Happiness Too

Yes, it is a deliberate pun. The Vanguard course continues to delight. I have now taken part in two telephone discussion groups which are amazingly helpful. Everyone is so supportive and so many people are using the lessons from Vanguard in different ways in their work. It truly is inspiring. I thought that with twenty of us on the phone at once plus our facilitator and with no visual clues we would keep interrupting each other but that has not been the case. It is amazingly polite and organised.

We have also had our first online lecture from Professor Barbara Fredrickson. It really was a joy. Despite quite a lot of stats, I found myself riveted. She confirmed some of Martin Seligman’s material and added quite a lot of new stuff. I think the things which stood out for me are the hard evidence that a positive affect can add ten years to your life. Think about that. The opposite, of course, is that negativity knocks ten years off. No wonder so many Scots die so young. Our diet is poor, we drink too much, we smoke, some of us live in desperately poor housing, then we are miserable. And no wonder! But the being miserable, apart from all the other things, is killing us too young.

Professor Fredrickson is now working with M Losada and quoted his work with teams. Put simply, positive teams thrive and grow, negative teams get stuck in dead ends and decline. And it doesn’t have to be that way. As Professor Seligman outlines in his book, Authentic Happiness, there are inteventions we can use to make ourselves happier and more optimistic. I see part of my role as being to spread that message, to teach these and other interventions and to make my part of the world a happier, healthier and more prosperous place to be.

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