Still Stuck? Solve Problems with Practical Priorities and PQ.

Kimberly Sheldahl
7 min readJun 16, 2022


Start Building the Bridge to Your Goals Whenever You Begin to Innovate.

“The key is that we often overburden ourselves with our assumed constraints. And this process gets us to break free long enough to come up with new things. “

__ Shirzad Chamine , NY Times Best Selling Author, Positive Intelligence

This is a quote from Shrizad Chamine, author and guru of Positive Intelligence. He is talking about how you can benefit from the use of one of the Sage Powers, Innovate. If you are new to Positive Intelligence, a brief introduction is in order.

Positive Intelligence is the result of Shirzad’s research resulting from over 500K factor analysis studies. The results led him and the research team to a great discovery that simplifies how you can address the problems and constraints that create the gap between you, your goals, happiness, and well-being. It’s a practical approach to fitness, like going to the gym to build mental muscles for the mind.

The 9 Accomplice Saboteurs and The Judge — 10 Negative Response Factors found in the factor analysis study — Positive Intelligence
The Saboteurs — Copyright Positive Intelligence [used with permission]

They call the 10 negative response factors, Saboteurs, or negative emotions. The 5 positive response factors are called the Sage. The Saboteurs are more left brained, limbic system, vs. right brained where the Sage is located.

If you follow me on this journey you’ll learn, not only how to lessen the impact of the obstacles and constraints you encounter on your way to your goals, you’ll learn how to benefit from much more.

But first, let’s talk about your tendencies when you hit a bump in the road.

The Tendency

All too often, you create a goal, set off with a bang and continue to gain momentum. You are getting somewhere, closer to your goal and then you encounter an obstacle. It might be so large you have no idea how to climb over it or go around it, but, did you know all too often, obstacles are assumed constraints and not actual? I’m not saying the wall or problem isn’t there. Yes, something is in the way, but is there another way? Let’s find out. That’s the fun part and maybe during the process you’ll find an easier way!

There’s a process, called “What I Like about That” using the , Sage Power of Innovate that helps free your mind from the boundaries you place on it when you bump into a problem or run into a wall.

Stuck in the gap? Problem without a solution? Try, what I like about that.
Adobe Stock & Express — By Author

One of the problems with problems is that you default to solving them in the way that you’ve solved others in the past. That’s both good and bad. Your brain would not want you to try to solve a similar problem from a fresh approach every time. That would be a huge waste of valuable brain energy, but, because you default to what you know it’s hard to get out of the rut when you need to take a different route. It’s a bumpier ride, the path unknown, less traveled, and truthfully, you don’t know if you go down a different road if you’ll find your solution at the end of the new destination. The caveat? If you keep going in circles in the same neighborhood of known neural networks, you won’t likely solve a novel problem, at least not the best way.

Time to Innovate with “What I Like About That” — You & Frieda the Fish

Frieda, the fish out of water, innovating trying to figure out how to stay afloat until new water arrives. Getting unstuck through innovation.
Frieda, the Innovative Fish — Adobe Stock & Express — By Author

To help unstick your thought patterns, get creative by playing a game. This is one Shirzad teaches, and I’ve become quite fond of it. Let’s say you set a goal for yourself and you are pumped about achieving it. You’ve been working behind the scenes on all the details for a few weeks and just as you get close to the finish line a great big obstacle shows up, the kind that’s out of your control. You are like a fish out of water. You love to swim. It’s what you were designed to do, but it’s really hard to swim without water and the water just stopped flowing.

What are you going to do?

Typically, you’d fight through it. Do what you knew to do. You decide to put a ticket into the master waterworks support saying, “Hello I’m a fish and I need to swim to the next destination, but without water, I’m dead in the water.’” You find out, you are ticket 2078 with a turnaround solution time of 28 days. You figure you’d better find a puddle in order to survive because your water is not arriving anytime soon.

So, what do you do?

Do you keep flapping around in that puddle, waiting for the last bit of water to evaporate? Are you wishing for rain and hoping the 28 day turnaround time will turn into 15? Do you take charge and do something else?

You are a Smart Fish. You Innovate!

You meet another fish named Frieda. She’s in the same predicament. You tell her about the Innovate game, What I Like About That, and she agrees to play. She’s got nothing to lose. You remind her that no matter how silly an idea is, at least 10% of it has value and each of you must find at least 10% of the idea that you like. You both agree!

The Innovation Game goes like this. Frieda goes first…..

Frieda says: “I’m bummed about the drought and fear we’ll run out of water, but it’s not stopping me . I’ve decided to visit a kid’s splash pad and tell their moms all about my business. There’s lots of water and opportunity there!”

You say: “What I like about that is, you found a great water source where your ideal client frequents. What if you carried the speech bubbles that allow you to talk to the humans each time you swim by? It would be like Google Display Ads only cheaper!”

Frieda says:‘’ “What I like about that is, I’d be using my existing marketing materials without investing more money during a time when I’m literally puddle jumping!”

You say: “What I like about that is this. You are finding ways to stay fiscally responsible when most fish would need to borrow money for a great big fish tank!”

Frieda responds: “What I like about that is, that the money I save on marketing allows me to save money for the ‘proverbial rainy day. ’ This way, we have extra money, should we need to buy a tank ,while we wait for water to arrive and our ship to sail in!”

You say: “Frieda, this is such a great game. You came up with great ideas during the Innovation process. Your turn to play Innovate, What I Like About That with me. I have a few ideas about hanging out at the local aquarium.”

What Happens at the Aquarium?

What happens at the aquarium? That’s up to you. You write that part of the story. You see this is the fun, creative part of Innovate. It can be reasonable. It can be silly. You can turn into a fish. It doesn’t really matter. It’s a way to liberate your mind so you’ll be able to think of ways to solve a problem in ways you had not considered before.

Remove the boundaries that have you stuck in the gap of “I can’t move forward because of this obstacle. These types of mental boundaries produce symptoms like procrastination or avoiding starting.

These forms of self-sabotage propel you into the intention action gap that scientists lovingly call the discrepancy. Simply put, you intend to do something, but don’t. You intend to solve the problem, but you get stuck, and stay there or abandon ship.

Allow yourself to see the possibilities of the splash pads in your life. And who knows, the next time you meet a fish out of water you may have just met a new best friend.

Until next time, happy innovating.

“What I Like About That” Innovate Game is an innovative approach taught by Shirzad Chamine in the Positive Intelligence Community. As a Positive Intelligence Coach, I share the wisdom of the Sage as it applies to amplifying your potential. Scientifically proven to improve performance, happiness and well-being!

Learn More — Neuroscience of PQ

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Kimberly Sheldahl is the Practical Priorities™ coach and PQ Coach. She is a Full Focus Certified Pro, Kolbe Certified Consultant and Partner with Predictive Index. Kimberly also trained and certified as an Integrative Health Coach at Duke Integrative Medicine.

Formerly, she worked in the medical device industry, leading the clinical and technical team that supporting a U.S. based critical care device.

Today she enjoys living with her husband Rick and two furry sons, Pomeranians, Bentley and Baron.

Her priority is to help professional women bridge the gap between their priorities and their goals, by tackling whatever gets in the way. She uses science, experience, accountability and lots of encouragement to help her clients achieve success!

Stay tuned for new releases like Ditch Competing Priorities for Completed Priorities! -

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Kimberly Sheldahl

Chief Priority Strategist |Practical Priorities™ | Certified, Predictive Index ™ & Kolbe™ | Full Focus Planner Certified Pro™|Health Coach