The Power of Positive Intelligence: Why PQ Matters More than IQ and EQ



“Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” — Voltaire

Is your mind regularly on your side, lifting you up and helping you make the most of what you’ve got?

Or is your mind regularly making you anxious, keeping you up at night, judging you, and wearing you down?

In the book, Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine shares compelling reasons for focusing on, measuring, and improving your Positive Intelligence.

What I like about Shirzad’s information is that it puts science on your side to help you be a winner at the game of life.

What is Positive Intelligence?

Positive Intelligence is an indication of how well your mind acts in your best interest.

Shirzad writes:

“As I’ve already suggested, your mind is your best friend, but it is also your worst enemy.  Positive Intelligence is the relative strength of these two modes of your mind. 

High Positive Intelligence means your mind act as your friend far more than as your enemy. 

Low Positive Intelligence is the reverse. 

Positive Intelligence is therefore an indication of the control you have over your own mind and how well your mind acts in your best interest.”

Positivity is a Skill You Can Build

The good news is that positivity is a skill you can build.

That’s right–Positivity is something that you can develop in yourself.

You build positivity by flexing the right muscles of your mind.

The Sage and the Saboteurs (The Two Modes of Your Mind)

According to Shirzad, your mind has two modes: positive and negative.

Shirzad calls this positive mode, your Sage, and the negative mode, your Saboteurs.

Shirzad writes:

“A key to Mental Fitness is to weaken the internal Saboteurs who generate all your ‘negativity’  in the way they respond to challenges.

Your Saboteurs cause all your stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, regret, shame, guilt, and unhappiness. Saboteurs include the Judge, Controller, Avoider, Victim, Stickler and 5 others.

Your ‘Sage’  lives in an entirely different region of your brain and handles challenges in ways that produce positive emotions like curiosity, empathy, creativity, calm, and clear-headed laser-focused action.

You’d perform better and feel happier.”

Mental Fitness if a Measure of Your Positive Intelligence

Positive Intelligence reflects your mental fitness (and vice versa).

According to Shirzad:

“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).

Research with 500,000 participants has shown PQ to be the best predictor of how happy you are and how well you perform relative to your potential.”

Positive Intelligence Determines Your Potential

Your Positive Intelligence Quotient, or “PQ”, is a measure of what percentage of time your mind is on your side.   Positive Intelligence might be one of the biggest factors for reaching your potential.

When your mind is on your side, you flourish.  When your mind works against you, you flounder.

While there are a lot of factors to your success, Positive Intelligence might be your game changer.

Shirzad writes:

“Your potential is determined by many factors, including your cognitive intelligence (IQ), your emotional intelligence (EQ), and your skills, knowledge, experience, and social network. 

But it is your Positive intelligence (PQ) that determines what percentage of your vast potential you actually achieve.”

Shirzad shares some compelling research results around Positive Intelligence.  Here are a few of the gems that I found to be the most useful:

  • In studies of more than 275,000 people, higher PQ leads to higher salary and greater success in work, marriage, health, sociability, friendship, and creativity.
  • Higher-PQ workers take fewer sick days and are less likely to become burned out or quit.
  • Project teams with higher-PQ managers perform 31 percent better on average when other factors are held equal.
  • Higher PQ leads to enhanced immune system functioning, lower levels of stress-related hormones, lower blood pressure, less pain, fewer colds, better sleep, and less likelihood to have hypertension, diabetes, or strokes.

You Can Measure Your Positive Intelligence Quotient (“PQ”)

You can measure your Positive Intelligence Quotient, or PQ to get a score.

Shirzad writes:

“PQ stands for Positive Intelligence Quotient.  Your PQ is your Positive Intelligence score, expressed  as a percentage, ranging from 0 to 100. 

In effect, your PQ is the percentage of time your mind is acting as your friend rather than an enemy. 

For example, a PQ of 75 means that your mind is acting as your friend 75 percent of the time and is in self-sabotage mode about 25 percent of the time.”

A Score of 75 is a Critical Tipping Point

If your PQ score is 75 or higher, then your mind is on your side, and it can help you spiral up.

Shirzad writes:

“… the PQ score of 75 is a critical tipping point.  Above it, you are generally being uplifted by the internal dynamics of the mind, and below it you are constantly being dragged down by those dynamics.”

To measure your PQ, you can do so at

You Might Also Like

Argue Your Way to Optimism

Change Rumination or Pessimism to Defeat Depression

Secrets of Self-Esteem


  1. Hmmm. Well if your PQ is defined as your mind being on your side it will naturally be seen as a positive.

    But it hasn’t specified what activities these should be. So it has no implications for what I should do – other than my mind being on my side.

    If it is uncritical positive thinking I don’t think this means our mind will always be on our side. It may lead us to overlooking valid concerns and dangers.

    So either PQ is a bit confused or I’m a sceptic.

  2. @ Evan — Scepticism is a natural place to start. That’s why I read the book.

    I was pleasantly surprised by how grounded and pragmatic it is. It does a great job of identifying self-defeating thought patterns, as well as identifying empowering ones. Better yet, it’s rich with examples and research. It’s all about action and results.

    I read for results, so what I especially like is that Shirzad writes from real-world experience and real results, and shares case studies and stories. The big thing for me though is that it’s action-oriented and testable. It’s very easy to adopt the practices and test your results, and score your progress.

    Hats off to Shirzad for putting together a system rather than just a collection of information.

  3. @ Jimmy — PQ takes practice. The questions in the assessment really cut to the chase. I can easily see how mastering PQ creates momentum and results in our lives, and it’s contagious.

  4. HiJ.D.,

    I love your website. I’ve read several articles so far and will probably continue reading several more. This particular article is enhanced by your responses to comments because it does much to persuade me to check out the book you are talking about.

    Thanks for all you do,


Comments are closed.