positive psychology and the concept of flourishing…

I recently heard a lecture by Prof. Seligman, the father of positive psychology. I loved so much of what he had to say, particularly that life should not be about just avoiding pain, but it should be about flourishing. Love that idea!

As I considered the application of this, it occurred to me that the concept of flourishing is a reflection of being part of the 1% (of the global protests recently). As I thought about a 15 year old in my city who might be stuck in a violent home with nowhere to go and no way of escape save growing up, it occurred to me that “flourishing” was not an option really, survival was. I think the same applies to many people around the world, who are struggling to get through life. For them, the avoidance of pain, the healing of brokenness is the focus of their psychological struggle.

Having thought about that, it occurred to me that perhaps this is a way to figure out where you are on life’s ladder of prosperity? While the Global Rich List provides people with a financial picture, I find many people I talk to in the West simply do not believe the numbers. Somehow, because they don’t have the big house, expensive car or fancy boat, they simply buy into the idea of being “hard done by” and don’t recognize how well off they are.

Perhaps then, the idea of flourishing is a better, easier way to measure??? Perhaps if you kept a journal (I am a big journal keeper, as you can see here), and then spent time reflecting on whether or not you were focused on “flourishing” or “surviving”, you’d soon be able to identify the space you live in?

I’d suggest the majority of people reading this are focused on flourishing… and while its an area of great research and terrific challenge for us, part of that challenge is to realize we are the 1% and begin to live simply so others can simply live. Let us celebrate being blessed and live to bless others one-percenters! I will write more on flourishing in the weeks ahead…

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