Michael Leunig is an Australian poet, cartoonist, and cultural commentator, wrote:
There are only two feelings: love and fear.
There are only two languages: love and fear.
There are only two activities: love and fear.
There are only two motives, two procedures, two frameworks, two results:
love and fear. Love and fear.
That might suggest there is just one choice, love or fear, and personally, I think that’s true.
Where are you choosing to live? In love, or in fear?
I’ve been reading a great book recently called the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership.
One of the fundamental principles in the book is that at any given moment we are either operating ‘below the line’ or ‘above the line’.
When someone operates from ‘below the line’ they are closed, defensive, and committed to being right. This is essentially living in fear, in survival mode.
When someone operates from ‘above the line’ they are open, curious, and committed to learning. They are living in and from love; thriving as opposed to surviving.
The book is primarily focused on applying the 15 Commitments within a leadership context however this mindful concept, in my view, is useful, relevant, and impactful in everyday life.
‘Above-the-line leadership occurs when leaders are mindful of their thought process and decide to shift towards above-the-line thinking.’The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership
In everyday life, this is being mindful and conscious of whether we are ‘below the line’, living and acting out of fear, or actively choosing and shifting to ‘above the line’, living and acting out of love.
Fear encompasses so many of the negative emotions we encounter every day. In fact, it IS every negative emotion we experience. Read through the list below and make a mental note of how often you think, feel, or do any of the following in a day (which all come from fear):
Judge someone else
Stress, worry, or get anxious about something
Shout or shout at someone
Feel angry or slighted
Carry a grudge
Rely on your own strength (instead of letting the Universe help)
What would it be like to spend a day seeing and responding only with love?
No matter what happened or who did what to you, you didn’t get angry or upset and genuinely only saw love in the people around you. How would it change your behaviour and the way your day panned out?
A great habit to raise your self-awareness, and to help you shift towards love, is to simply ask yourself “Is this love or fear?”. Label the emotion, thought, or behaviour. Catch it out, and then make a conscious choice.
‘Catching out’ negative thoughts and emotions is exactly what I’ve been doing over the past 7 weeks as part of the Positive Intelligence Programme I’ve been following with Shirzad Chamine, whose work is a synthesis of the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience, cognitive and positive psychology, and performance science.
Positive Intelligence (PQ) is the science and practice of developing mastery over your own mind so you can reach your full potential for both happiness and success.
When we have mastery over our own mind, we are in control of our thoughts, behaviours, and actions. We can more consciously, and easily make positive choices to support our own resilience, happiness, and wellbeing.
The benefits and positive impact for both individuals, and teams, of boosting PQ and improving mental fitness are numerous and include;
Performance: You perform better while working less hard—similar to athletes “in the zone.”
Happiness: You feel less stressed, more peace, and consistent happiness, even in tough times.
Relationships: You improve relationships, able to handle conflicts in ways that deepen trust and harmony.
If you’re physically fit, you can climb steep hills without physical stress. If you’re mentally fit, you can handle life’s great challenges without mental stress or other negative emotions.Shirzad Chamine, Positive Intelligence
Mental fitness is a measure of the strength of your positive mental muscles (Sage) versus the negative (Saboteur). This measure of your Mental Fitness is called PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient). You can check your own PQ score in the free assessment available at Positive Intelligence and if you’d like to explore this with me, do get in touch.
Your “Sage” handles challenges in ways that produce positive emotions like curiosity, empathy, creativity, calm, and clear-headed laser-focused action.
Your Saboteurs on the other hand cause all your stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, regret, shame, guilt, and unhappiness.
A key to Mental Fitness is to weaken your internal Saboteurs (your inner judge or critics) who generate all your “negativity” in the way they respond to challenges.
Along with the Judge, my own strongest Saboteurs were ‘Hyper-Achiever’ and ‘Controller’ but I’ve been busy ‘catching them out’ and building my Sage, positive mental muscle, keeping the Saboteurs nicely under control! See an image of all the Saboteurs in the illustration to the right.
You can read more about the Saboteurs here, where you can also take a free assessment and learn which are your strongest Saboteurs, and how they are impacting you, and those around you!
If you’d like to work with me in weakening your Saboteurs, and strengthening your Sage ‘mental muscle’, I’m incorporating the PQ tools and strategies into my new programmes, so you can also reach your full potential for both happiness and success!
So that brings us back to that choice,
Where do you want to live?
Below or above the line?
In Saboteur or Sage?
In fear or love?
Surviving, or thriving?
Whether you are an individual or a team, PQ generates powerful, lasting results. To learn more, please do get in touch and I’d be delighted to explore how we can support you.