Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Lucky's AQ project

This is an interesting one! (Well... to me anyway. :) )

I've been reading a book called 'Adversity Quotient @ Work'. Adversity Quotient (AQ) is a measure of how well people cope with problems. Not surprisingly, people with high 'AQ's tend to be happier and more successful all round. I tested mine and scored pretty low, so I'm going to try the techniques in the book to improve it.

Your AQ is made up of four 'CORE' dimensions:

C = Control: how much you feel able to influence a situation and control your own responses.

O = Ownership: how much responsibility you take for fixing a problem (regardless of whose fault it is)

R = Reach: how far you expect adversity in one area of your life to affect all the others. A high score for 'Reach' means you DON'T tend to let work problems affect your home life (or vice versa) and don't tend to see a problem as a disaster.

E = Endurance: how long you expect adversity to endure. (A high score means you expect the sun to come out tomorrow - actually, Annie scores INSANELY high on all four dimensions. :) ) 

There are a few different stages to improving your AQ and I'm going to give myself at least 3 weeks for each one. The first stage is just teaching yourself to notice AQ in yourself, people around you, people on television, etc... and the book gives you homework :) which I'll type up here:

1. AQ on television.  As you watch a television drama or sitcom, listen to what the characters say when faced with adversity or even a minor challenge. Listen for each of the CORE dimensions of AQ. Does the response indicate a low, moderate, or high AQ?

How does their response affect how the other characters respond?

Does their response make you like them more or less?

Based on their response, what behaviour would you expect from these characters?

2. AQ on radio. As you listen to talk shows and the news, pay close attention to what people say in describing or responding to disasters, setbacks, or crises. Listen for the four CORE dimensions in their language. Does the response indicate a low, moderate, or high AQ?

What is the range of responses from people confronting the same issue?

How is their AQ communicated in their tone of voice?

How does the CORE response affect how others respond to them?

3. AQ in conversation. Turn on your AQ radar during meetings, phone calls, and casual conversations. Pay attention to how people describe the challenges of their day, as well as what they think, say, and do about difficulties of all sizes. Pick out the CORE dimensions in their words. Does the response indicate a low, moderate, or high AQ?

How do facial expression, posture, and demeanour reflect people's AQ?

What effect does their CORE response have on their hope, motivation, performance, and likelihood of resolving the situation?

4. Reading for AQ. As you read newspapers, magazines, and books, look for specific quotations indicating what different people say when faced with adversity. Notice the CORE dimensions in their words.

To what extent does their CORE response shape their reality?

Is everyone responding in the same way?

How do different responses to adversity affect the outcome of the story?

5. AQ in art. As you watch dance, examine paintings, scrutinise sculptures, and view performances, look for any indications of what is being communicated about the CORE dimensions of AQ. Notice how the heroes and villains handle adversity. Look for the role adversity plays in the underlying message.

In paintings and in sculpture, how does the use of light, colour, expression, setting, and angles affect your perception of hope? What is the mood created in the work? What story would you assume it is trying to tell?

In a performance, what role does adversity play in the development of certain characters? What range of responses to the adversity is being demonstrated? Who has a lower or higher AQ? Who fares the best?

In dance, what story is being told? What setbacks or challenges are being faced?

How is AQ communicated with the body? Which performers have higher or lower AQs?

6. AQ on the Net. As you surf the Internet, explore advertisements and analyze the language people use to explain their businesses and themselves. Pay attention to how certain Web sites grant you control and ownership, and how some provide ways to deal with any adversities that may arise.

Which Web sites do you find most inspiring? What about them inspires you?

Which Web sites give you the most control in getting to the information you seek?

When something goes wrong, do the companies take Ownership for the glitch, or do they blame the technology? What do they do to own the adversity? When something goes wrong with a search or a purchase, how do different companies and individuals deal with it? Do they have a built-in mechanism for limiting the Reach and Endurance of the adversity? Or are you stuck trying to figure it out for yourself?


So how, you ask, am I going to keep AQ at the forefront of my mind?

1 - Mention it in my prayers every day

2 - Affirmations to say 'I'm getting more and more aware of AQ'

3 - A daily 'AQ Review' where I re-read this post and think over what I've seen and heard during the day in light of it - just in my head if I'm busy, but if not I'll share something here and maybe dissect a book quote or a video now and again.

Barking mad... or FUN? Time will tell... :D

Lucky AQ review

As I've had a few days 'off' :) from this project, I'm going to extend the three-week period for this stage slightly and give myself until the week after next.

I've been in a procrastination slump for the past few days, and it's just occurred to me that all the dimensions of AQ come into play when trying to get yourself out of a slump. Control and Ownership are obvious, but Reach and Endurance are just as important. I can improve my Reach score by not expecting procrastination in one area of my life to spill over into all the others, and I can improve my Endurance score by not expecting a slump like this to last for days or to remain my default state forever. If I look at a procrastination attack as localised and fleeting I can get over it much faster.

