Articles by Jeremy McCarthy
Jeremy McCarthy is the Director of Global Spa Operations and Development where he is responsible for spa development for all of Starwood's hotel brands. Jeremy is applying positive psychology to the customer experience in spas and hospitality.
These researchers ask, “Whose responsibility is happiness?” It does not rest solely on the individual, and it does not emerge solely from the conditions of society. The researchers suggest co-responsibility as the answer: “The idea that happiness emerges as a collective and cooperative endeavor that requires both favorable life conditions and individual effort.”
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.
Since most business leaders are immersed in their own negativity bias, there is a distinct competitive advantage for focusing on the positive side of the science. Positive approaches remind us not only to give our attention to our most challenging customers and employees, but also to spend quality time with our best customers and employees. If you are in business, it is likely that your competitors are neglecting some of these opportunities. If you can do them well, you can indeed profit from the positive.
We need to know when it makes sense to streamline things with simple procedures and systems, and when it makes sense to allow humans to express their creativity, perhaps risking failure, perhaps inspiring innovation. Practical wisdom pushes people to be responsible for their decisions and to learn from them. We might expose ourselves to more risks along the way, but we become a wiser society by doing so.
Is it better to pursue an individual flow activity, such as taking on a new skill or hobby? Or is it better to find flow interacting with others? Dr. Charles Walker set out to answer these questions.
Jonathan Haidt’s new book, The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion, holds a view that can help bridge the ever-widening gaps that occur in politics. His research on Moral Foundations Theory suggests that there is more to morality than caring and fairness. In fact, he describes the moral landscape as being like a tongue with six taste buds.
I am disappointed that I won’t be able to attend the International Meaning Conference coming up in Toronto at the end of July. They are putting together an all-star line up of researchers in positive psychology with an emphasis on “healing and flourishing through meaning.” They are also honoring 3 major contributors to our understanding of meaning.
The APA’s research suggests that less than half of adults who recognize a needed change in lifestyle are able to maintain the change. The #1 barrier to change cited in the survey was a lack of willpower. This is good news, since scientists such as Roy Baumeister have shown that willpower can be developed with exercise. Here is an exercise to build the motivation that underlies willpower.
Today, Jeremy’s blog is a listed stop on the online book tour (cool idea) for the book, Situations Matter by Sam Sommers. Jeremy had already published one article on the book – Why Men are Better than Women at Math. But he liked it so much that he signed up to write another article so that he could join the online book tour. We are running that article here simultaneously.
In their article, Beyond Positive Psychology, McNulty and Fincham give some specific examples of research on relationships where certain contexts cause apparent contradictions of Positive Psychology findings. Forgiveness, optimism, and kindness may all be harmful in certain contexts.