Three years ago I completed a program in Positive Psychology at the Flourishing Institute in New York. I received a certificate of Applied Positive Psychology and enjoyed a very rewarding learning experience. The founder of the Flourishing Institute studied at Penn University under Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the founders of Positive Psychology. Dr. Seligman wrote two groundbreaking books, Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness, I would highly recommend reading each book. I found each one to be a great study in human behavior with a ton of practical advise and skills to master.
One of the ideas that I was reminded of early this morning while rereading Authentic Happiness is that in order to have greater Well-Being in life, it’s critical we understand the following principles.
You can’t hang on to resentment; regret, pain and not being able to forgive yourself and others and expect to have a healthy mental outlook on life. All those negative thoughts and feelings just pile up and overwhelm you. So much of this regret and lack of forgiveness is about trying to control past events and others.
Not easy to do but you have to learn to look back on your life experiences and all the lessons you have learned with a Heart of Gratitude and Forgiveness.
When you look to the future with pessimism, worries and anxiety as to how you will navigate life, you can be sure you’re going to find more of the same. So not only are you carrying around the baggage of past regret’s, you have now packed on an even bigger load, a future filled with pessimism and worry!
Start right now filling your heart and mind with some big dreams and goals ……AND I promise you, life will start to look a little different.
You get the picture…… You will NEVER be able to live in the Present Moment if you can’t look to your Past and Future with a positive perspective, positive emotion, gratitude, forgiveness, hope and optimism.
The present moment is about freeing up our minds to focus on our strengths, our gifts, our purpose and building strong positive relationships, savoring each moment and having the freedom (mental, spiritual, physical) to achieve our full potential as human beings.
“Positive emotions, like love, joy, and gratitude, promote new and creative actions, ideas, and social bonds. When people experience positive emotions, their minds broaden and they open up to new possibilities and ideas. At the same time, positive emotions help people build personal well-being resources, ranging from physical resources, to intellectual resources, and social resources.” Barbara Fredrickson 2009
I would also recommend another good resource, Doug Smiths book, Happiness, The art of living with happiness, peace and confidence. Doug is also one of the founders of the Positive Foundry, along with Laura Cooke, CEO, a team dedicated to the principles of Positive Psychology.