How positive psychology can bring out the best in you
Have you heard of positive psychology yet?
It's possible you have, but perhaps not couched in this terminology. If you are curious about or have had an excursion into mindfulness, then you have started dipping into positive psychology. Or perhaps you have kept a gratitude diary, meditated or even gone as far as taking a strengths assessment.
These are all part of the new(ish) and growing field of positive psychology.
The University of Pennsylvania has a dedicated centre for positive psychology and their leader, Martin Seligman, has been championing the science for over two decades now. They describe positive psychology as "the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive."
One of the most user friendly resources to find out more about positive psychology is the 'Greater Good Centre' at the US University of Berkeley: http://www.greatergood.berkeley.edu. Their strap line is the 'Science of a Meaningful Life'. They are huge proponents, among a number of other academic institutions, for establishing the science that backs up much of the traditional wisdom that has now reached the West.
The core strands of the field of positive psychology are:
- strengths and Talent
There are a multitude of tools that you can use to shape and focus your development, the most frequently used tool is the Clifton StrengthsFinder - an online assessment that takes less than 30 minutes.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder tells you how you're talented. It identifies what you naturally do best. It provides customised results that name your unique talents. It shows you how you're special and how to succeed by turning your talents into strengths.
To date, over 15 million people have taken this online assessment worldwide. I am one of them. I can vouch for the impact that understanding and nurturing my talents has had on my life - it is taking me to places I would have never dreamed possible and provides me with a confidence to live and work in a way that reflects and maximises my talents. In many ways, understanding your strengths can prevent a lot of soul searching about why you do things in a certain way. Instead of questioning yourself, you start to flex those talents as muscles, literally embracing them. There is no doubt to me of the benefits that this has on a person’s sense of well-being.
A gentleman called Don Clifton, who has earned the moniker of the ‘Grandfather of Positive Psychology’ developed Clifton StrengthsFinder.His tribe continues to grow. You can take the online assessment here: www.gallupstrengthscenter.com.
So whether you prefer science or traditional wisdom, or if you are like me and get excited about both, positive psychology is indeed a tool for the 'greater good' and has many offerings to help bring out the best in you, your family (kids) and in your organisation.
My feeling is that the trick to incorporating positive psychology into daily life is by starting to embrace it as a practice. It is a journey of calm, control, self-mastery and self-improvement.
Needless to say, if you do contact a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach they would be able to help you start to develop your daily practice.
With warm wishes,