“You can't fly with the eagles if you continue to scratch with the turkeys.” – Zig Ziglar
There is too much focus on the NEGATIVE in main stream media (especially the news and reality TV), healthcare, psychology, politics, education, religion, and of course whining, complaining family, friends and coworkers… Too much focus on what is WRONG with us and FIXING what is wrong with us (and life), instead of focusing on what is Right with us (and our lives) and strengthening our good qualities (and being grateful for everything we have).
Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy has a strong influence even to this day on the writings and research of Sigmund Freud. But Freudian psychology has a big emphasis on what is WRONG with our childhoods, our relationship with our parents, our lives, etc. As valuable as it has been, It has a HUGE focus on the NEGATIVE (ie, what is wrong with us).
We need a shift! A shift to focusing on what is right with us, our good traits and qualities and our strengths, talents and gifts.
There is a new branch in Psychology that started in the early 1990's and is getting growing research, support and funding called Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology looks at Positive Human traits instead of disease, illnesses and pathology. For example, in Positive psychology it is now known and scientifically proven that happy people are more creative, more charitable, more productive at work, earn more money, have better health, better immunity, and even live longer.
The idea of helping normal people be happier instead of just fixing mental illnesses now has solid scientific research in the psychology and psychiatric community (with random assignment, placebo controlled and long term studies)!
Martin Seligman, one of the Pioneers in the New Science of
Positive Psychology, says there are 3 major tenants:
1) Positive Psychology is more concerned with building the Strengths of people instead of repairing or fixing the weaknesses or problems.
2) Positive Psychology is interested in building on the best things in life, instead of repairing the worst.
3) Positive Psychology is focused more on helping normal people lead more fulfilling and happy lives and also nurturing high level genius in people than it is with treating pathology, illness and disease.
These studies were done with as much rigor and care as typical disease-treatment type of studies, only the focus is not on treating problems, but rather to help people live a more pleasurable, happy and accomplished life.
What is so fascinating to me is that Positive Psychology research gives a scientific credence to the power of positive thinking, the Law of Attraction, and the teachings of the best known motivational and spiritual speakers.
(stay tuned for Part 2)