A life worth living
Positive Psychology is about finding out what makes life worth living for people and is the scientific study of what makes people successful, how people thrive and what makes a meaningful life. It provides an alternative to what is wrong with people and is about discovering what brings out the best in people. I love that positive psychology incorporates peer reviewed research and puts forward interventions to help people to live a fulfilling life.
I first heard about positive psychology when I bought Martin Selgiman’s book, Authentic Happiness. I was completely absorbed in the book and how there had been scientific research about how to become happier. I’d always been interested in psychology and what made people tick, but to read about methods to not just overcome illness or deficit but to actually help ‘well’ people to thrive.
From then on I gathered as much information as possible on positive psychology to understand as much as I could. I was consumed with finding out how I could improve my life and those of others around me. It quickly dawned on me that researching and working in positive psychology was a calling for me.
I’m fascinated how the topic of positive emotions encapsulates being open and expansive to emotions and how they can be of benefit in given situations. Cultivating positive emotions, whatever a positive emotion is to you, can have the snowball effect of experiencing more positive emotions.
I love how the subject of hope is about having a plan and the determination to achieve your goals, i.e. having the commitment and the ability to navigate round obstacles to stay on your chosen course. Without hope I feel we’re more likely to languish, with hope the possibilities can be endless.
The positive psychology research into resilience talks about being able to keep going when things just seem to be transpiring against us. We may not understand our level of resilience until an adversity arises. Resilience to me can complement strengths and hope, especially when setbacks occur on the way to achieving a goal.
Being at your best
My biggest revelation was research on human strengths and that we all had them, but didn’t always know what our own were. I believe a strength is something that allows you to perform a task excellently AND gives you satisfaction AND feels natural when you’re doing that task. Strengths use can allow you to be at your best and have the greatest opportunity to fulfill your potential, as well as accomplishing your ambitions.
A lot of my work with people and companies is to raise awareness of their strengths and how to apply them successfully. This is so rewarding to me to see people develop and flourish.
My current passion is how strengths-based recruitment can lead to employees being more engaged and productive in their work as well increasing their well-being. I’m extending my focus to include strengths-based recruitment for those with a disability or illness.
For me, positive psychology has the potential to positively impact everyone, which is why I am so proud and excited to be one of the Positive Psychology People.
Dan Collinson Dancollinsonsolutions.com
‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’