Articles in Awe
Just as the possibilities beyond the horizon are endless, so too are our potential ways of interacting with the world. The challenge is to embrace the sweet density and obscurity of life, recognize the meaning in the rawness of experience, and acknowledge that through reflection we may never catch up. What we decide now matters. If we have to play the game, we might as well play it beautifully, see what we can learn, try to make things better and easier for one another and enjoy the ride as much as we can.
Slowing down re-energizes us and allows us to nurture ourselves so that we can enjoy what we are doing in the moment we are doing it. It allows us to connect with people, rather than just check in. It opens us to awe and wonder, and it lets us play and discover the beauty that exists all around us.
Two weeks ago, I gained first-hand experience of Hurricane Sandy, the largest hurricane to hit New York City in a long time. In the midst of subways being shut down and businesses being closed for days on end, there was no rush to get things done. No rush to be anywhere. I simply felt like I had time. That brought to mind the research by Melanie Rudd, Jennifer Aaker, and Kathleen Vohs concerning the question, “When do people feel as if they are rich in time?”
Christopher Peterson died yesterday. We’ve been touched by the shock wave going through the world-wide community surrounding his generous and productive life. Resilient people get comfort by remembering. So let’s share our memories to keep the picture of Chris vivid in our minds.
Can going to the movies make you a better person? It depends on the type of positive emotions the film elicits. At last week’s IPPA World Congress, I was captivated with Lindsay Doran’s presentation on “Hollywood and Happiness.” After thirty years in the industry, she thought she knew everything there was to know about movies. That was until she met Martin Seligman.
For twenty years my dear friend Ann and I have been watching the Oprah Winfrey show, so it seemed appropriate that we watch Oprah’s last show together. Through the power of storytelling and television, Oprah brought to life many lessons taught by positive psychologists around the world. She used her final show to share her greatest lessons from 25 years of the Oprah show. Here they are…
Over the last three years, almost every positive psychology intervention I have piloted has gone awry. Let me explain. I had lots of autonomy and could pilot interventions across the 40 global offices and 5000 employees – sometimes I thought of it as my personal laboratory. Upon a little reflection, I think I have learned three lessons.
When the women of my book club heard the plight of the families of the Red Door, they enthusiastically embraced the task of sponsoring a family. It was wonderful to know this family was going to have a good Christmas…but what touched my heart was how the women of the book club were transformed. They felt it made a difference in their lives and here’s how…
Just as we can experience awe, inspiration, hope, serenity, and joy by observing the wonders of nature, so also can we experience these positive emotions by experiencing people-scapes and observing the character strengths behind them.
One of my fascinations with positive psychology is the existence of its many paradoxes. So as soon as I came across this new research report Money Giveth, Money Taketh Away, my eyes lit up. The researchers explored the widely-held belief that experiencing the best things in life undermines your ability to enjoy life’s little pleasures.