Robert Biswas-Diener is known as the Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology.
As per his bio, “his research has taken him to such far-flung places as Greenland, India, Kenya and Israel.” (And, very important note: “He is afraid of quicksand and snakes.” 🤠)
Robert is also the son of one of the leading positive psychology researchers: Ed Diener. We covered a book they wrote together called Happiness. We also did a +1 on one of their ideas called: Psychological Billionaires, The Science of How to Become One.
Robert wrote a book on the science of courage called The Courage Quotient. That’s what we’re going to talk about Today.
First, let’s define courage.
Robert tells us: “The definition of courage is not a matter of idle academic interest. It is a crucial first step in understanding this shiny virtue that can help you have better relationships, perform better at work, and feel more fulfilled. The definition of courage is the heart of the courage quotient for which this book is named. Courage contains two primary internal elements: the willingness to act and the ability to control fear. When you can successfully curb your fears and boost your ability to take action, you are better able to live a full and virtuous life. You are more likely to face challenges with grace, connect with and inspire others, and be a force for good.”
So, two parts.
First, we need to Optimize our “willingness to take action.”
Second, we need to Optimize our “ability to control fear.”
Put them together and we have the Courage Quotient:
Willingness to act
Courage quotient = ———————————
Here’s some quick napkin math to bring the point home.
If your willingness to act is a 10 and you can drive your fear down to 1, you’d have a Courage Quotient of 10. If, on the other hand, your willingness to act was a 1 and your fear was a 10, you’d have a Courage Quotient of 1/10th.
Where do you think YOU land?
What needs a little work?
What could you do TODAY to Optimize?
Let’s get on that.
+1. +1. +1. en route to +10. +10. +10.