Articles by Orin Davis
If you were to ask me whether to get a Ph.D., or do research, or go into positive psychology, here are seven questions I would ask you. From the answers to these questions, you will likely know where you belong. After that, it’s up to you to understand the vagaries of the field (and job market!) and to find mentors to train, advise, and advocate for you so that you can make your own mark in the field.
What do we want in the near-term?
In the long term?
What are our goals in our work, recreational, relational, and personal lives?
Engage in change on your own terms: an invitation to a TEDx talk.
Since a quick look at my bio reveals that I earned the first doctorate in positive psychology back in 2010, I know you are expecting a resounding yes to the question. I’d love to give that answer, but it’s not that simple. Let’s explore some questions about it.
Ungifted is an amusement park for the mind, and an intellectual pursuit that will both enlighten and inspire. If you want to be an educator at any level, this is a book you need to read. If you aim to recruit the best human capital you can find, Kaufman has some tips. If you need some parenting advice, it’s in there. If you are seeking new ideas on how to do and be your best, get a copy.
What remains is to find the strengths, talents, and capabilities of each person, establish ways of developing and nurturing those capacities, and finding outlets for creating value with them. In the name of fairness and equality, then, let us put our efforts into finding ways to enable all people to do and be their best.
With increasing demands in the workplace and a greater need for knowledge-based work, innovation, and creativity, organizations need to find ways to enable their employees to do and be their best. Positive psychology can show those in management roles how to use and develop human capital. It can also guide organizational policy and enable workers to make their best contributions. Positive psychology has been, and will continue to be, a boon to the workplace.
How do we visualize our thoughts, and how can we show them to other people? Often, we want to think of new ideas, or find ways to improve ourselves, and the hardest thing to do is to get a concrete conception, perhaps because we are using other people’s angles, oversimplified frameworks, and/or very basic modalities like words.
What ignites you? For almost all of us, there was someone special who was part of that process – a person who lit the spark or fanned the flame, and suddenly we were burning brightly. Jeanne Nakamura and I developed a theoretical model of how mentors can enable protégés to make the most of having a good mentor. This has implications for empowering others to find and use their passions.
One of the continual challenges of research is making it generalizable to the population at large. But, as people are quick to point out, what works for the general population might not work for a specific individual.