, that's the essence of who I am and that love will never change." That he doesn't have to perform for that love. It's about us falling in love with our own essence and not needing to perform for our own self love. That's what I want my son to have and that's what I hope for everybody on this call, I want you to fall in love with yourself and one thing you can do is go back to your own childhood picture, find your childhood picture, that's one of the things we do on our six-week program. That's pretty transformational. Having to use your own child picture to remember who you truly are. I'm changing the view of the full as being unique has your fingerprint and that being is worthy of unconditional love every day regardless of performance, you don't have to perform everyday to be worthy of love, you are unconditionally worthy.

Gardner: Is that not a powerful lesson for every parent thinking about our kids and the unconditional love that we want and should sometimes fail to, but ultimately need to be reminded by people like you that we should be offering to our kids? The last bit of advice, this is just the last paragraph of your book. This will be the final excerpt that I share positive intelligence and I quote again, the final paragraph of positive intelligence here it goes, Shirzad you wrote, "I hope this book will help you fall more deeply in love with yourself to see the beauty of your own essence of the being you were the moment that you were born. You don't need to prove anything to anyone or perform for anyone or get to the top of any mountain. Your essence is always there as your sage, unchanged and waiting for you to see it, access its enormous powers and allow it to shine. I also hope," you write, "that you will choose to pause more often and fall in love with the amazing people all around you at work and at home. I hope you will be able to see past there, off putting saboteurs. I hope you will choose to have your sage see their sages long enough for them to rise and shine through. That is what great leaders, great team players, great parents, great educators, and great life partners do. They enable us to rediscover and see our own sages through their eyes. From my sage to yours, I see you."

Chamine: Thank you, David, for bringing that. I got children listening to it because it's really heart felt. I want to say that this work is not about changing you, this work is about helping you remember who you really are. Remembering who you really are. You're far more magnificent than you have any idea through the lines of your saboteurs. Please make a point of remembering this amazing being that you are.

Gardner: Thank you, Shirzad. Thank you for the amazing work that you've done, coming from the amazing person that you are. I love how you start your TEDx talk. That was a lot to think about and learn from. Maybe go back and listen to again at appropriate moments on this week's Rule Breaker Investing podcast, I want to remind all of our listeners they're coming this Saturday, a brief guided set of PQ reps with our own Shirzad Chamine as just an opportunity for you to hear a little bit from him and maybe think a little bit more about you and your world. That's just ahead this weekend, but Shirzad, let me simply thank you for all of your work and for being with us on Rule Breaker Investing once again.

Chamine: David, I'm thrilled that you have actually been doing this practice with your wife too and I'm thrilled that you're taking the work so seriously and delighted to be back with your audience.

Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. David Gardner owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Apple, and Spotify Technology. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Alphabet Stock Quote
Alphabet
GOOGL
$100.44 (-0.55%) $0.55
Apple Stock Quote
Apple
AAPL
$147.81 (-0.34%) $0.50
Alphabet Stock Quote
Alphabet
GOOG
$100.83 (-0.44%) $0.45
Spotify Technology Stock Quote
Spotify Technology
SPOT
$80.31 (1.08%) $0.86

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.