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If someone told you that the question about whether happiness could be measured was settled and the issue at hand is how to use happiness data, would you believe it? Most would say no, but a growing number of psychologists, economists, community activists, and policy makers are proving that happiness is quantifiable and that the data is useful.
We all strive to be brave. If we are brave enough for long enough, we will sometimes fail. How do we cultivate the resilience to get back up and be brave again?
Positive Psychology and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are different movements within psychology. Yet they also have quite a lot in common. Contact between both has been scarce until now. In July 2015, captains of both ships met for the very first time: Barbara ‘Positivity’ Fredrickson and Steven ‘ACT’ Hayes. Here is an exclusive report of this historic meeting in Berlin, Germany.
What do seventeen of the top Positive Psychology leaders in the world have in common? They all enthusiastically endorse Character Strengths Matter. It’s that good, and it’s that important. Now I want to add my own endorsement.
The science of setting and reaching goals tells us that the best goals go beyond SMART. I’m using the acronym SMARTEST goals to add more of what science says helps us reach our goals.
Perhaps it is adversity itself, and the strengths that it builds. For adversity humbles us and reminds us of our limits and our rightful place in the universe. Adversity makes us grateful by preserving small anticipations and accepting the good we find without questioning it. Adversity gives us faith to rise above despair and in so doing, answer the call of the soul. The poor may not have the material riches we possess, but I can’t help wondering who is really the richer or poorer amongst us.
Two years ago, my two-year-old son suffered a severe scald burn covering 16 percent of his body. My unborn baby had a birth defect needing attention. In the year-and-a-half that followed, I saw my boys through four surgeries. I went through two surgeries myself after a complicated second trimester pregnancy loss. Seven particular tools from positive psychology helped me come through some very difficullt times. I believe I have experienced posttraumatic growth following these adversities, and Roepke and Seligman’s recent article helps me see why.
It took three weeks of focused effort in between my coaching clients to retrieve my basement and garage from the eyesore category. I admit it was not all play. There was back-bending, muscle-aching grunt work involved. But in my humbly proud mind, the journey’s end was titled “Positivity Parked Here!”
How about you? What paths do you choose to clear? Here’s to work/play lighting your way to flourishing.
How can we follow Neil’s lead in living our lives? One way is by going after our dreams, as he certainly did. As we accomplish good things, we can savor and highlight them in a well written résumé. But we should also remember that we are more than our résumés. How we move through our lives is the larger story about us. Carry on with today’s priorities and, like Neil and the story of one ripe fig, find ways to let your most virtuous self shine through as you do.
Savoring what we’ve accomplished helps us experience gratitude for the good things in our lives, which puts us in a better frame of mind than just grinding it out. Then we can invest in the six areas that we know have value for us in the long run. These areas fuel us with the sustenance we need to make life worth living. When we do that, we change our to-do’s into ta-da’s.