Four steps to happiness…or at least happier!

Four steps to happiness…or at least happier!

Four Statements to Happier

By Dave Shearon

Positive Psychology News Daily, NY (Dave Shearon) – January 17, 2009, 1:39 pm

Dave Shearon, MAPP, applies positive psychology to both law and education. Dave writes articles about applications of Positive Psychology to law and education at his site.

First, an acknowledgment – Aren Cohen’s beautiful and personal story posted on the 12th of this month, “How Sweet It Isê¢__‘Ô_” inspired me to settle on this topic. “Other people matter,” as Christopher Peterson says.

I have been thinking about what it takes for folks to change, especially the kind of change positive psychology focuses on – from ok to good or good to better: from +1 or +2 in well-being to +4, +5, or +6.

When I speak or lead a workshop, I usually make three disclaimers about what I will NOT be doing during the presentation or workshop:

I will not be doing positive thinking. I”m not Norman Vincent Peale or Tony Robbins. I won”t be saying that if you think it, you can be it, or anything along those lines.

I will not be doing magic. I am not Albus Dumbledore and we”re not in Hogwarts. I cannot wave a magic wand or say an incantation and have folks leave to live lives at sustained higher levels of happiness, optimism, resilience, etc.

I will not be doing religion. I am not Billy Graham, the Dalai Lama, or any other religious leader. What I say may sometimes have the ring of something you may have heard from a spiritual leader, but that’s because the science has borne out some (but not all) of the things many religions teach, in addition to handing us a few surprises.

Four Statements to Happier

So, having admitted that all I can do is present some information and maybe get participants to engage in some experiences that will help them begin to discover the power in some of the approaches of positive psychology, what are the necessary conditions for them to move forward? I have settled on the following four statements. The first is optional but highly recommended. Statements 2-4 are mandatory.

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