I can't end this post without mentioning the disaster in Haiti... this is a situation where nobody can be accused of 'catastrophising', because it truly is a catastrophe. But what stands out for me is that the world as a whole has shown phenomenally high Ownership. EVERYONE wants to do something to help, including people you wouldn't expect. It's as if the world has collectively decided that this is all our responsibility.

AQ Review 100110

C's colleague has a high AQ!

Me: I heard it was taking you three hours to get to work.

Her: Yes, but you feel so great when you get there!

Aww! I'm honestly not quite sure what dimension of AQ that is, but it's definitely a high one.

Another friend told me she no longer expected a problem in her family to last forever. So she's developing higher Endurance about it.

Also, my procrastination activity of choice yesterday was a manga called 'Poor Sisters Story', which was all about two girls of 15 and 9 surviving with no parents, next to no money and insanely high AQs. (What is it with orphan girls? Seriously, I'm struggling to think of a single one in literature who doesn't have a genius-level AQ.)

Also, probably said this before but I'd like to take more Control and Ownership when hanging out with my housemate. Caught myself a few times thinking she 'made' me spend the evening socialising with her instead of working, when actually I chose to.

AQ Review 080110

Definitely getting a higher AQ! Two instances of prolonged, cold, partly-my-silly-fault transport fail today, which would normally have reduced me to a self-loathing gibbering wreck, and I dealt with both calmly and cheerfully. I'm really pleased because I'm not staying constantly aware of AQ, at all, but it seems to be sinking in somehow!

Over the past few days, I've also had the odd feeling that my HP was getting kind of jealous of the huge amount of effort I've been putting into constant-AQ-awareness, vs. the very small amount of effort I put into constant-God-awareness. So I'm attempting to redress that balance. :)

Also! In the animated film 'Anastasia', Rasputin has a weirdly low AQ for such a powerful character. It's very high in some ways (he's absolutely determined to kill the heroine and he's not going to let a little thing like being DEAD HIMSELF stand in his way!) but very low in others (he throws a massive fit of hysterics and quite literally goes to pieces each time he fails. Low Control!)

Actually, 'hysterics when thwarted' seem to be a common villain trait... it's like a way of telegraphing that under all the impressive scariness, this character is weak and childish and will ultimately lose to the higher-AQ hero. Heroes when thwarted are more apt to say something noble and soldier on, though the sidekick may have hysterics as a low-AQ foil to the hero.

Hey Lucky

I can relate to watching yourself react differently and change behaviors while the things around stay the same, if I'm understanding you 100%. It's an amzaing, gratifying experience. Somewhere in my very long road, I found out who I am and who I always was, and I try to stay true to that, if that makes any sense?

I love, love what you said about G_d being jealous, it's precious. I bet he/she thinks so too!!

Have a great weekend,

♥"Together we could do, what we could not do alone.♥

Thanks Hope, that makes

Thanks Hope, that makes wonderful sense and I hope you have a great weekend too. :)

AQ Review 060110

Just done the review in my head the last couple of nights because I was short on time.

Realised today that my housemate constantly pushes and encourages me to take more Control and Ownership, and hates it when I don't. Last night we had a conversation where she was worried I was giving PA Ownership for fixing my problems, instead of myself. And today I was talking to her about how much I hate decisions,, and I realised that the reason why she feels so uncomfortable with that is that hating decisions is incredibly low-AQ. Low Ownership, low Control.

So if I'm to develop a high AQ, I need to learn to like decisions. As a small child I loved being given a choice instead of just told what to do. I need to rediscover that.

AQ Review 030110

I'm still dissatisfied with how aware I am of AQ, so I'm going to ramp up my attempts to keep it in mind.

* Mention it daily in my prayers

* Do affirmation when cycling

* Already put a note saying 'AQ' in two places that I see very often - will add a third at work tomorrow.

Interesting observation today - confidence and high self-esteem don't always equal high AQ. Just watched the film 'Beverley Hills Chihuahua' in which the heroine is an incredibly spoiled dog! She starts the film overconfident and arrogant but with a very low AQ because she's never really faced adversity. Then when things do go wrong, she scores high on Endurance because she expects to be rescued any minute, but terribly low on Ownership because... she expects to be rescued. From everything. It doesn't occur to her that she could or should solve her own problems. During the course of the film she learns to do so and goes home a high-AQ chihuahua :)

I was pleased with myself this morning for showing high(er than usual) AQ when faced with a baking mishap (I also chose to write 'mishap' rather than 'disaster' there - trying to be high-AQ in my choice of words.) I would normally have either folded into a heap of misery and not got everything done, or tried to fix the problem when I knew there wasn't time, and not got everything done. As it was I actually managed to go 'oh well' and keep going.

