Nick Vujicic was born with phocamelia, a rare congenital condition that involves malformation of the limbs. With only a tiny little foot, he has defied the odds by becoming a motivational speaker, husband, and father. How has this been possible? As I observe him hobble on the platform set up on stage, I take a good hard look at myself. Here are 3 reasons that he inspires me.
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Virtuous Business Practices: An Interview with Dr. Kim Cameron
There is a lot of compelling evidence across industries, continents, and sectors that positive and virtuous practices pay off. Organizations make more money, are more productive, achieve higher quality, produce higher customer satisfaction, and create higher employee engagement. Moreover, evidence suggests that these relationships are causal. When virtuous practices improve, organizational outcomes improve as well.
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Eleven Reasons to Own, Love, and Give Pursuing the Good Life (Book Review)
Pick any chapter from Chris Peterson’s posthumously published book, Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology, and you’re in for a real treat. His reflections cover every aspect of what it means to be human and to live a life worth living. Even sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll get a passing mention, although you won’t find them listed in the index.
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Man + Shed = Happiness
We seem to be working harder and consuming more than ever before, but for all the stuff that comes with 21st century living to make our lives easier, less labor-intensive, and more comfortable, we don’t seem to be much happier. A growing number of people feel anxious and depressed. Can living a simpler life make us happier? The answer is not what you might expect.
In this book, Judy Umlas buttresses her largely anecdotal evidence with several well known gratitude and acknowledgment studies. Her own material is thoroughly documented, often in the words of her clients. To help consultants, managers, coaches and other professional practitioners, she has distilled her experiences into principles that even the gratitude averse can apply.
How can a program be created to serve older persons transitioning from stage to stage in their elder years? Moving from independent living to nursing home living? How might they thrive in the process and throughout their lives? How could this apply to the professional and family caregivers? Here I share perspectives on cultivating emotional fitness in the elderly and their caregivers with stories showing the concepts in action.
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Beer and Philosophy: Engagement Japanese Style
According to several news reports, what Inamori did to re-engage employees and lead Japanese Airlines back into the black was to insist on compulsory philosophy sessions for all staff, washed down with free beer. I was so intrigued by this story that I wanted to delve a bit deeper. I hoped Kazuo Inamori’s business philosophy might yield some positive psychology gems like the ones I recently found with Honda.
Daring Greatly is wide-ranging, making it difficult to summarize in a review. So I will focus on a chapter of the book called The Vulnerability Armory. Brown asserts that we learned to protect ourselves from vulnerability—from being hurt, diminished, or disappointed—by putting on emotional armor and acting invulnerable when we were children. Now as adults we must learn to dare greatly by taking the risk of removing our armor and being vulnerable for the sake of connection.
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See Me Beautiful: Cultivating Strengths in Young Children
What actions can we take to observe, reinforce, and cultivate the character strengths of very young children? What are the benefits of identifying the character strengths of this special population?
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Should You Play To Your Signature Strengths or Not?
Some new research from René Proyer and colleagues at the University of Zurich suggests that not all strengths are equal and that strengths-based interventions should focus on those strengths which are correlated highly with life satisfaction. But fortunately for those who do not have curiosity, zest, gratitude, hope and/or love in their signature strengths, all is not lost!
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Savoring the Festive Spirit
The holiday season and the New Year can be pretty stressful, but this time of year provides us with some ideal opportunities for savoring – noticing, appreciating, and enhancing the things which are already positive in our lives – and there is nothing easier to do. The rules of savoring are simple to follow, and you don’t need any special skills or equipment. In fact anyone, young or old, rich or poor, can learn how to savor and reap the benefits.
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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?
How do we visualize our thoughts, and how can we show them to other people? Often, we want to think of new ideas, or find ways to improve ourselves, and the hardest thing to do is to get a concrete conception, perhaps because we are using other people’s angles, oversimplified frameworks, and/or very basic modalities like words.
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The Summer of our Discontent
This summer the UK was rocked by riots with young people playing the major role. I came across disaffected young people such as these when I was carrying out my MAPP research working with the charity In-Volve to apply positive psychology with young people abusing alcohol. Given that the motivation to drink is related to wanting to be happy, to change mood, escape from troubles and deal with stress, surely positive psychology is well-placed to help adolescents to alternative routes to happiness, positive emotions, and resilience?
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Oprah’s Last Class
For twenty years my dear friend Ann and I have been watching the Oprah Winfrey show, so it seemed appropriate that we watch Oprah’s last show together. Through the power of storytelling and television, Oprah brought to life many lessons taught by positive psychologists around the world. She used her final show to share her greatest lessons from 25 years of the Oprah show. Here they are…
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When Valuing Happiness Backfires
New research by psychologist Iris Mauss and colleagues suggests that valuing happiness itself could be self-defeating and actually lead to disappointment. They conducted two studies, one a correlational study and another that manipulated how much people valued happiness.
Over the last three years, almost every positive psychology intervention I have piloted has gone awry. Let me explain. I had lots of autonomy and could pilot interventions across the 40 global offices and 5000 employees – sometimes I thought of it as my personal laboratory. Upon a little reflection, I think I have learned three lessons.
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So You Really Want to Be Happier? Three Simple Rules that Everyone Needs to Know
On top of the fit between a positive activity and a particular person, new research by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Rene Dickerhoof, Julia Boehm, and Kennon Sheldon suggests there are two other important factors which influence your chances of increasing your happiness when you carry out an evidence-based happiness exercise: your motivation and the effort you invest.
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PERMA Parent Part 3: Building Positive Relationships
In the parenting section of any bookstore, you will find a vast array of survival guides with proven tools and strategies for getting through life with kids. But in survival mode, the level of happiness and well-being of parents is endangered. So, how do we as parents move our partnerships from endangered happiness to flourishing?
The three blessings nomenclature has not always served Positive Psychology well. To some people, it can seem silly. Others are put off by the religious implications. Yet this exercise has lasting benefits, more reliably attached to reducing depression than stopping smoking is attached to reducing cancer.