Prosocial motivation drives taking action with the intention of helping others. We explore the benefits of prosocial motivation at work. Maybe helping others comes to you naturally. Or maybe being prosocially motivated is a new muscle you want to flex. In either case, here are a few things to keep in mind so your helping doesn’t backfire on you.
For years, the thought of joining Twitter filled me with dread. I was convinced it would upset the balance of life. My privacy would go out the window, and, worse still, I’d probably be judged, abused or ridiculed for saying the wrong thing.
I was wrong.
It turns out that Twitter is so much more than I realized. I had a pleasant surprise in store. It fuels, nay turbocharges, one of my greatest passions: learning.
Since the holiday season is upon us, you can bet that New Year’s Resolutions aren’t far off. Yet only 8% of us consistently achieve our goals for the New Year. That’s not very encouraging, but it’s also no surprise, considering that most of us will just pick a resolution and hope to achieve it without much planning. But to reverse-paraphrase Einstein, if we go about it differently this year, we can get different results. Here are 4 ideas for effectively working toward health goals.
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Pursuing Goals: An Interview with Caroline Miller, Part 2
Setting goals is only the first step. Then we need to pursue them. Caroline Miller discusses ways that we can enhance our achievements with behaviors that support goal pursuit.
What if Workplaces Were a Primary Source of Well-being?
The American Psychological Association’s 2013 Work and Well-Being Conference in Chicago made me wonder. What if there was a way to tip the scales from workplaces being primary sources of stress to workplaces providing knowledge and skills to overcome life stressors, whether the stressors originate in the workplace or elsewhere?
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What a College Dropout Has to Say about Success
“What can we as a country do to significantly improve the life chances of millions of poor children?” This is the question that reporter Paul Tough asks us to tackle with him in How Children Succeed. This book is passionately written and soundly researched. If Paul Tough is right, and I hope that he is, medical professionals, social workers, educators, and parents can join one another to build communities that help all of our children succeed.
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Pursuing Purpose: A Cause or Result of Feeling Connected?
I frequently write songs as gifts for others. The best example is a lullaby I wrote for my baby niece. It makes me feel more connected and that I matter. This construct of mattering seems very similar to the feeling that we are a part of something greater than ourselves. Taken together, the research described here suggests that a sense of meaning might be embedded in the basic need of relatedness, which both contributes to and results from prosocial behaviors.
With intrinsic motivation, people behave freely of their own will out of interest in the activity for its own sake. Purpose in life is about having a sense of directedness toward goals. How do intrinsic motivation and purpose relate to each other and to well-being in general?
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Five Reasons to Focus on Flow
There are many good reasons why we should focus more on flow as a route to well-being. Five of the best ones are highlighted here along with several tips for making flow experiences more likely.
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During the Martin Luther King Day of Service, thousands of people across the United States volunteered to make a difference in their communities in a variety of projects such as feeding homeless veterans, cleaning parks, and collecting clothes and toys for local children. Volunteering not only strengthens communities and those being helped, but as anyone who volunteers knows, it feels good. But a closer look at the research shows that the benefits of volunteering extend beyond a warm feeling.
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Building Happiness, Resilience and Motivation in Adolescents (Book Review)
Some months ago, a colleague introduced me to the book ‘Building Happiness, Resilience and Motivation in Adolescents: A Positive Psychology Curriculum for Well-being‘ by Ruth MacConville and Tina Rae, which focuses on applying the VIA strengths to adolescents rather than younger, primary age children.
Positive Psychology in Sports: The Surprising History of the Paralympics
We Just Saw the Olympics The 2012 Olympic Games gifted the host nation with the feel-good factor and now that they’re over many of us have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms…
One of the things that most of us look for in life is a feeling of energy. We tend to steer clear of people who drain or deplete us. The sense of vitality is important to us. It lets us know that something is right. But what exactly gives us vigor?
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Stress, Willpower, and Wanting What You Want to Want
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.
I sympathize if you’re one of the estimated 35% of people who have already fallen off the wagon and given up on your New Year’s Resolutions, but help is at hand. Positive psychology coaching offers some useful insights into setting goals and sticking with them that might help just help you see them through.
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Positive Psychology: Fit for Purpose?
Should positive psychologists be concerned that recent research based on expressing gratitude not only didn’t do the study participants any good, it actually lowered their self-esteem? What can we learn from this about fitness for purpose?
I watched in amazement as Grace, a friend’s granddaughter, who was petrified of going near the sea a year before, walked fearlessly into tumbling waves. She is now in love with the ocean and has adopted her grandmother’s passion for the sea. Edward Deci could have used Grace as a powerful example of internalizing extrinsic motivation in his keynote talk on Self-Determination Theory at the IPPA World Congress.
What is passion? Is it always beneficial? Are there different kinds of passion? What actions can we take to nurture beneficial passion in ourselves, our colleagues, and our children?
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Needs and Subjective Well-Being across the World
For those interested in positive psychology, there are many unanswered questions about the link between subjective well-being and needs such as those in Maslow’s hierarchy. That’s why new research by Louis Tay and Ed Diener caught my eye today. Some of the questions tackled in the study include whether needs really are universal and if so whether they are related to subjective well-being (SWB) in all cultures, and whether needs are individually required or whether they influence well-being synergistically.
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Upgrading the Motivation Operating System: Drive: (Book Review)
Drive; The Surprising Truth about What Motives Us by Daniel Pink is an intriguing and informative read for anyone interested in human motivation. I found the toolkit to be extremely rich with great ideas for rethinking motivation in the workplace. Pink helps us to understand when incentives work and when they don’t. He challenges the conventional wisdom that everyone is driven by money.