Category: Happiness / Positive Psychology

Happiness and Meaning

When I was in my 20s and early 30s I dedicated my life (outside of work) to the pursuit of what you might call happiness.  I was the life and soul of the party (transl: got very drunk indeed), went on fantastic holidays, bought nice things and generally lived a great life. And slowly I Read More

The Age of Outrospection

In my research into meaning in work, I found out that meaning is created at a particular intersection of life, best captured by Aristotle: Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, therein lies your vocation. Your Talents Meaning is generated firstly by introspection.  We need to become aware of our unique skills Read More

Career Change Myths #2: ‘I should be happy’

One of the most pathological things human beings can do is to attempt to avoid or change our thoughts and feelings. Yet, today, it seems everyone wants happiness.  These days, if we’re not happy, we tend to think there’s something wrong with us. But thinking we should be happy is not just a myth but Read More

Dear Ken Robinson – Hold Your Passions Lightly!

A while ago I wrote about Ken Robinson’s excellent video about finding and connecting with your passion. I love it, but there are a number of problems with his viewpoint from the perspective of career psychology and transition. ”Doing what you love’ implies that you really can love your work. Whilst this may be true, Read More

Buying Happiness

In ACT, we try to undermine efforts to control our emotional or mental experience in exchange for focusing on valued directions and actions. That means, we try to rebalance peoples’ focus on what they think and feel more towards what they actually do with their hands and feet. I say rebalance because there’s nothing wrong Read More

Happiness and Ambiguity

I caught a moment of happiness today.  It crept up on me.  It was just a moment where the silent, snowy beauty of the world outside coincided with writing Christmas cards to my clients inside in the warm, with Clarence sitting on my lap.  I was thinking about my clients, their bravery and warmth, and Read More

Strengths vs values

  I often work with clients in the area of strengths and values.  But what’s the difference? To explore strengths, I often use the VIA signature strengths test, and it’s worth noting that of course ‘VIA’ stands for values in action.  So are strengths the same as values? In practice I find words like ‘strengths’ Read More

The Dangers of Positive Thinking

Brilliant. RSS 2.0:

Steve Hayes at UCL

Spent the last 2 days in a workshop with Steve Hayes, creator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. To say the least, it is challenging.  A common experience to nearly everyone is to feel lost and confused.  And yet.  ACT is taking off .  Something resonates. What? For me, it is clear.  ACT appeals to head Read More

Minds – a User’s Guide

I live in a near constant state of anxiety, yet what am I actually anxious about? Often the answer is fear. Fear of what? Failure perhaps. Or of looking like a failure. And yet, my experience of failure is actually very rare. In truth I have very little direct contact with the experience of real Read More