Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Authentic Happiness & Positive Psychology

“Purpose is what gives life a meaning.”
 Charles H. Perkhurst

Research in Positive Psychology has shown there are three major components to enhancing your happiness and your life: Pleasure, Engagement and Meaning.

The Pleasurable Life

The more you increase and experience pleasure in life, the more happiness you'll feel during and immediately after these experiences. However, such positive feelings are short-lived. Think about relaxing in a warm bath, or enjoying a massage; in the middle of the experience, you are filled with relaxation and positive feelings. A day, week or a month later, the experience is merely a dim memory and doesn’t contribute to lasting feelings of happiness.

The Engaged Life

Engagement is about flow, absorption and gratification. Whenever you engage fully in an experience, with total involvement and concentration, you’ll usually find you are left feeling strong, alert, refreshed and invigorated. Indeed, research in Positive Psychology has shown that engagement and flow measurably increase levels of happiness and life satisfaction. The positive effects of engagement are not short-lived either. Flow builds psychological and emotional capital. It can bring exhilarating feelings of transcendence, and help dissolve emotional problems and challenges.

The Meaningful Life

Of all the components to happiness, meaning provides the longest lasting, strongest and most durable effect. By having a purpose that is bigger than yourself, by living a life of meaning and significance, you can measurably increase your levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Purpose and meaning are the paths to truly enhancing your life.

Using this knowledge

As you can see from the diagram above, to create an enhanced life of happiness and satisfaction, you need to focus on all three components of happiness. You need to put in place activities and processes that increase the amount of pleasure and engagement you experience. Most importantly though, these need to be underpinned with a foundation of meaning and purpose.

The outcome of this blog is to help you understand what this means and guide you in achieving this in your life, so stay posted and I'll continue sharing with you practical ideas and strategies from NLP and Positive Psychology for how to get more out of life.

great life enhancing wishes,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Learning from Feedback

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
Ken Blanchard

We discussed the NLP Success Formula in the previous post on Questioning Assumptions. The Success Formula says that to maximise your chance of success you need to operate the following strategy:
  1. Clearly know your Outcome
  2. Take congruent Action
  3. Sensory Acuity – Learn from Feedback
  4. Behavioural Flexibility – Change and adjust to achieve your Outcome

From this strategy comes the insight that there is no such thing as failure, there's only life enhancing, useful and valid feedback. If what you are doing isn’t working or is moving you further from your outcome, then this is really excellent feedback and allows you to use requisite variety to change and adjust your actions ‘til you are moving closer to your outcome. Excellent. There’s no failure, only feedback. What a great thinking tool.

Thinking Tool – Feedback

"No failure, only useful feedback!"

Too often people see negative feedback as failure. They hate hearing or seeing that something isn’t working or that they are wrong. They then go into denial or distort the facts in order to delete such really useful feedback. When you understand there is no failure, there's only fantastic feedback that you can use to support your success strategy, then you empower yourself to accept reality and make positive use of it. The facts really are our friends. They point us in the direction of our happiness and success.

You really do want to know what works and what doesn’t work in the world. You want an accurate and useful map of your world. So value and appreciate all feedback -- it's life enhancing. Learn and grow from it.

life enhancing wishes,