AQ Review 020110

I'm finally getting more aware of AQ! More than once today I caught myself saying low-AQ things and was able to stop and say 'oh, sorry, that was negative.'

Also realised I can guess people's AQ from their body language. High-AQ people look confident, energetic and above all *purposeful*. It's really noticeable when walking in a crowd. Out shopping today I realised that the way I normally move in a crowd or in a shop is the opposite of purposeful. I drift about distractedly and if someone gets in my way I just stall and dither anxiously waiting for the obstacle to move. Today I tried moving purposefully and found I was able to stay much more focused and people got out of my way!

AQ review 010110 - a thought re this site

I think PA boosts our AQ in two main ways:

Control: Seeing other people, who face similar challenges, ticking items off their tasklists makes us feel that we can do it, too.

Ownership: Being accountable, knowing that other people are reading/chatting and care if we get things done, encourages us to take more responsibility for our actions :)

Next :) since I don't have a lot of AQ-thoughts from my own life to share today, and I feel like doing something fun, I'm going to AQ-analyse a few minutes of the anime 'Utena'. Liveblogging starts... NOW!

The opening theme is partly about being brave in adversity ('Even if the two of us are ever torn apart... take my revolution') and shows a lot of inspirational heroic fighting imagery. Interestingly, both the main girls are presented as high-AQ here even though one of them comes across as painfully low-AQ for much of the series.

!!! The very beginning of the series, a little 'fairytale' which sets up everything to come, is specifically, explicitly about being brave in adversity. A prince appears to a grieving princess and says, 'Little one who bears up alone under such deep sorrow, never lose that strength and nobility, even when you grow up.' And then the whole rest of the show is about her quest to live up to that. In her own eccentric way. By trying to become a prince herself. :)

It's certainly true that a high-AQ person can hand out *incredibly* powerful encouragement, almost hand you a piece of their AQ.

I wish it wasn't called AQ, may have to rename it.

Then after the 'fairytale' opener, the first thing we see is our heroine (Utena) displaying super-confident high-AQ body language, showing Control and Ownership to a hysterically funny extent when told off by a teacher for wearing boys' uniform, and then beating all the boys at basketball. It's basically a 'See my high AQ!' montage.

We then see her explaining that she's not doing this because she wants to be a boy. She wants to be 'a noble prince who saves princesses'. In other words, she wants to save people the way the prince saved her when he handed her a piece of his AQ. We then immediately see Anthy, the girl Utena will spend the entire series trying to protect, save, and above all hand a piece of her AQ. 'Take my revolution', see?

Dude. Dude. Dude. Incoherent now!

AQ Review

Did my affirmation a lot more today.

Someone I really look up to as a role model and super awesomely high AQ person said today 'I have no control over my life this year!' In the context of having a baby :) but still, made me smile - just proves that nobody talks/thinks pure high AQ all the time.

The lyrics of 'A Spoonful of Sugar' seem very high-AQ to me. Hard to put finger on exactly why, and not sure I want to.

Edit: Just realised I've been forgetting the 'RE-READ THIS POST' part of my AQ Review! Will do that now.

Edit after read: In 'The Witch of Edmonton' (play I'm reading) poor old Mother Sawyer has a terribly low AQ and that's why the high-AQ demonic dog is able to mess with her head so badly.

AQ Review

I don't feel I've been aware enough of AQ in general or using my affirmation enough.  I'll stick a couple of refs to it in my tasklist for tomorrow.

Definitely was aware of my own low 'Reach' today when I caught myself thinking 'x is going to CHEW ME UP financially', but managed to show 'Control' and calm myself down. After calming down, the previously huge problem seemed insignificant, even though nothing had changed. Very interesting!

Wondering about the AQ of a friend who is very competent but moans a lot. I worked out that she has low Reach and Endurance (problems are 'a nightmare' and 'never-ending') but very high Ownership (if other people leave their mess all over the place, she'll moan, but she'll also clean it, without fail) and quite high Control ('You just have to get on with it, don't you!')

Lucky (mini) AQ Review

This just happened in chatbox:

  Lucky Started today super positive and hopeful and as usual, I'm quite down and procrastinating by lunchtime because of all the real/imaginary ways I've 'failed' during the morning

Lucky I wish I was one of those people who was motivated by failure to work harder

Lucky or just didn't see imaginary failures under every pebble
Lucky okay, thinking about my AQ project: I CAN control this situation
Lucky Smile
Lucky going to make a plan and then note down every tiny success until I've built up some momentum again

Hey Lucky

It sounds like what you're doing is great!! I feel I've been doing this over the 100 years I've been around (ha..ha), watching the people I most admired and trying to achieve that cetain quality in myself. Of course, I went way too far and become that person, thank HP, that's over (hopefully)!!

I applaud you and will check in to see your progress.

All the best,

♥"Together we could do, what we could not do alone.♥

Thanks Hope, it's great to

Thanks Hope, it's great to know someone's reading :)