Articles in Strengths
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.
Sometimes our children do something totally unexpected and unacceptable. Then we try desperately to make sense of what happened by playing it over and over in our minds. We can hope for particular outcomes, but with that hope comes fear that it will not be so. Is the road to fearlessness found by giving up hope and letting go of dreams? But not to dream of their futures is an intolerable posture.
Throughout the World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association, a dazzling array of new scientific breakthroughs and research set off fireworks to rival those of the Magic Kingdom. Martin Seligman challenged his own earlier research on learned helplessness. Tal Ben-Shahar invited us to focus on the growing tip as we work on positive change. Tom Rath reminded us of often neglected qualities that help us be fully charged.
“Always pursue the best in everything!”
You have surely heard this advice from a friend or from a motivational speaker. You may have even found it logical advice that deserves observance.
Yet is it really sound advice? Is it beneficial as a persistent life style?
As these thoughts and images flashed through my mind, I had a sudden surge of humility. The awareness that I did not have all the answers grounded me in my own limitations. The realization that she was not asking for my solutions but simply talking out loud to find her own solution made me question my role as a parent.
When I facilitate workshops on character strengths, I find that many people immediately focus on the bottom of their lists where their weakest strengths are. We are hardwired with a negativity bias, after all, and it is not a bad thing to want to improve. I frequently get asked, “How can I develop my strengths?” I respond, “Pretend that you have them. Act ‘as if’ you are kind, or forgiving, or curious.“
Get your Netflix queue ready. Fire up the On-Demand services of your cable TV. Because it’s time for an annual PPND tradition since 2009, the positive psychology movie awards! These awards go to films that offer some of the best portrayals of key themes in positive psychology. 2014 was a very strong year for positive psychology movies. Here are the winners:
Self-compassion is a way of relating to ourselves kindly, as we truly are, flaws and all.
This article contains an invitation to the Saturday party at IPPA on June 27 to benefit programs for hospitalized children by Soaring Words.
I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did, but I found myself thinking about some of the stories long after I read them. I especially enjoyed the stories by individuals who personally experienced mental health disorders. They described the essential features of their recoveries, some of which are completely unexpected. Each story, whether by a therapist or a patient, is well-written from a personal perspective and reads like a mini-novel.
When Open-Mindedness is used well, people can be extraordinarily adept at problem solving and able to make critical decisions clearly and with solid reasoning. They can be excellent leaders who bring objectivity to situations that might otherwise be ambiguous or highly slanted. But this strength can also be underused, leading to snap judgments, or overused, leading to decision paralysis. How do we use it to just the right degree?