Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Adversity Quotient (AQ)

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ) have always seem to be the most important measures to predict whether one can be successful in their life and career.

However, in the book "The World is Flat", it noted that Curiosity Quotient and Passion Quotient may matter even more than IQ (CQ + PQ > IQ)

Until today, I found there is another measurement - Adversity Quotient (AQ) that is also important, and I strongly agree. In fact, I always believe, my AQ contribute largely to who I am and what I have now. In the book "The Adversity Advantage - Turning Everyday Struggles Into Everyday Greatness", the authors have chosen the mountain as their metaphor for a universal symbol of inspiration and aspiration. People share a drive to ascend -- to move forward and up in our lives; to gain, rather than lose, elevation.

That's why I love mountain climbing so much. I always feel the journey to the top of the mountain is like a journey through life.

In one of the other book, the author talked about 3 categories of response to the daunting challenge of leading an ever-elevating life.

Quitters simply give up on the ascent -- the pursuit of an enriching life -- and as a result are often embittered.

Campers generally work hard, apply themselves, pay their dues, and do what it takes to reach a certain level. Then they plant their tent stakes and settle for their current elevation.

Climbers are the rare breed who continue to learn, grow, strive, and improve until their final breath, who look back on life and say these precious words: "I gave it my all." It's no coincidence that Climbers are the people we most admire, are drawn to, and seek to become.

So are you a quitter, camper or climber? Or which type you want to be?

One of the major discoveries of the research is that at the heart of the difference between Climbers and Campers or Quitters lies what they do with adversity.

Relentlessly pursuing a life or building an organization rich in purpose can be tough. The weather on the mountain is rough -- and intensifying. That's why Quitters abandon the ascent and Campers hunker down. Only Climbers take on the immensely gratifying challenge of learning, striving, improving, and contributing until their final breath.

According to our poll of more than 150,000 leaders across all industries worldwide, many people quit (5 to 20 percent), most camp (65 to 90 percent), and a rare few climb. In fact, when leaders are asked, "What percentage of your workforce is camping?" the most common response is "80 percent."

What if you can use any adversity to your advantage? What if you could convert your everyday struggles, big and small, into the kind of fuel that powers you past everyday normality to everyday greatness?

Isn't there something incredibly riveting about the human struggle with adversity? Not only is it the central strand of our story, shared across eras and cultures, but we also read about it in all the great books, are spellbound by it in popular movies, and wrestle with it in our own lives every day.

The book offered the principles and practices to harness adversity as a vital life force to achieve everyday greatness in our own day-to-day lives.

Summit 1: Take It On. Learn how to overcome frustration, helplessness, and anger — and benefit from adversity.

Summit 2:
Summon Your Strengths. Challenge the conventional wisdom that natural strengths drive success. Exceed expectations of what you and others can, or should, attempt to do.

Summit 3:
Engage Your CORE. Learn how to handle adversity better and faster. Engage your CORE (the four dimensions that determine how you respond to adversity ) and learn how to turn adversities into advantages.

Summit 4:
Pioneer Possibilities. Devise signature systems for turning the impossible into the possible. Learn to create strategies that others fail to see.

Summit 5:
Pack Light, Pack Right. Learn how packing poorly cripples you… but how choosing the right things, people, obligations, and pursuits strengthen you. “Spring clean” so you can rise up, rather than crumble, under the weight of adversity.

Summit 6:
Suffer Well. Character is forged in the flames of adversity. Done right, suffering can fuel greatness.

Summit 7:
Deliver Greatness, Everyday. This summit, the culmination, weaves together the most important ideas of the book, providing a coherent, portable package of practices that you can apply anywhere, anytime.

So which summit you are at right now?

Here is the introduction of the book. I have not owned this book yet but I am definitely interested to read this as soon as I finish all my other books. If you have read this book, do let me know your comment.

Here and here are my previous posts on my climb to Mount KK , a very wonderful experience for me.

I still remembered the strong feeling of looking at the mountain summit from far, knowing that I would start the ascent the very next day and I would be at the lonely top in 2 days.
And I have enjoyed every moment of the climb even at the point when my legs were so shaky that I started to regret carrying my 8kg backpack that weighed heavier and heavier with each climb, and even when I was so scared of the height and the rock climbing near the top (I always hate rock). But I enjoyed every moment of that. :)

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