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Dive into the deep corners of mindfulness and neuroscience in this captivating episode of the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast. Join us as we delve into Grant Bosnick’s insightful book, ‘Tailored Approaches to Self-Leadership’ while exploring the neuroscience of mindfulness. In episode 325, we introduce you to PQ Reps, a robust method to build mental muscles for better mental resilience and executive control over daily distractions.

Unpack how to effectively apply neuroscience to amp up your mindfulness practice and make noticeable progress over time. Learn about the impressive benefits of incorporating PQ Reps into your routine, from the perspective of Positive Intelligence founder Shirzad Chamine.

Enhance your understanding of concepts such as Lewin’s field theory, the practice of setting concrete goals, and the neuroscience of inspiration. You will find out how to effectively use your mind to create your future by design instead of letting it happen by default.

Whether you’re seeking to deepen your existing mindfulness practice or exploring ways to kick-start one, this episode offers practical guidance backed by science. Remember, every giant leap begins with a small step. Start today with the PQ Reps and set yourself up for a more mindful 2024.

In this 18-week Series, we will cover:

✔ Powerful tactics from this NEW award-winning book that illustrates how change and achievement are truly achievable both from internal (‘inside out’) and external (‘outside in’) perspectives.

✔Listeners will grasp the immense power of self-leadership and its transformative effect on personal growth and success.

✔Explore practical strategies for habit formation and the impact of a self-assessment system.

✔Gain insights from Grant’s expert advice on maintaining a balance between strengths and weaknesses while chasing after your goals

✔Embark on an intellectual journey that has the power to elevate personal achievement and self-awareness to uncharted levels.

EPISODE #325 Chapter 4 “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness”

✔ A review of our past episodes where we covered the topic of Mindfulness.

✔ Defining Mindfulness and where many people begin their practice.

✔ Putting Mindfulness into practice using PQ Reps, coined by Positive Intelligence Founder, Shirzad Chamine, to build our mental muscles over time.

✔ My challenge to you to keep working on Mindfulness for improved productivity in our personal and work lives.

On today’s episode #325 we continue with our 18-Week Self-Leadership Series based on Grant Bosnick’s “Tailored Approaches to Self-Leadership: A Bite Size Approach Using Psychology and Neuroscience” that we first dove into with our interview on EP #321.[i]  During this interview, I told Grant that his book contained a thorough and deep overview of the Neuroscience of Self-Leadership, and I felt like each of the 18 chapters could be covered in 18 weeks, for all of us to gain a better understanding of the application of the science he picked out for each chapter. So I decided to cover EACH chapter here, with a map towards our progress over the next 18 weeks, and to set our season theme to the Neuroscience of Self-Leadership that will be our focus until June of this year.

Today we will be looking at Chapter 4 of this book on “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness.” This is a topic that scored on the MEDIUM side of urgency for me, (ORANGE) on the Leadership Self-Assessment.[ii]  I hope that you have taken your self-assessment[iii], so you can follow along with your most urgent to least urgent areas of importance with your year.

This area surprised me a bit, because I think Mindfulness is a huge part of my day. It’s something that I spend time doing every morning, or else it’s noticeable to me that I’ve missed it.

Then I looked back over all the episodes we covered starting with some of our early episodes when I was just learning the ropes with interviewing guests. We started covering mindfulness on EP #25[iv] with Mick Neustadt, a mindfulness expert, to EP #28[v] with Dr. Dan Siegel, the well-known clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, on his concept of Mindsight that he said was the basis for social and emotional intelligence.  Then on EP #60[vi], we covered Dr. Siegel’s’ Wheel of Awareness Meditation, and the insights I gained from practicing the 3 segments he has created over a two-month period, and then into Dr. Dawson Church’s Bliss Brain Meditations[vii] that still sits as our MOST watched YouTube interview[viii] from December 2020 on The Science Behind Using a Meditation Practice. It feels like yesterday, but it was 2 years ago that we met with psychologist Darshan Pindoria for EP 266 on “Bringing Mindfulness and Meditation to Our Daily Lives.”

So what does Grant Bosnick say about mindfulness in his book “Tailored Approaches to Self-Leadership?” He opens up chapter four by talking about the benefits of mindfulness to help us to gain more “executive control” over our daily distractions.

I like how he asks “What is Mindfulness?” and lists the many definitions on the topic that talk about this practice as a “mental state achieved by concentrating in the present moment” to “creating a feeling of calm” to “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgement.”

