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Tagged with 'Martin Seligman'

State of the Heart: Looking for the Why (part 3 of 7)

Part 3 in a series: Let’s Be Frank about Spirit and Meaning (Links below to previous installments) With his typical intensity, Frank began searching for ways to deal with his emptiness. He checked out a few churches and attended introductory classes for various inner development and spiritual groups. He started reading books on spirituality, soul, […]

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I Exam: Negative Nuggets of Pessimism or Positive Points of Optimism?

In the Shakespearean tragedy titled after the main character, Hamlet ponders his imprisonment by Denmark and the King as well as in his own mind when he says, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” In my previous post in this series of posts on the nature of “reality,” we […]

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Are You Wearing C.R.A.P Glasses?

A few years ago, I ran into an old acquaintance I hadn’t seen for a while. Our short conversation confirmed just why I hadn’t seen him — and wouldn’t again soon if I could help it! I started off with, “Hey Phil. How’s it going?” His response was, “Oh, you know; same crap, different day.” […]

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If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Be It

In his book, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism, reflecting on decades of research leading him to found the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman writes, “I spend an enormous amount of my time imagining futures, daydreaming what-ifs, turning possible scenarios over and over, upside down, and backward, and the older […]

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Time to Reflect and Redirect to Course Correct?

With this fall’s release of Peter Jackson’s documentary series, Get Back, and Paul McCartney’s book, The Lyrics, I’ve enjoyed hearing more about The Beatles’ groundbreaking work. As a long-time fan, it’s fascinating to get more background and context for some of this iconic music. Year-end is a time for reflection. And after a year like […]

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PERMA: A Proven Framework to Increase Optimism and Happiness

How can the absence of ill-being equal the presence of well-being? Does lessening unhappiness increase happiness? Does getting what is good in life require more than eliminating what is bad? These are among the key questions underlying the rapid evolution of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) pioneered by University of Pennsylvania psychiatry professor Aaron Beck and […]

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Explanatory Style: Don’t P and Should Yourself

Last week’s post outlined key points from Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. This groundbreaking book laid the foundation for the rapidly growing field of Positive Psychology that Seligman went on to establish during his presidency of the American Psychological Association. In his follow up book, Authentic Happiness: […]

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Cognitive Psychology: Choosing Our Reality

As posted last week, Aaron Beck pioneered the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This approach was a major change to helping depressed patients focus on underlying negative beliefs. It upended traditional psychoanalytical theory and opened up a powerful new field of treatment. University of Pennsylvania psychology professor, Martin Seligman built on CBT theories and […]

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Cognition and Mindfulness: Thinking About Our Thinking

Last week 100-year-old Aaron Beck passed away after an incredibly productive life. Beck was an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. The American Psychologist has called him “one of the five most influential psychotherapists of all time.” Beck is the founder of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). CBT approaches are now widely used […]

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Coronavirus Crisis: Reasons for Hope During These Dark Times

As Heather and I work from, and stay home, to be part of the solution, I found myself gorging on way too much negative news. As my sleep and mood deteriorated, I went looking for an antidote to the pessimism plague. I began a search for reasons to be optimistic. One of the first articles […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on…Visualization

That we are drawn by the future rather than just driven by the past is extremely important and directly contrary to the heritage of social science and the history of psychology. It is, nevertheless, a basic and implicit premise of positive psychology. Martin Seligman, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being  When I […]

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Are You Focused on What’s Wrong to Make Things Right?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A young girl’s elementary teacher hears little Sophia sing at school and recognizes what a beautiful voice she has. The teacher encourages the girl to nurture her gift and has her sing a solo at a school concert. Sophia’s pure, clear voice and passion for music enchants everyone […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm from… “The Hope Circuit”

As a long-time follower of Martin Seligman’s applied research on optimism, happiness, strength building, and positive psychology I devoured his new memoir, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism. When he began his psychology career in the 1960s, the field focused on lessening misery. Thanks to his groundbreaking research and innovative leadership […]

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Lessons from “The Hope Circuit”: Reducing What’s Wrong Doesn’t Increase Effectiveness

How can the absence of ill-being equal the presence of well-being? Does lessening unhappiness increase happiness? Does getting what is good in life require more than eliminating what is bad? These are among the key questions researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, tackles in his inspiring and insightful new memoir, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey […]

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Positive Psychology and Well-Being – 4th Canadian Conference

Work is a four-letter cuss word for too many people. Monday morning is often the toughest time of their week. Too many people are mumbling, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go” as they trudge off to check into their “day prison.” In other workplaces people are leaping out of bed in […]

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High Performing Organizations Provide Spirit and Meaning

I once had a speaking engagement with a cleaning and custodial company at their annual management conference. Arriving early and sitting in on the meeting to get a feel for the group and the conference, I was inspired by what a remarkable job those leaders did of bringing “pride of craft” to clean toilets and […]

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Focusing on Strengths Webinar: What Extraordinary Leaders Do Differently

Peter Drucker first advised building strengths in the 1960s and it became a constant theme throughout his work. In 1990 psychology researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, published his book, Learned Optimism, and launched the positive psychology movement. In 2001, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. I read, reread, and cited […]

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Building Strengths is Authentic, Increases Happiness, and Leverages Leadership Skills

As I reflect on attending the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference and Zenger Folkman’s Leadership Summit over the past two months, Jonathon’s Haidt’s advice from The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt rings true; “Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses… if it is a weakness you choose to work on, […]

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3rd Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology

For the past few decades I’ve followed the ground-breaking work of Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. Based on his extensive research, articles and books, and his 1998 term as elected president of The American Psychological Association he’s now considered the founder of the burgeoning new field of positive psychology. This is defined as […]

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Re-Fired with Building Strengths

It’s been three years since Jack Zenger and I had one of our periodic update conversations after we headed off in different directions over 20 years ago. Our previous companies, The Achieve Group and Zenger Miller, had worked together for more than a decade. When this conversation took place with Jack, my wife, Heather, and […]

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