Get a Few PQ (Positive Intelligence) Reps In



“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.” — Unknown

What if you could use your daily routines to build your Positive Intelligence?

What if these simple exercises could help sooth your anxiety, help you stay centered, and tap more of your mental powers and insights?

That’s the idea behind doing PQ reps.

A PQ (Positive Intelligence Quotient) rep simply involves flexing your PQ Brain “muscles.”   Your PQ Brain can help keep you centered, calm, cool, and collected.  It also helps you get innovative and resourceful to better solve problems that come your way.

In the book, Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine writes about doing 100 PQ reps a day to build your PQ Brain muscles.  The goal is to develop an alert and calm, better balanced, sensory aware, creative mindset.

The PQ Brain

According to Shirzad, your PQ Brain muscles are made up of three parts.  The first part is the middle prefrontal cortext (MPFC).  The second part is what Shirzad calls the “Empathy Circuitry.”  The third part is the right brain.

According to Shirzad, the middle prefrontal cortex helps with several PQ functions including “observing yourself, pausing before action, soothing fear, staying centered in the middle of challenging situations, and gut wisdom.” The “Empathy Circuitry” are the parts of the brain that help you experience empathy with yourself and others, as well as tune into their emotions and energy..  The right brain helps with big picture and abstract thinking, non-verbal language, and mood.

A PQ Rep

To flex your PQ Brain, you need to do PQ Reps.  You do a PQ Rep by shifting your focus to your body and any of your five senses for ten seconds.   Shirzad writes:

“The PQ-Brain equivalent to lifting a dumbbell is very simple:  shift as much of your attention as you can to your body and any of your five senses for at least ten seconds.  This is a PQ rep, just like the reps you do at the gym.  These simple steps require and therefore activate and energize your PQ Brain muscles.  For example, commanding yourself to stop being lost in thought and instead become aware of your physical sensations requires the middle prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and right-brain parts of the PQ Brain.”

Example of Getting Your PQ Reps In

You can get your PQ Reps in throughout the day.  A great time to practice your PQ reps is when you catch yourself in a negative thinking pattern.  You can also get your reps in during your daily activities, whether it’s brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, or eating a meal.  It’s about getting out of your head and back into your senses to better balance your rational mind and stay centered.  Shirzad writes:

“Say you are driving to work and you suddenly think, this meeting could go really badly, and then I’ll be in real trouble.  Since you have studied the characteristics of your Judge, you instantly recognize that as a Judge thought. You label it, thinking to yourself, there goes the Judge.  Catching your judge reminds you to get a few reps in.  So now you shift your attention to feeling your physical sensations for the new few breaths.  You feel the weight of your body on your seat for several breaths.  That’s two reps.”

100 PQ Reps for 21 Days

The key to building your PQ prowess is to get 100 PQ reps in each day, for 21 days.   Shirzad writes:

“I have never worked with anyone who has done 100 PQ reps consistently for twenty-one consecutive days and not experienced substantial and often life-changing improvements in their life.  For your sake, and the sake of your colleagues, your team, and your loved ones, I hope you will choose to do the same.”

What can I say.  I like the approach.  I like it because it’s easy to integrate into daily routines.   I especially like the idea of working our empathy muscles in a very natural way.  I also like the fact that it’s a specific daily goal that’s easy to measure, with immediate results.  It’s a great way to be more present, even in the thick of things.


  1. Love this exercise! I’m curious – it’s been several months since you wrote this post. Did you do it consistently for 21 days. If so, what where the changes that you noticed?

  2. @ Bob — The most obvious change is the quick ability to center myself. It’s a fast way to go from “fight or flight” mode back to a rationale mind … and at the same time, a fast way to invoke more right-brained abilities, such as creative insight.

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