Five Sage Powers for Solving Problems

Five Sage Powers for Solving Problems
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Did the person you fell in love with, or the home you bought meet the list of requirements you identified in a mate or in a home? Or did you chuck the list and say, “Ah, this feels so right!”

Believe it or not, not all problems can be solved with lists, analysis or facts. Sometimes you’ve just got to go with what feels right. Of course before you make any big decisions it’s always good to gather the necessary info. By all means do your homework.

Before you decide, remember that under stress we aren’t at our best. Blood is shunted out of our brains to our limbs to prepare for fight or flight. In this state we’re not likely to hear the whispers of our intuitive, creative and loving mind.

Getting to a calm, relaxed state, however you choose, and listening to your intuitive mind is energy well spent. Here are five Sage Powers*, that from a relaxed brain state, can help solve problems.

The power of Empathy is about having self-empathy, first and foremost. To connect with your best self, the essence of who you really are, allows you to be able to see the best in others and offer empathy to others too. Without empathy we can easily fall into a trap of judging self, others and/or circumstances. How about offering yourself kindness when you fall of the wagon, instead of criticism?

The power of Exploration is in the beginner’s mind. It’s about discovery for the sake of discovery, like a fascinated and curious anthropologist studying a new culture. You also see it in young children, where everything is new and full of awe and wonder.

We want to use this power when we aren’t sure if we have everything we need to know in order to make a decision or act. Where have I neglected to look for possibilities? What don’t I know yet? But don’t get stuck here. At some point we need to act.

The power of Activate is that of calm, clear-headed, laser-focused action – even in urgency. Constant busyness, putting out fires and multi-tasking are not Sage. There is no wasted energy in the Activate power. Think Jedi warrior. Do you need to slow down to get more done?

The Innovate power is about the love of creativity. It shows up as a desire to improve on an obvious initial idea(s). This requires letting go and generating many more ideas, even seemingly ridiculous ones, without judging or evaluating. Put the rational, mostly left-brained way of thinking aside. Look for the shred of an idea, say the 10% that’s valid and build on it. Possibilities will expand dramatically. Have you considered taking the focus off of weight to lose weight? How about focusing on your stress versus your weight?

The Navigate power allows you to sort out what matters and what doesn’t. It’s what guides you to connect with deeper meaning, values and purpose and is critical to a purpose-driven life. Will what’s stressing you today (the number on the scale, being right, your old car) really matter in the end?

Try not to make decisions or live your life from thinking hard, or from a stressed-out mindset. Relaxing into your Sage brain gives you access to empathy, curiosity, passion and purpose, among other things. From this place you just might find the love of your life.

And when your partner starts to tick you off it might be because your Sage has left the building. Your fear-oriented Judge and accomplice Saboteurs have jumped in, colliding with your partner’s Judge and Saboteurs. That’s when we say the honeymoon’s over. But it doesn’t have to be. You can always return to your calm, relaxed Sage.

*The Five Sage Powers come from the work of Shirzad Chamine, Stanford Lecturer, CEO Coach, and NY Times bestselling author of Positive Intelligence.