What is the Sage Perspective? It’s simple. It’s profound. And it the foundation for you using your Sage powers. In this week’s edition, I explain what is the Sage Perspective. And in the coming 5 weeks, you’ll learn about each of the five Sage powers. I invite you to read on to learn more!
Sage Perspective Defined
Any situation – no matter how difficult or challenging – can be converted into a gift and opportunity.
It’s that simple.
But, how can you view situations in this way when you’re overwhelmed by anxiety, grief, sadness, or other intense emotions?
You must first catch yourself and notice “I don’t feel right” – you don’t even need to know what the emotion is. If you feel a negative emotion, you’re in Saboteur mode. (To read about the Saboteurs, reference blog posts from the past three months here.)
Aren’t negative emotions useful?
As I’ve shared in past blog posts, yes. Absolutely. Negative emotions provide important data. But only for a second. As soon as you receive that data, consider it a signal to notify you that you’re in saboteur mode. Acknowledge that emotion, then…
Or rub your fingers together.
Or stand up, walk outside and look at the sky.
Any activity that takes only 10 seconds can be a useful tool to switch to Sage brain. These activities are called PQ reps. In other words, a rep (or activity) that builds your Positive Intelligence Quotient – your PQ.
Key Tools to Switch to Sage: PQ Reps
- There are breath-focused PQ reps.
- There are tactile PQ reps, like rubbing fingers together, or one at a time pressing each toe into the ground, or gliding the palms back and forth.
- There are visual reps: look at any single thing and notice – really notice – every amazing detail about it – shadow, light, texture, depth, on and on.
- There are auditory reps: listen as far away as you can and notice all aspects of that sound, then listen inside your body for your heart beat for 10 seconds – those are PQ reps.
These are the simpler kinds of PQ reps. If you’re wondering if the practices of meditation or mindfulness or yoga count as a specialized type of PQ reps, the answer is YES.
The Best Kind of PQ Reps
The best and most effective kind of PQ reps, in my humble opinion, are those that are completely portable and can be used in the middle of any conversation or situation. (It’s awkward and time-consuming to step away from a meeting and practice a series of yoga poses.) For example, I frequently do tactile reps while on Zoom calls, in the middle of parenting, and if I notice my body having a stress reaction while watching a movie.
Once you’ve caught yourself experiencing a negative emotion and used one or more PQ rep to reduce your heart rate, quiet your anxious thoughts, and settle into a clear kind of presence in your mind, you then ask yourself:
“What gift or opportunity might come from this situation?”
If your mind responds with angry, frustrated, judgmental statements, then that is a clear sign you’re not yet in Sage mode – your mind is still being controlled by one or more saboteurs. Try a longer session of PQ reps, perhaps for 5 minutes – or even 10 minutes – however long it takes for your nervous system to shift to a parasympathetic state.
Then ask yourself again: what gift or opportunity might come from this situation?
It might be a gift of knowledge. You might learn more about yourself or another person. You might build a skill or your leadership capacity. You might create something new that benefits just you, or grows into something that ultimately positive impacts hundreds of thousands of people – like the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving did after her daughter was tragically killed by a drunk driver.
How often can you apply the Sage Perspective?
Everyday. In numerous situations each day.
For example, these are actual situations that happened in my life in the last month, in which the Sage Perspective was applied:
- The grocery store was out of our usual lime-flavored seltzer water, so my dad bought coconut-flavored seltzer water. That led to several fun drink experiments in the house: combining it with pure coconut water with pulp, as well as with mango juice (I preferred the latter). Thus, the gift was trying something new and (sort of) delicious. And I’m inspired to make more fun mocktails with this coconut-flavored seltzer water.
- The gift idea I had saved on a list to purchase for my younger nephew’s birthday was out of stock by the time I decided to purchase it. That led to a fun sit-on-the-couch session with my younger son, talking about different ideas, and ultimately finding a couple gifts we otherwise would not have considered. And my nephew liked both gifts! In this case, the gift for me was seeing the joy in my nephew’s face. And for him, the gift was literally receiving new gifts that channel his love of building and creating new things.
- A prospective client had a fit meeting with me and one other coach, and decided to work with the other coach. After learning the reasons behind her choice, I realized she would not have received the same benefit from working with me, and this gave me great satisfaction to know she was in excellent hands working with the other coach. The gift here was the joyous spaciousness I experience from non-attachment and knowing someone else is satisfied.
Get the idea?
Try it Out
For the rest of today and tomorrow, no matter what happens, ask yourself with curiosity: what gift or opportunity might come out of this situation? If the wifi crashes, how can you make the most of that? If you burn the toast, what might result that could turn out even better for your breakfast? And on and on…
How again do you Shift to the Sage Perspective?
I can be this simple: Practice ten seconds or more of PQ reps, critical foundational practices from the Positive Intelligence mental fitness model.
To read about the overall Positive Intelligence model and foundational mental fitness training program, I’ve included an overview of the model on my website. To read past blog posts about the 10 Saboteurs, start here.
*Source: Shirzad Chamine and his Positive Intelligence mental fitness model. Erin completed her certification with Shirzad and Positive Intelligence, Inc. in the spring of 2021 and is now a Certified Positive Intelligence mental fitness coach (CPQC).