Then he did not miss the father of mindfulness, who we’ve quoted often on this podcast, especially after I took his Masterclass, Jon Kabat-Zinn who gently reminds us that mindfulness is “an awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

Bosnick shares that “it seems to be a mental state AND the practice of reaching that state” and he likens it to the Jedi’s Mind from the movie series Star Wars. He says “It’s like the force.” Now I think I saw Star Wars when I was a kid, and knew about “the force” but had to look up the meaning as it’s been a few years. Bosnick reminds us that in the original Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker “Well, the force is what gives a Jedi his power. It is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us: it binds the galaxy together.” (Ch 4, Bosnick).

Now for someone who hasn’t watched Star Wars since childhood, this sounds a lot to me like content we cover on this podcast, specifically our Science of Getting Rich Series[ix] where we talk about the fact that “there is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates and fills the interspaces of the universe.” (Wallace D. Wattles, SGR, The Syllabus). Or, our interview with Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, from EP 307[x] where we learned about the energy field that surrounds our body.

Bosnick reminds us that the movie warned us to “Remember, a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware: Anger, fear, aggression—the Dark Side, are there” so we learn to keep our emotions in check, by practicing mindfulness.


Bosnick tells us that “in order for us to be mindful, to focus and keep focus, we need to have “executive control” over our attention.” (Ch 4, Bosnick) and I’ll add that we will all be at different levels of being able to “block out” our distractions. I remember the first time I laid down, and tried to listen to a guided meditation in the early days of learning this practice, and is all I could hear was my kids running around, when they were little. There was no chance I was going to be able to focus back then, but I just kept trying. I can say that one day, I noticed, that I could be sitting somewhere busy, like an airport, and am now able to block all outside distractions in order to go within. Wearing certain headphones has definitely helped with this. But this didn’t come easily to me. I hear many people say “yeah, I gave up trying to meditate, it just doesn’t work for me.”

Other than telling you to sit there and listen to whatever meditation program you connect with, and keep trying, I don’t have a strategy for HOW to build your mental muscles either, or how to build the resilience that comes over time, or how to take your meditation practice from the comfort of your home, where you begin, to your busy work day, when you need it the most.

But Grant Bosnick does and he introduces us to New York Times Best Selling Author, Shirzad Chamine’s strategy[xi] that guarantees we will quiet our mind over time.

Bringing in the science to Mindfulness, DID YOU KNOW there is a concept called PQ Reps, coined by Positive Intelligence Founder, Shirzad Chamine[xii] that builds our mental muscles over time? PQ Reps stand for “positive intelligence quotient repetitions” (Ch 4, Bosnick) “and they are small, laser-focused exercises that consciously and purposely deploy our attention to one specific sensation.” These exercises are a way to train your brain in the same way that you would if you were meditating, giving you all of the benefits we are talking about with this practice.

Shirzad Chamine discovered PQ Reps when he was looking for a way to build mental resilience for people who struggled to begin a mediation practice. Through fMRI scans, he could see that by activating a certain part of the brain, the PQ Area, in 10 second intervals, by taking your index finger and rubbing it on your thumb, while focusing on the sensation of this feeling, they could see that this PQ area in the brain was slightly activated, while the survival part of the brain was slightly quieter.[xiii]


By rubbing your finger and your thumb together, involving your any of your 5 senses for 10 seconds. I suggest involve the sensation of touch, and notice what it feels like to touch the top of one finger on the ridges of the other. By doing this, you are shifting your attention to your body and focusing on the sensation.

It’s a lot like Dan Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness practice that has you focused on one body part at a time (from head to toe) and feeling the sensation of your thoughts as it goes from one body part to the next. Who knew I was practicing PQ Reps while doing Dan Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness Meditation and improving my mental fitness?

It really does help to understand the science behind developing a mindfulness practice, so you can continue to strengthen yours. Shrizad Chamine recommends that if we want to use PQ Reps to build up this part of our brain, that we should do this practice for 12 minutes/day or 136 reps/day. To put this into perspective, Dan Siegel’s Full Wheel of Awareness practice[xiv], is 37 minutes in length. Visiting his website that I’ve linked in the show notes, you can see this one, as well as a shorter one, and a NEW one on the Plane of Possibility.


To review and conclude this week’s episode #325 on “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness” we asked the question:

DID YOU KNOW there is a concept called PQ Reps, coined by Positive Intelligence Founder, Shirzad Chamine[xv] who used fMRI scanners to discover that by doing these PQ Reps we can actually build our mental muscles by activating this PQ Region in the Brain?  For those who have a mindfulness practice in place, putting PQ Reps into practice helps to reaffirm the benefits that comes along with building your mental muscles, and for those who have found it difficult to begin a mindfulness practice, PQ Reps is a proven way to bridge the gap for you to begin.

HOW DO WE PRACTICE PQ REPS? By rubbing our finger and thumb together, and involving any of our 5 senses for 10 seconds. I suggest that we feel the touch of our fingers on each other. By doing this, we are shifting our attention to our body and focusing on the sensation. It is this activity, that build us the PQ Area of our brain, while the survival part goes quieter.

