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In the topic 'Positive Psychology'

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WFL: Slipping Down or Stepping Up?

  Many people in leadership roles don’t act like leaders. Conversely, people without formal authority can be very strong leaders. Most of us aspire to lead our family, communities, professions, relationships, or workplaces. Leaders are inspired and inspire others. A central theme in my decades of trying to understand, apply, and teach leadership skills is […]

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It’s Not What Happens to Us, But What We Do About It

A few years ago, my wife, Heather, broke her ankle slipping on the ice in our driveway. No one heard her cries for help as she lay in pain. The snowbanks prevented any neighbors or people driving past noticing her. She dragged herself back up the frozen driveway to the side door. She yelled for […]

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Quotes to Note from Superabundance

Last week’s review of Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet generated a good LinkedIn discussion in The Letter Leader. Paul Born’s comment on Canada’s significant reduction in poverty rates is a great example of the progress documented in Superabundance. Here are a few quotes of note […]

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We’ve Never Had it So Good: A Review of Superabundance

Back in the day, I took a very depressing university course featuring the Club of Rome’s 1972 report, The Limits to Growth. Falling into that ageless prediction and prophesy sinkhole, this group of prognosticators forecasts that we will exhaust all of the earth’s resources and energy sources within 50 years. They foresaw overpopulation, mass starvation, […]

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For Better or Worse: How’s the World Doing?

As we look at a new year ahead, what do you think is the state of our world? Are we living in the best of times or the worst of times? Are these statements true or false? The poor are getting poorer as the rich get richer US carbon emissions are rising Home ownership is […]

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Quotes to Note – “From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life”

My last post reviewed Arthur’s new book. It’s very well written with Arthur’s openness about his personal struggles, solid research, engaging examples, and practical advice. The book aligns very well with my study and writing about positive psychology and personal vision, values, and purpose.   Here are some quotes from the book that strongly resonated […]

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Review of From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life

  One of my favorite annual Christmas season rituals is watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring a young Jimmy Stewart. It’s a 1946 classic that tells a compelling story about making a difference in the lives of others. In the movie, Jimmy’s character, George Bailey, becomes a reluctant leader in his small hometown […]

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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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War, Pandemic, Inflation, Climate, Politics, …Let’s Not Lose Perspective

Which dot is bigger? It looks like the right dot is quite a bit larger than the other one. But they are the same size. Go ahead, measure them. The framing around each dot changes our perception of its size. When hanging a painting on your wall, the size and color of the frame or […]

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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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How to Counter COVID Fatigue and Build a Thriving Workplace

How are workers doing as our pandemic drags on? Is it possible to thrive amidst the chaos and struggles of these turbulent times? What can leaders do to build thriving workplaces? These are key questions addressed by Michelle McQuaid during a recent webinar on workplace wellbeing. Michelle has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and […]

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Navigating Change: Leading in Turbulent Times

Sailing through life is easy when our seas are calm. It’s much tougher when clouds begin to gather and the gentle winds of changes suddenly turn to a full blown gale. Now more than ever our response to changes we can’t control determine whether we’ll thrive, survive, or dive. Leadership is an action, not a […]

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Don’t Start the New Year Losing Touch With Reality

What if you invited me into your house and I sprayed a noxious gas that made you and your family sick? What if I also dumped a big barrel of stinking sewage on your kitchen floor? You’d likely have me arrested. You’d get out of the house until the mess is cleaned up and the […]

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Lose those News Blues and Leave the Dark Side: The World’s Never Been Better

It’s the most wonderful and inspiring time of year. After many hours of researching books, articles, and websites, let’s kick off 2020 with what’s become my annual New Year’s blog on how the world keeps getting better, and better, and better, and better… This tradition started six years ago with “A Dose of Reality: Our […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm on…Enlightenment Now

Bill Gates calls this “my new favorite book of all time.” Read my review here. Here’s a small taste of Steven Pinker’s forceful case for reframing where the world is today: “…although the world remains highly unequal, every region has been improving, and the worst-off parts of the world today are better off than the […]

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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

One of my favorite bedtime stories as a kid was the story of Chicken Little. It’s a very old folk tale about a little chick who was hit on the head by a falling acorn. The chick believed the world was coming to an end, and set out to warn the King. “Despair springs eternal,” […]

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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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