Leaving leaves and growing trees.

Have you ever heard about a man named Donald?

Donald drags himself out of bed everyday to go and sit at the base of a beautiful big gumtree in his backyard. A huge big gumtree, that towers over his neighbourhood vibrantly in the morning sun. He looks up with great disappointment and notices there are lots of leaves looking wilted and dehydrated today.

“Struth! Look at all these wrinkly old leaves sitting in my gumtree”

What he does day after day is he climbs with great difficulty and a few curses, up to the top of this gumtree where he can reach these leaves. He painstakingly, one by one, polishes and sprays each little battling leaf with water so it is less wilted and dehydrated.

Leaf after leaf after leaf he sweats and grunts, until the sun goes down and until every spray and every last drop of water is gone, every ounce of energy used up and he is exhausted once the day is over.

And the next day he is going to wake up and do the same routine again.

Now we are all thinking the crazy fact that Donald never gets to watering the roots of the tree. He is too busy going up there and dealing with all the leaves. Therefore he is left with no time and no water at the end of the day to water the roots of the tree. Silly Donald.

We look at Donald thinking this guy is a moron and think he is kind of “koo-koo”, he is insane.

Why doesn’t he just water the roots of the huge gumtree?

We all think we are much smarter than Donald. That we don’t get stuck focusing on the obvious imperfections or mistakes sitting on the surface. But, I do believe that’s the same thing you do day in and day out.

Am I right?

The reason most of us still do this is because our attempts at improving our happiness and performance are very lack lustre.

We are too busy at the leaves level, we have never learnt how to water the roots. You can discover a way to be more productive and effective in your thinking and actually lay down under the tree and enjoy the shady view.

This starts with learning how to develop Positive Intelligence.

Abraham Lincoln once said, ”Most folks are about as happy as they want to be.” Was he implying that, when it comes to our happiness, we actually have a choice? Apparently, yes.

Research explains the impact of positive and negative thinking on ourselves and others, and the fact that we have the potential to transform ourselves by changing our habits of mind.

For years, it was thought that the brain was fixed and immutable—that we were stuck with what we were born with, in terms of our hardware and its abilities. Then came research to show we were wrong, including Shirzad Chemaine's book Positive Intelligence- Why only 20% of teams and individuals achieve their true potential, which offers ground-breaking research to support the idea that we can change the way our brains work by changing our thoughts.

The results are staggering. This new research shows this to be the greatest predictor of how successful you will be, and how fulfilled and happy you will feel along the way.

This new research is providing us with a new software update for our brain. Today, we are going to start downloading it and as you follow the SMILE Teachers programs you will install a highly sophisticated, next generation way of thinking.

“Your mind is your best friend, but it is also your worst enemy”.

The average human thinks about 50000 thoughts a day. But according to some research, as many as 98 percent of them are exactly the same as we had the day before. Talk about creatures of habit! Even more significant, 80 percent of our thoughts are negative.

This is important because of what we call the mind/body connection, psychoneuroimmunology in medical terms. You know what this is from your own experience. If you’re tired physically, it’s hard to think clearly. On the other hand, if you’ve been using your mind doing mental work all day, you’re likely to feel the effects physically, too.

Negative thoughts are particularly draining. Thoughts containing words like “never,” “should,” and “can’t,” complaints, whining or thoughts that diminish our own or another’s sense of self-worth deplete the body by producing corresponding chemicals that weaken the physiology. No wonder we’re exhausted at the end of the day!

Many of these negative thoughts are self-sabotaging little bastards, that find their way into your thought patterns and quite often hijack your mind when you least expect it.

Just ask SMILE partner, Greg Mitchell, who after decades of doing presentations had the little devils take him down in a panic attack before one of his biggest conferences yet...

Ever had a really good lesson planned and your confidence is beaming on your way to class, then all of a sudden something comes over you and you start to be super critical of yourself, you question yourself for the lack of planning, thinking about how boring it could be for the kids, that you might mess it up and you are in a downward spiral without even starting the lesson?

Any one of your brains automatic mental habits could have just created those limiting beliefs or assumptions about the perceived challenge ahead.

These saboteurs are your invisible agents of self-sabotage. They include the Judge, Controller, Avoider, Victim, Stickler and 5 others.

Your Saboteurs cause most of your stress, unhappiness and negative feelings. You can learn to meet your challenges by activating a different voice and region of your brain that performs far better while producing positive feelings like curiosity, empathy, creativity, and peace, with a laser focus on action. As teachers, these are the skills essential to success in a school and most importantly when mentoring your students.

Shirzad Chemaine’s research, led him to discover that each and everyone of us has a Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ®), which is the percentage of time your mind is serving you as opposed to sabotaging you. Your PQ indicates how much mastery you have over your own mind.

Think about your internal self-talk. Do you usually have a confident, can do approach to challenges?

How often are you hard on yourself, hyper-critical or judgemental?

The great news is you can dramatically improve your PQ using simple, scientifically validated tools and strategies that SMILE Teachers have adapted for school teachers.

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 acts 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.”

Where do you think your PQ would be?

Why Positive Intelligence

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.

By now you should want to learn more about PQ and how it can profoundly improve your teaching delivery. There are so many facets to positive intelligence that when treated with care and self awareness can empower you to control your system and function at your peak.

Learning to harness your PI is a step by step process that Shaun and Greg from SMILE Teachers, along with experts in the fields of education, psychology, neuroplasticity and medicine.

Members of SMILE Teachers online programs, workshops or retreats in Bali will go into the depth of this framework and develop scientifically proven strategies on how to recode, rewire and update your thinking.

Are you ready for the new breed of super-human teachers?

Today we leave you with some thoughts of the day. As teachers it is important to consider how your thoughts contribute to your behaviours, actions and values.

Below is one our favourite statements, from Robin Sharma, leading lifestyle coach and motivational speaker, it relates to thinking with a purpose and harnessing Positive Intelligence. We encourage you to do your best to inhibit this statement, post it on a sticky note, screensaver or set a reminder to check in regularly:

Six hundred and seventy-two hours of inner work to profoundly improve every waking moment of the rest of your life is quite a bargain, don’t you think? Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.

All I’m saying is that to liberate the potential of your mind, body and soul, you must first expand your imagination. You see, things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality. I call this process ‘blueprinting’ because anything you create in your outer world began as a simple blueprint in your inner world.

Weak minds lead to weak actions. A strong, disciplined mind, which anyone can cultivate though daily practice, can achieve miracles. If you want to live life to the fullest, care for your thoughts as you would your most prized possessions. Work hard to remove all inner turbulence. The rewards will be abundant”.

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