CHARACTER STRENGTHS CHALLENGE

9A--Character-strengths-cards-with-hands

Think of a goal you want to achieve. Perhaps it is a fitness goal or is more related to friendships or building in more personal time for yourself in the week. Write down your top signature strengths and reflect on each of them in terms of your goal. How can each of your signature strengths help you achieve the goal you have set?  How can you capitalise on your strengths to help establish a new habit or routine so you can experience a sense of positive accomplishment? Let’s look at an example.

Goal:  I want to meditate more regularly and establish good mindfulness practices.

Signature Strengths

Creativity – I can choose a new meditation every week or even write my own version of a traditional meditation.  

Judgment and Critical Thinking – I can think critically about how this practice will benefit my life in other ways. I’ll write them down and see if I notice any changes in my health, focus, attention etc. which will keep me motivated. 

Leadership – I can get other people to meditate with me and that might help me stay on target.

9--Boy-with-CS-shield

Good luck!

 

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RECOMMENDED PODCAST

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‘Sonja Lyubomirsky on the Myths of Happiness’ on the Greater Good Podcast Series recorded February 2013 and is accessible here

The Greater Good Science Center has been operating from the University of California, Berkeley, since 2001. The non-profit organisation has a strong commitment to understanding both how science can serve us in better understanding social and emotional wellbeing, as well as how to help others apply findings and insights from science for the betterment of people’s lives.  In this interview leading researcher in Positive Psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky, discusses her new book, The Myths of Happiness. For example, Lyubomirsky speaks about the two main myths around happiness. One type of myth revolves around our beliefs that happiness is contingent upon some future event, e.g. “I will be happy when I have a house.” Another type of myth refers to our predictions that we will be unhappy if a negative event occurs, e.g. “I will be unhappy if I lose my house.” Lyubomirsky refers to how research has demonstrated that humans are often more resilient than we think.  Over the course of the interview, Lyubomirsky discusses the complexity of pursuing happiness in terms of how individuals differ and the effects of gender, culture and biology.

RECOMMENDED READING

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Mindful Learning: Reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning
Dr Craig Hassed & Dr Richard Chambers

Mindful Learning provides a comprehensive guide for educators with varied experience and knowledge of mindfulness practices. The authors map out how mindfulness and education meet through defining and exploring the meaning of terms such as education, mindfulness, learning, attention, stress and memory.  This approach allows us to understand the interconnections and integration between mindfulness and learning suggested in the book’s title Mindful Learning.  Whilst a great deal of practical exercises are provided, the authors go beyond describing and justifying mindfulness as an additional technique or program which needs to be added into the curriculum.  Through interweaving sound research in the fields of learning and mindfulness, the book continually increases our awareness of the effects of being present as an educator. In this way, the book carefully and succinctly outlines how mindfulness is most powerfully learned through both explicit teaching such as training attention and implicit teaching such as role-modelling moment to moment awareness. The authors comment, “Most of what we teach we actually do without awareness.”  This book offers its reader the chance to learn about current research and practice, as well as reflect upon and improve their own lives in terms of teaching, health and home. 

Hassed, C. & Chambers, R. (2014). Mindful Learning: Reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning. Wollombi: Exisle Publishing.