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Systematic Ways of Growing the Positive, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

In life, we get stressed over all manner of things and once the stress begins, nothing seems to work like they we want them to. Human beings tend to complicate very small issues and tend to blow them completely out of proportion which makes a difficult situation harder than it really is. In most cases, one can find a stressful situation affecting two individuals in very different ways. The “happy, non-stressed” individual quickly bounces back after all the pressure but the “sad, frustrated and stressed” individual takes a much longer period to get over the stress or just seems to get into another stressful situation/s.

Psychologists claim that life is what one decides to make it: one can choose to be miserable and sad while on the other hand, one can decide to be cheerful and happy (Seligmann, 2002). Positive psychology is usually referred to as the Science of Happiness. It is the study of human happiness and how it relates to the states of fulfillment, joy, engagement, flow and thrives. As opposed to the traditional psychology that uses a medical model to diagnose and treat mental illnesses, positive psychology tries to understand human happiness and how it works.

Positive thinking literally means the absence of negative thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is equated to inner peace. When one is truly at peace with themselves, they are mostly likely to think more positively. On a personal level, there are a number of ways one can be able to attain positive energy. Motivation is a good way to start off the process: sitting quietly, relaxed and feeling your consciousness in the midst of thoughts and emotions. It is guaranteed to create positive vibes throughout the body. It is a good start to one’s day.

Affirmations that are positive are another possible way of creating more positive energy. These affirmations used throughout the day anytime anywhere is a powerful tool. Affirmations are statements that are used in a positive present tense form. For example, the late Norman Vincent Peale used to use the affirmation, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better, better and better”. In making affirmations more useful, use first person pronouns, present tense, positive messages and repeat it consistently and with conviction. Other ways include: let go of the need to control, see the positive in every situation, visualize a peaceful life, drop the resentment within, treat everyone the way you would want to be treated, stop worrying about the future and look at nature (Seligmann, 2002).

The Science of the Positive is a systematic, methodological approach to positive thinking (Linkenbach, 2011). It is a rational way of studying, measuring and increasing the subject of positivism in people, organizations, and communities. Its mission is to ensure a more positive world for al of humanity and this should also be our life mission. It means to achieve positive outcomes by embracing the good and bad of our daily lives with the purpose of serving others around us. This can be achieved when we accept the negative aspects of our lives such as pain, oppression, suffering, poverty and disease and we dare to move past these negatives. Life’s mysteries can be solved when we try to improve ourselves so that we can be able to serve the rest of humanity.

Leaders of organizations and communities have used the Science of Positive to improve the wellbeing of their organizations and communities plus themselves. Traditionally, we have been conditioned to look at the world from a critical standpoint. We tend to look at what is wrong, what is not working, reasons as to why a new idea would not work among other negative aspects. An appreciative approach towards difficult situations in life will focus on strengths, potential and possibilities. Through this approach, we are able to increase the capacity in organizations, individuals and communities by being able to identify resources that we already have internally- knowledge, life experiences that we can positively build on. (McMahill)

The core basis and main assumption of the Science of Positive is that positive is real. The second most important assumption is that the positive already exists in individuals and communities and we can realize the gap that exists in achieving our full potential (Linkenbach, 2011). SOTP can be used in different contexts, models, structures, theories and cultures. It is elemental and is based upon fundamental laws of change and transformation that does not regard time, lifestyle or place. It consists of a framework, core principles, virtues and transformation processes. It has been developed through many years of research and has been put to test in individuals, communities and organizations. It is used to change behaviors, perceptions and outcomes while uncovering untapped potential.

SOTP is a three dimensional model that includes spirit, action and science. These three elements are intertwined together and must work together to bring the desired results. Spirit refers to the higher potential of hope and the underlying meaning as to why one behaves the way they do. Science is all about collecting the necessary information for applying rigor and seeking to understand the world around us .Action is the determinant of activities and behaviors that will be necessary to bring change and transformation. Science keeps us up to date with what is happening around the world that makes question our old beliefs to be able to take in new ideas. Being able to utilize all these three elements can make the application of SOTP more effective.

For the transformation process to begin, there are seven phases that one must go through to be able to positively influence their lives and that of those around them. The seven phases are unique to SOTP and have been borrowed heavily from a mythologist, the Late Joseph Campbell among other renowned psychologists. They provide the structural guidelines of how SOTP unfolds. The seven phases of SOTP transformation journey are: the calling, the abyss, the vision, the mission, the nadir, the return and the elixir. (Linkenbach, 2011).Different positive training programs are built on these phases: Consultations, leadership coaching, tools, guided journeys and workshops.

The first phase, the calling, refers to what we were intended to do in this world. Nuns and monks believe they have a calling to leave behind the world and confine themselves to God’s will which is to serve mankind. We are all called to a journey, a journey of life. All of us were placed in this world to work towards a greater good for the world. The difference between us is how we decide to exert our calling in the world. For example, doctors are called to look at our health issues, missionaries are called to preach God’s word across the world, and teachers are called to impact knowledge to young eager minds. The commonality is that once we chose respond to our calling, we are forever transformed to better people. (Linkenbach, 2011)

At the second stage, we experience the Abyss where one experiences a shortcoming and the desire to achieve something greater. With this realization, one tends to experience a temporary bout of fear or of being stuck in a difficult situation you cannot get out of. This fear then leads us to search for a way out. This phase brings out a sense of dichotomy and the differences between opposites such as good vs. evil, control vs. liberation .There is a lot of uncertainty and inconsistency  that comes with these phase since your “old” beliefs are being tested. It may make us think twice about the decisions we make but if we stay strong, we develop the courage to face what is ahead (Linkenbach, 2011).

The Vision comes about when one dares to move towards some idea/vision of what they would like to be different. A more positive outlook is developed far from the Abyss where everything seemed so confusing. With our vision, we feel hope and view the world differently and we get reenergized to pursue our vision. Soon after the vision, we make a Mission on how we want to get there. We work out strategies, trying to fit pieces together to get the bigger picture. Our determination to achieve our vision is fuelled leading to confidence of getting to our destiny. Transformation begins in this phase while we integrate humility with purpose.  (Linkenbach, 2011)

The fifth phase, Nadir is when reality checks in, making us question our vision and mission. We become confused, disheartened, possibly despairing and feel like we are through fire. The Return makes us realize what is important. It makes us believe that we have a much greater purpose in this world. We get back the essence of who we are and what we need to achieve. The last phase, the Elixir, is when we bring everything in focus. We realize our goal and get great satisfaction from serving others in the community and vice versa. As time passes by, we get called to start a new journey all over again and the level of satisfaction gets higher each time making us more humble (Linkenbach, 2011).

In conclusion, positive people are infectious and can easily get people around them to be the same. We have too much negative influence form outside sources, such as the media, which only leads to more problems than solutions. Social problems always need social solutions. When we apply the Science of the Positive, we get the spirit of work being positive, hopeful and creating positive energy, where our work encourages learning and through our actions we create the positive change we need to cultivate transformation.

References

Linkenbach, J. W. (2011). A More Positive World for All. Berlin: Springer.

McMahill, A. Exploring a Systematic Way for Increasing the Positive in Organizations and Communities. Washington: CRC Press.

Scott, E. (2008). Reduce Stress by Surrounding Yourself with Positive Energy.About.com Guide.  Retrieved from http://stress.about.com/od/optimismspirituality/a/positiveenergy.htm

Seligmann, M. (2002). Authentic Happiness. New York: Simon & Schuster.

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