If you next listen to Dan Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness Meditation you will see how Dr. Siegel’s Mindfulness Practice is essentially teaching you to do PQ Reps involving every part of your body and feeling the sensations from your head to toe. Start small, practicing PQ Reps one day at a time, and eventually you will learn to focus your attention for longer periods of time, building your mental muscles and resilience in the process.

With each lesson we cover in this review of Grant Bosnick’s Tailored Approaches to Self-Leadership, I’m hoping to show us how we can gain the momentum needed to activate Lewin’s Field Theory, (remember from Chapter 2 on goals, EP 323[xvi] that place where we gain momentum and suddenly, life becomes easier. The resistances fades away, and our goals or whatever it is we are working on, are not far off in the distance, but they are within our reach.

Then I’m hoping that we have a clear understanding of Chapter 3, EP 324[xvii] on The Neuroscience of Inspiration where we became clear with WHO or WHAT inspires us.

This is when we know we can use our MINDS and understanding of our BRAIN, to turn MIND into MATTER, and create our own futures by design, rather than let them happen by default. I suggest using the MAP that Bosnick created to check off when you think you have integrated each skills into your daily life.

  • In Chapter 2 on Goals, do you see how to gain the momentum needed for your success this year?
  • In Chapter 3 on Inspiration, do you know WHO or WHAT inspires you, and are you using this knowledge for motivation?
  • And now in Chapter 4 on Mindfulness, where are YOU in your mindfulness practice? Does this understanding of PQ Reps help you to build up the PQ area of your brain? Can you do a few reps in the day, until you build up to 12 minutes a day like recommended for this part of the brain to see the changes we all seek?

I hope you have found this episode on Mindfulness helpful for sharpening your mindfulness practice, if you have one, or looking for alternative ways to build one, if you have found the process to be difficult. I can’t forget that I wondered how I could improve my own meditation practice early last year, so we dove deep into The Silva Method, covered in 4 PARTS, that we just reviewed on EP #322[xviii] as our most downloaded series in 2023.

The point of this episode today is that we learn to improve Mindfulness in our day to day life, not just for more “executive control” but to think beyond this.

Jose Silva reminds us that “Once we learn to use our minds to train it, it will do some astounding things for us, as you will soon see.”

Remember that some of the leading experts in the world have used Mindfulness (from The Silva Method) for outstanding results.

✔ A marketing company used it to create 18 new products.

✔ 14 Chicago White Socks players used it to boost their scores.

✔  Celebrities have used it and credit Jose Silva for improving their focus and creativity.

✔  Colleges and universities have used it to help students study less, but learn more.

If you are not using your mind to its fullest potential, don’t worry, awareness is the first step.

Start small today, and you’ll be miles ahead in 2024, than you’ve ever been!

I’ll end with a quote to highlight the self-awareness we will build once we’ve implemented this lesson into our daily life, since our goal with this 18-week series is to help each of us to become more self-aware.

“To know yourself, you must sacrifice the illusion that you already do.” — Vironika Tugaleva

And I’ll see you next week for an interview, and the week after that with Chapter 5 on Flow.

REVIEW Chapters 2, 3

EPISODE #323, Chapter 2, “Using Neuroscience to Level Up Your 2024 Goals”

✔ What is Kurt Lewin’s “Field Theory” and how can we use it to improve our performance towards our goals in 2024?

✔ 3 STEPS for Applying Field Theory into our Daily Life to Reach Heightened Levels of Achievement in 2024.

EPISODE #324, Chapter 3, “The Neuroscience of Inspiration”

✔ Uncover WHO or WHAT inspires you.

✔ Learn what happens to our brain when we are inspired (by a person or a thing).

✔ Apply the Neuroscience of Inspiration to our life in 3 steps: WRITE, THINK and LEARN to Level Up Our Results in 2024.


Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #154

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #170


[i]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #321 with Grant ‘Upbeat’ Bosnick

[ii] Self-Assessment for Grant Bosnick’s book

[iii] Self-Assessment for Grant Bosnick’s book

[iv] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #25

[v]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #28 with Dr. Dan Siegel

[vi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #60

[vii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #98 with Dr. Dawson Church

[viii] Dr. Dawsom Church on “The Science Behind Using Meditation”

[ix]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #314 PART 1 The Science of Getting Rich Book Review on Prosperity Consciousness

[x] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #307

[xi] Shirzad Chamine Quieting the Mind

[xii] Shirzad Chamine

[xiii] Shirzad Chamine Quieting the Mind


[xv] Shirzad Chamine

[xvi]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #323

[xvii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #324 on “The Neuroscience of Inspiration”

[xviii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #322 with “Transforming Minds and Paving the Future: A Review of The Silva Method”