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Developing Positive Intelligence

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

It was pitch dark and cold as we scrambled up Mount Batur at 4.30am. We were in a rush to the top of the Volcano up in the Balinese highlands to see the spectacular sunrise that greets the people who endure the vigorous climb. At full pelt, my lungs were straining to get more air and my leg and thigh muscles were beginning to feel the build-up of lactic acid. Being fit was helping but I was surprised that as different thoughts passed through my mind they had an immediate effect on my energy . . . How is your thinking affecting your performance or the performance of your people?

If I thought about previous climbs where I had struggled, like when I was very ill with Giardia in the Himalayas, my strength waned significantly and I had to slow down, widening the gap with our guide. When I noticed what was happening I focussed on the moment: the flickering torchlight on the steep and dusty track, the cold air entering my lungs, the shape and feel of the rocks I had to carefully and quickly climb over, the spots of light from the village of Toya Bunka way down below . . . the more present I was to what was actually happening and not to where my mind was wandering my energy and strength returned.

It was very subtle but it made a big impression on me because during the intensity of the 1.5hr climb I had to focus my mind continuously on the moment and on the goal of seeing one of my favourite sights; the dawn light from the horizon melting from deep orange through turquoise and indigo into the dark inky blue of the night.

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