I read this book when I was in Nagoya in 2013. This was probably the first book that sparked my interest in psychology. I was so intrigued by Shirzad Chamine's proposition that we perform better when we are not under stress. At the time I still thought that I needed an inner voice to criticise myself in order to motivate myself to study harder, work more, etc. when in fact, I would succeed if I was chill and had clarity of mind. Most successful, high achieving people are privately tortured by their own Judges.
The Judge's most damaging lie is that we are not worthy of love or respect by just being who we are. Instead, it forces us to constantly perform for them; this forms the construct of "conditional love". Only the Sage lets you achieve success without sacrificing happiness and peace of mind. Only the Sage knows that in his essence he is worthy of love, always. He is to never worry that he might lose it, regardless of his successes or failures and the ups and downs of life. The Sage perspective accepts every outcome and circumstances as a gift and opportunity. There is no such thing as a bad circumstance or outcome. Every outcome simply points to the first step towards the next positive outcome. The Sage moves you one positive step at a time, regardless of what life throws at you.
Ask yourself, what do we need to do so that within three years we can say this current crisis was the best thing that could have happened?
While the judge might push you into action through threats, fear, shame, or guilt, the Sage pulls you into action through anticipation of the joy of exploration and discovery; through the compelling and deeply seated human urge to find meaning in life and to matter; through the joy of creativity and possibility; through the longing of the human heart to connect, care, and be cared for; through appreciation of the mystery of life; and through a desire for clearheaded action toward desired outcomes. If you are feeling upset, disappointed, anxious, or resentful, you are judging. Indeed, that is how the Judge causes much of your distress in any situation. Your distress is not caused by what happened; it's caused by your Judge's reaction to it.
Shirzad Chamine proposes that there are five powers to the Sage:
1. To explore with great curiosity
2. To empathise with yourself and others and bring compassion and understanding to any situation
3. To innovate and create new perspectives and outside the box solutions
4. To navigate and choose a path that best aligns with your deeper underlying values and mission
5. To activate and take decisive action without the distress, interference or distractions of the Saboteurs