When my daughter, Lauren, chose her college, she picked-up on an aspect that didn’t jump out at me. I guess I was the only one surprised at how that played-out four years later and it made me curious: how does a college foster a service culture that stands out to a high school student?
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Take Me to Pandora, or The Positive Psychology of Avatar
I want to travel to Pandora, the fictional planet depicted in Avatar. I saw James Cameron’s newest film that has rocked box offices since its release in December on I-MAX…
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Nature, Spirituality, and the Future
I visited Maui, a breath-taking beautiful island where I experienced multiple moments of awe, elevation, spirituality, and connection with all things larger than myself. Stepping outside urbanization and its demands stimulated my strengths of open-mindedness, appreciation of beauty and capacity to love. Today, I am more motivated than ever to be respectful of the environment through the dozens of everyday choices that we know about, and should never fail to make.
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The Art of Comforting
When we chose the theme of relationships as a topic for PPND this month, I asked myself, what is true love? I would describe myself as a (covert/genuine/tentative-but-rational … Heathcliff!!)…
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In wildness is the preservation of the world. – Henry David Thoreau
In 1845, Thoreau went to live for three months in the woods near Walden Pond. When asked why, he responded, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…”
What exactly grants love the magic? Elijah Mickel and Cecilia Hall recently wrote about the five presents of perfect love. I would like to share this food for thought with you in February – the month of LOVE – when St. Valentine’s Day in the West and Yuanxiao Jie (???) in the East occur in the same month.
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Invitation to Collaborate in a Wellbeing Study
For researchers who want to collaborate on a broad study of wellbeing over time: the Wellbeing Study team is seeking collaborators who are willing to promote the study in their own countries or with specific populations in return for access to interesting data. Read further for the information about the study duration, planned measures, and how you can contribute.
Read this book! Review of “Creating Your Best Life”
What separates people who achieve lofty goals from people who procrastinate with even simple things? Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide is the best and most comprehensive resource I have come across on this topic.
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Happiness and Its Causes Conference PREVIEW in San Francisco
It might sound unlikely that an Australian-raised, self-proclaimed 60’s feminist-turned-Buddhist-nun would be the energy behind the San Francisco-based conference Happiness and Its Causes (November 24-25, 2008).
“Let’s deconstruct happiness, open it up, and look at the differences,” says Ven. Robina Courtin. “Inspiring people is the main agenda of this conference.” (DISCOUNT inside the article).
The Economic Sky is Falling: Can Positive Psychology Help?
I live in New York City. Perhaps because it is the financial capital of the world, anxiety about the economy is everywhere. In Starbucks people sit grimly reading the Wall Street Journal and the patois overheard is about Lehman Brothers, AIG and bailouts. With every lurching move of the Dow, you can feel the collective panic or collective sighs of relief. In this environment how can positive psychology help?
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The Sacred: Spirituality and Movies
Movies can be an instrument of positive psychology. In a manner different from other art forms, they teach, guide, and inspire the awareness of and expression of character strengths and virtues. Walt Disney said that movies find a way to touch the “unspoiled spot” within us. Ingmar Bergman noted that movies can reach the dark inner recesses of our souls. Movies help us, the viewers, to connect with “the sacred” that is within us.
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with high risk youth, ages 12-20, who are members of a residential treatment center. As part of our three day program, we brought the boys through a variety of group and individual challenges. These activities were designed to magnify trust, autonomy, initiative, and industry.
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Read this Book! “Spiritual Evolution” by George Vaillant
Here is what will happen to you when you read George Vaillant’s book, Spiritual Evolution: During the chapter “Joy,” you may cry. During the chapter “Love,” you will want to call home to say Hi. You will be inside a colossal head fake – a situation in which you’re learning but it seems like you’re playing.
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Lesson from the Earthquake: Altruism and Selfless Love
Last Monday’s catastrophic earthquake measuring a 7.8 on the Richter Scale in Wenchuan County of China’s Sichuan province jolted not only the region, but also many of our hearts. Disasters might trigger the most magnificent qualities of humanity – which includes love, courage, unity, and the perseverance to survive.
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Interesting Visitor from Philadelphia: Nick Yarris
I am amongst other things the Secretary of the Howard League in Scotland. John Howard was the 18th century founder of the penal reform movement: between 1775 and 1790 he…
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Where Has Our Birthday Wish Gone? From Wishes and Goals to the Journey of a Flourishing Life
A birthday is a special day for many of us. We all make wishes on our birthdays. It has been said that fewer than 15 per cent of birthday wishes are realized: most are broken within two weeks. We may start wondering why our birthday wishes would make us so miserable. Aren’t they supposed to make us hopeful and anticipative of our future?
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“How do you share positive psychology with strangers?”
“How do you propose we share positive psychology with strangers?” a participant at one of my recent seminars asked. The question took me by surprise, but in a flash, I answered intuitively,…
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Easter Bunnies: Positive Psychology and the Need for Superfetation
Rabbits are ancient symbols of fertility and so symbolize the return of spring. In thinking of them, of Easter, and of Sherri Fisher’s excellent article, Positive Psychology is more than…
As different people have different strengths, perhaps different cultures have different strengths. Just like implanting yourself amidst native speakers is the best way to learn a new language, why not learn a new hedonic strength by cultural immersion?
As I meet with individuals and couples, either in my role as a church leader or in my role as the Human Resources officer for my employer, I often find…