What is the Ancient Chinese Secret to Resilience and Happiness?

Extracted from What is the Ancient Chinese Secret to Resilience and Happiness?

by Paul T. P. Wong, Ph.D. C.Psych

Culture affects us in numerous and significant ways. It influences how we think (Nisbett, 2003), what we value (Hofstede, 1984; Leong & Wong, 2003), how we behave (Brislin, 1999) and how we cope (Wong & Wong, 2006). Culture shapes psychology, especially positive psychology, because it is value-laden.

Consistent with the current wave of cross-cultural psychology and international psychology (Emmons, 2006; Kim, Yang, & Hwang, 2006; Lehman, Chiu, & Schaller, 2004; Triandis, 1994), the next stage of development of positive psychology (PP) is to go global. The hedgemony of American psychology will hinder the discovery of universal principles and cultural specifics in positive psychology. Integration between Eastern and Western perspectives of PP would be a good start towards internalizing PP (Snyder & Lopez, 2007).

Cultural differences in positive psychology
The positive psychology as advocated by Martin Seligman and associates (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Snyder & Lopez, 2005) is the product of American culture with its ideology of liberal democracy, positive expectations and individualistic values; it is best for a time of peace and prosperity. Recently, researchers begin to pay some attention to cultural differences in the good life (King & Napa, 1998; Haidt, 2005).

There is increasing evidence that cultural values and cultural beliefs influence such matters as what constitutes the good life and optimal functioning (Haidt, 2005; Leong & Wong, 2003; Lopez, Edwards, Magyar-Moe, Pedrotti, & Ryder, 2003; Peterson & Seligman, 2004; Snyder & Lopez, 2007).

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Why Choosing Your Life Purpose Is So Darn Hard

 

Extracted from Rethinking Psychology

by Dr. Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D.

You must create your own life purposes if your life is to have purpose. The life purpose that we suggest that you adopt in natural psychology is the ongoing effort to make value-based meaning. But however you name and frame your life purposes, the onus remains on your shoulders to reject the idle question “What is the meaning of life?” and to personally answer the pertinent question, “How do I intend to live?” 

In natural psychology we accept that creating life purposes and making value-based meaning amount to difficult business. They require that we live very intentionally, that we deal mindfully with circumstances and with the facts of existence, that we exert ourselves in ways that human beings do not regularly like to exert themselves, and that we accept a certain view of life, a naturalistic one, which to my mind is beautiful but which strikes many people as too cold, sad, and insufficient. It is this last problem that often pulls the rug right out from under the enterprise of creating life purposes and making value-based meaning.

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Myths Come From Values, Not From Ignorance

Extracted from Cedars Digest

“…Similarly, the “we only use 10% of our brain” myth reflects a belief that we have untapped potential. This is surely true. Most of us at any given moment we have an awareness that our mind is not as focused as it could be. This might be because many of us get to occasionally experience those great moments that psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow” when we are totally immersed in the task at hand. In all other times, we can observe our own mind wandering and feel the cognitive costs. We have also observed experts at work, doing things effortlessly which we could not even imagine. If we could only use 25% of our brain, that would be within our grasp! Like many brain myths, this doesn’t hold up to any scientific scrutiny. But the point is that most who endorse this myth in this see it as a neuroscientific translation of their belief in untapped cognitive potential. And they are right! We do have untapped potential. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to how much you can hold in your long term memory. And it seems to stay there forever! But this is not because we only use 10% of our brain….”

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the appeal of Personal Construct Psychology

Extract from An Introduction to PCP

by Peggy Dalton

It is unusual for a theory of personality to begin in the realm of philosophy, but we believe this is quite essential. Unless there is some understanding of the world in which the individual operates psychologically, it is very easy to make assumptions about that world. Indeed, most psychological theories make philosophical assumptions about the world in which they operate, but generally they do not do so explicitly.

George Kelly, on the other hand, quite explicitly brought up this issue at the outset, defining his philosophy as that of constructive alternativism. This imposing title is rather daunting but it is not really difficult to understand.

Essentially, he proposes that there is a real world out there. It exists, is interconnected and is in continual motion. As individuals we are continually trying to grasp that real world by constructing our own version of it. Kelly continually emphasised the importance of anticipation, saying ‘it is both the push and pull of the psychology of personal constructs’. A person is trying to anticipate real events. ‘It is the future that tantalises us, not the past. Always we reach out to the future through the window of the present’.

The constructions we make are infinitely variable and there are a huge range of alternative ways of construing and making sense of the same event. However, to the individual, whatever construction we make is real to us.

In one of his most often quoted paragraphs, Kelly wrote:

We take the stand that there are always some alternative constructions available to choose among in dealing with the world. No one needs to paint themselves into a corner; no one needs to be completely hemmed in by circumstances; no one needs to be the victim of their biography.

For all of us there are alternative ways of making sense of our experience, only bound by the rules we impose on ourselves. Those rules, being created personally, can be altered by personal choice also.

"Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is." ~ Bhagavad Gita

Extract from  Personal Beliefs, Values, Basic Assumptions and Attitudes

By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Beliefs

The clearer you are about what you value and believe in, the happier and more effective you will be.

Beliefs are the assumptions we make about ourselves, about others in the world and about how we expect things to be. Beliefs are about how we think things really are, what we think is really true and what therefore expect as likely consequences that will follow from our behavior.

According to Jemie Smart, an NLP guru, you can model beliefs as ‘feed-forward’ mechanisms that sort and filter data in order to prove themselves to be true. Beliefs are valuable resources, generalizations that people use to give themselves a sense of certainty and a basis for decision-making in an uncertain and ambiguous world.

Values

Values are about how we have learnt to think things ought to be or people ought to behave, especially in terms of qualities such as honesty, integrity and openness.

What Do You Believe About Yourself?

Many of the limitations you face in life are self-imposed. What you believe about yourself can keep you locked behind your fears or thrust you forward into living your dreams.

“We are what we think,” taught Buddha.

“Change your thinking, change your life,” said Ernest Holmes.

“If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right,” advised Mark Twain.

You become what you believe you are. Think of yourself as a work in progress. Actually, we all are. Identify old limiting beliefs that may be holding you back and get rid of them