Aug 2
The Science of Happiness – Tal Ben-Shahar
Last night I joined around 500 other people in the Camden Centre in London to hear a talk on The Science of Happiness by Dr Tal Ben-Shahar, organized by the UK’s leading happiness movement, Action for Happiness. As well as authoring several books, Tal Ben-Shahar lectured on positive psychology at Harvard University – in fact, his course quickly became the most popular that Harvard has ever run, attracting many ...
Feb 10
Getting New Perspectives through Strengths
New Lenses on Experience Understanding and applying our own strengths is the first step to cover in any workshop covering the Values in Action character strengths. But what can you do to help people understand the strengths of others? How can you help them learn how to use different strengths as lenses to see things from different points of view? Here’s one fabulous technique, adapted from Michelle C. Louis to e...
Jan 31
The Many Faces of Character Strengths
Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. ~ Voltaire Earlier this month I got together with several of my colleagues to share ideas about using the VIA Character Strengths at work. We talked about how acceptable the VIA Strengths are in business circles (in our experience, very), how people react to their VIA Strengths, and how we use them in our training. We als...
Dec 29
Positive Psychology and the Body
“The body is more than simply another machine, indistinguishable from the artificial objects of the world, it is also the vessel of the individual’s sense of self, his most personal feelings and aspirations, as well as that entity to which others respond in a special way because of their uniquely human qualities.” ~ Gardner, 1993, pp. 235-6   Recently I came across an old TED talk featuring one of my ...
Dec 14
Nelson Mandela: A Life and Legacy of Strengths
  December 5, 2013 will be remembered for at least two historic events: First, the worst storm surge in Northern Europe for more than half a century, with mile upon mile of town and countryside in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark inundated with sea water and many people losing their homes, their livelihoods, or even their lives. Second, news of the death of the first black president of South Afri...
Nov 10
Positive Education: Making a Successful School
Last month a Positive Education Summit took place in the UK, led by Professor Martin Seligman and sponsored by Wellington College, one of the top public schools and, under the leadership of Dr Anthony Seldon, probably the longest-standing exponent of applying positive psychology in schools anywhere in the world. The Positive Education Summit was attended by 30 academics and practitioners from all corners of the g...
Aug 28
How to be Happier in One Week – Essentials Magazine Sept 2013
I’m thrilled to see an article by accomplished journalist Mel Hunter in Essentials Magazine this month, focussing on how to become more optimistic in one week. Mel’s been interested in Positive Psychology for some time and she decided to try this as a personal experiment  following several discussions with me about the efficacy of positive psychology tools to boost your mood and help you see life’...
Aug 27
Oxford Handbook of Happiness (Book Review)
“Happiness reminds us that ultimately this is a world of people, of families, of communities all alike – of human beings seeking the same thing. When we grasp this universal simplicity – this sense of a shared planet and shared fate for those who walk on it in a common quest for happiness, well-being, and contentment – the answer to national and global problems will come closer at hand” HM The King of Bhu...
Jun 29
Eleven Reasons to Own, Love, and Give Pursuing the Good Life (Book Review)
Pick any chapter from Chris Peterson’s posthumously published book, Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychologyand you’re in for a real treat. His reflections cover every aspect of what it means to be human, to live a life worth living. Even sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll get a passing mention, although you won’t find them listed in the index. This book is somewhat understated which reflect...
Jun 29
Man + Shed = Happiness
Recently British television rebroadcast a series of programs called Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home (#ManMadeHome), featuring the well-known designer, writer, and presenter. Since the late 90s, McCloud has presented the Grand Designs series where every program focuses on the efforts of people (usually a couple) to design and build their own house. Over the years I’ve watched these grand designs take shape, many w...
Mar 6
Five Reasons to Focus on Flow
What is ‘flow’? How can you achieve more of it? How can it help you develop your skills and confidence? In this article we explore how to acheive greater well-being through flow, and some top tips for getting more flow in your life. “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in...
Mar 5
Beer and Philosophy: Engagement Japanese Style
In the UK business community there is a growing interest in the topic of employee engagement, sparked by a government-commissioned report in 2009, Engaging for Success: Enhancing Performance through Employee Engagement. In November 2012 the report’s authors, David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, established a group called Engage for Success  (EfS) which describes itself as a “movement committed to the idea that the...

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