Articles in Strengths
At some point or another we all wrestle with questions around why we are here and how to find purpose in life. Being Called is a great introduction to what we can glean from these experiences in the modern world. Sometimes it is a powerful vision of a possible future that pulls us along, pushing us in a new direction, with no regard whatsoever for how we got where we are.
In an earlier article, I wrote about 7 positive psychology behaviors that helped me survive some very traumatic experiences. As I approach the end of another pregnancy, I find myself feeling anxious and over-protective. Looking for ways to stay calm, I’ve found an 8th important behavior: experiencing and acting on compassion for the sufferings of others.
The Positive Psychology Program has created a Positive Psychology Practitioner’s Toolkit, an online database that grants our members access to all kinds of positive psychology exercises, assessments, scales, questionnaires, and worksheets allowing any therapist, coach, or researcher to apply positive psychology tools effectively in practice.
How would you write Michael Jordan’s performance review?
What feedback would you give Michael Jordan? What would you tell him to do?
When managers focus on the core strengths of employees and give them the freedom to pursue these strengths and push the limits, employees are more successful in their work and feel valued and effective. Such employees tend to feel that they belong in their companies and therefore tend to stay longer. Positive minded managers can have a powerful impact on their teams.
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.
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.
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.