No matter where you turn [...]
About seven years ago, my daughter did well on an erg test in middle school, and that’s when everything changed in the Miller family. Read More
Shane Lopez’s new book, Making Hope Happen , reminds all of us why the quality of hope is essential in daily life in order to thrive
This week I was fortunate to be in the audience at the Gallup World Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where Shane Lopez, one of the leading experts on hope, launched his newest book, “Making Hope Happen.” He spoke for almost an hour, covering topics ranging from why hope is necessary for followers to how hope impacts student attendance. A few things struck me in a new way that I plan to use immediately with clients. Read More
Here I talk about “peak-end” rule and how important it is to take control of how situations end in life, whenever possible, and to create positive memories that aren’t tinged with regret.
Listen to the audio excerpt, below, taken from Your Best Self: The Proven Path to Self-Discovery
No matter where you turn at this time of year, you’ll be hit with advice from everyone about how to save more money, set better resolutions, be a better parent, act a little happier, and be more successful in 2013. Some of the advice will be good, some will be the same old stuff you’ve heard for years that sounds like white noise to you, and some will get your attention because it’s landing in the right place for you at the right time.
I hope that this post lands in the right place for those of you who want change, but who want something unexpected in the advice arena to grab you. Goal setting and its intersection with well-being is my specialty, so I’m always studying new findings in these areas, trying to find ways to translate it into practical applications for clients, students, readers and those with whom I come in contact.
Because my training is outside of psychology, and more in the areas of history and journalism, my brain connects disparate points in unexpected ways. This is what “disruptive innovators” do; they assess information differently from people who have always been in a certain silo, whether it’s psychology, chemistry or economics, and instead think in patterns that are familiar to them. The “disruptive” thinking often produces unexpected innovations.
“US News and World Report” used to list “50 Ways to Change Your Life” at the start of every year before the magazine was sidelined in recent years, and it was always so thought-provoking that I can honestly say that something important shifted every year as a result of their off-beat ideas. In homage to them, here are five – not fifty – ideas that I hope are disruptively innovative to your life in 2013, and that lead to greater flourishing in meaningful areas. Read More
Like millions of others around the world, I am still in a state of disbelief and sadness about the mass slaughter of little kids at school in Newtown, Connecticut last week. As a mom, I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that 20 six-and seven-year olds were wiped out at once while surrounded by the colorful maps and seasonal artwork, not to mention the friends they did playdates with, and the teachers who were guiding them in learning.
All of my children were lucky to have a student-teacher ratio in elementary school of twenty to one. If the Newtown shootings had happened at their school, they and all of their classmates would have been killed without exception. For some reason, putting the loss into personal terms that I can visualize – every single boy and girl in their classroom – has made this even harder to grasp. So how do parents and a community process and accept this type of unthinkable loss? It’s almost impossible to fathom, and even harder to think that some good might ever emerge from something so awful.
But research on survivors of trauma has discovered a phenomenon called “posttraumatic growth.” Read More
This morning I launched a free new course that can help you create a vision for your “best self,” which includes unique content, exercises and questions for reflection. This five-day class begins the moment you sign up, and by the end of the week you will know how to articulate your purpose, identify your top strengths, do an evidence-based exercise that helps you vision your future in powerful ways, and also learn some new and surprising things that you probably have never heard of around willpower and friendships.
As you close out 2012 and enter 2013, this is the perfect time to assess where you are in your life, where you want to go, who you will need to take on your journey with you, what activities need to be strengthened or dropped, and whether or not you have created the right “petri dish” that will help you live, work and thrive. Most people don’t take the time to do this, which is why only 20% of the population meets the definition for “flourishing,” or living their best, most optimal, life.
Join me during this fun and interactive week (it’s only available between December 11th and the 17th) so that you can challenge yourself to become your best self. At the conclusion of this course , I am offering an opportunity to join me for an in-depth, four-week course that will be described here in detail next week.
If you are not yet signed up to receive my email, and you only receive blog notices, please be sure to get on that notification list so that you don’t miss any other special offers.
Every year, Oprah Winfrey announces her “favorite” things in her magazine and on television, and those annointed products instantly sell out. Books become best-sellers, companies are launched into the stratosphere (Spanx) and people’s lives are changed for the better.
I’m obviously not Oprah Winfrey, nor do I have her following, but I do have my own favorite things that I think might make your life a little bit better in 2013, or at least a little happier. With no further ado, here they are: Read More
Last week, the New York Times ran a widely-shared article about how a group of social psychologists worked in secret to pool their ideas and help President Obama win re-election this year. Times writer Benedict Carey interviewed members of this group about how they operated, and why this election cycle was so different from the election in 2008.
“In the way it used research, this was a campaign like no other,” said Todd Rogers, who once directed the Analyst Institute and is a psychologist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
For the last few weeks I’ve been traveling, learning and planning some new initiatives, but
I want to share what I learned at the annual MAPP (Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology) summit at the University of Pennsylvania because it provided me with such rich content to contemplate.
I have been going to the MAPP summit every year since I graduated from the program in 2006 because I work in a fast-moving field where new findings impact what I do on a regular basis. I am fortunate to reconnect with my mentors and classmates when I am there, as well as sit at the feet of and learn from people whose work I included in “Creating Your Best Life.” Previous summits have included talks from John and Julie Gottman on their work with couples, John Cacioppo’s research on change, and Major Rhonda Cornum’s work with the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program.
Several weeks ago, I was privileged to sit, riveted, as Dan Buettner, author of “Blue Zones” and “Thrive,” shared some of the what he has learned in his far-flung travels to study people who live longer than everyone else, and who do it with gusto and well-being. Read More
Last Monday night, I taught a class in “Coaching and Positive Psychology” for the University of Texas-Dallas in their executive coaching certificate program. As usual, I discussed the importance of using strengths to both up your well-being and give you a leg up on accomplishing your goals, and I gave my customary tribute to Chris Peterson, the co-author of the VIA Character Strengths survey, who taught me much of what I learned about the test, and who role-modeled the strengths of kindness, humility, humor and love month after month when I was getting my Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania during the 2005 – 2006 school year.
On a whim, I decided to talk about something that seemed highly prescient when I consider what happened to Chris just a few hours after my class concluded.