Building Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is based on the idea that building on our strengths is often a more effective path to success than trying to force excellence in areas we are simply not suited for. In practice, this technique involves identifying one’s strengths and working to provide yourself with more opportunities to use them.

Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology says that for a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths and use these strengths for the greater good.

Growing up, I sucked at math like most people. I didn’t like to solve it & would get sick from the mere thought of something as basic as LCM/HCF. I was, however, good at English. I loved to write stories and to be frank, they were captivating enough because I was always the go-to person for my classmates when they needed a storyline for a drama presentation.

My parents weren’t impressed with my math grade so they got me a math tutor. To be honest, they didn’t pay much attention to my commendable English grade.

Now, this tutor would tell me on several occasions to forget English and focus on math. He said math was my weakness and if I should be putting effort into anything, it had to be math, not English.

“You already know English. Focus on math”

At the end of the term, I still didn’t top in math and my English grade dropped from excellent to fair.

Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

When it comes to strengths and weaknesses, which do you think you need to focus on to be more successful and lead a happier life?

Culturally we tend to not focus on our strengths and we are pressed to conform to the social norm of being modest, even self-effacing. As children, we are indirectly taught to focus on our weaknesses and this habit continues into adulthood. Where again we tend to focus more on our weaknesses than our strengths. This way of thinking is incorrect in that we believe it is our weaknesses, rather than our strengths, that are our greatest areas of growth.

Professor Alex Linley, defines strength as “a particular way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is authentic and energizing to the user, and enables optimal functioning, development and performance.”

With that definition, you understand that people who focus on their strengths are more confident, and have higher levels of energy and vitality. They are also more resilient, perform better at work and are more likely to achieve their goals.

Strength is your ability to consistently produce a positive outcome on a specific task. It helps you increase positive emotions, enhance your self-confidence, and gives you the greatest potential for success. You’ll get the biggest bang for the buck by honing the skills you already have. Focus on what you are good at, instead of what you are not.

If you are good at writing and bad at making music, it is only wise to focus on ways to become a better writer and ways to hone your writing skills for a sustainable means of income rather than spending your entire day at the studio trying to record a song that will most likely be a disaster to the ears.

Have you identified your strengths? Do you know your weaknesses?

Employees have long focused on fixing weaknesses to increase their chances of success. But recent research suggests that this long-standing advice may not be the best coaching. In fact, when leaders, teams, cultures, and individuals focus on strengths, they have a better chance of winning than if they focus on improving deficiencies.

Imagine what would have happened if Oprah Winfrey chose to sing instead or Elon Musk chose to be an architect? Imagine your best world leaders and role models focused on their weaknesses and not the strength you know them to possess. Imagine how your life would have turned out if you focused on your strengths and expanded your knowledge of them.

Instead of spending time criticizing yourself, and focusing on the wrong things, try to take an objective approach to understand your journey. Performing a SWOT Analysis is a great way to retrain the way you think about yourself. S = strengths W= weaknesses O = opportunities T = threats.

Now you may ask, what should I do with my weaknesses then?

Albert Einstein didn’t need to be a good painter, baker or tailor. He could enjoy art, eat cookies and wear suits all made by somebody else. Spending more time trying to improve his pastry-making skills would have robbed him of precious hours to develop general relativity.

In essence, you can outsource your weaknesses while you learn mastery of your strengths. Someone may not be able to write that poem just as you can or play the piano or create that software, but someone else can cook better than you would have ever cooked (because it’s not your strength), you can choose to outsource to these people who do well in the field.

Secondly, you can choose to safely ignore your strengths. If you’re a writer who isn’t very funny, you don’t need to be comedic in your prose. If you’re bad at math, you can avoid making your career rest on numerical virtuosity.

Also, you can choose to improve your weaknesses. A saying goes, “sometimes a weakness is merely an undiscovered strength”. It’s often through lack of practice, rather than genuine lack of talent, that our weaknesses hobble us. Therefore, if you want to improve your weakness, that might be the best sign to work on it more than anything else.

We hope you found this article useful. Which of these approaches are you applying in your life already? Outsourcing, improving or ignoring your weaknesses?

Kindly drop us your insights. We’d love to read from you!

Compromising & Adjusting for Others

Have you been in positions where you want to do something for your benefit and as it suits you, but then someone else want you to do something contrary.

Disagreements ensue because of your refusal but then again, on second thought, you both decide to meet halfway? Compromise is an agreement between two or more parties to settle differences between them by mutual concessions. Something midway between two or more conflicting, different, or opposing things.

For example, imagine your shift has ended and you are about to head home but because it’s happy hour, you have more customers’ troop in than ever which means all hands need to be on deck to meet these customers’ needs. Your boss asks you to work for 2 more hours to support the few staff left but you know you cannot work 2 hours as you have other engagements. Then, you propose to work for just an hour which your boss agrees to. From this positive compromise, both sides made concessions and met somewhere in the middle to foster understanding and end the brewing dispute. Compromise is not an act of weakness as most people see it to be.

Compromising is a way of demonstrating your confidence in the fact that a situation can be worked out, and your commitment to actually doing it. Think about it as strength.It is vital in any relationship, whether it’s with coworkers, friends, family members or your partner. It’s important to know when to stand your ground, but also to know which battles are worth fighting. It only demonstrates that you care for something or someone beyond yourself. Compromises can be used in virtually any setting. Compromises are used at work to make a more cohesive environment that centers on collaboration and teamwork. This concept can be used in the home to bring peace to the people that live there and delineate responsibility between people.

Think about the times you had to compromise and the result thereafter. Did it foster peace and understanding or did it salvage a relationship that was on the brink of collapse?

“A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, ‘Huh. It works. It makes sense.’” — Barack Obama

Janelle is working hard as a nurse in a special needs facility. She is requesting a raise from her current boss, who has been with the company for several years. During the meeting, her boss suggests a promotion instead of a raise. Janelle would get a title change, more responsibilities and an increase in her wages. She happily agrees as she is bored at her current position and looking for more of a challenge; this benefit her organization, as her boss was bogged down by the amount of work she had, it also benefits Janelle as she would enjoy an increase in her wages and a new exciting position. Compromising is an essential tool, as it is used to ensure a peaceful environment; this is seen as the give and take necessary to create a balanced situation to end a disagreement. It keeps things running smoothly by avoiding clear “winners” and “losers”.It can help smooth over conflicts in a variety of situations and settings.

Compromise will promote collaboration between people.As much as this article advocates for compromise and making adjustments to foster peace and understanding between parties, it is also important to know when not to compromise and stick your ground. What are the terms of the agreement? Is it something that is at least mutually beneficial? Is it healthy and are you compromising with someone who genuinely has your interest at heart or a narcissist who is only for their own gain? In your relationship, does your partner want you to compromise on something that is totally unhealthy to your mental state and on something against your belief?

The end point is, know when you are compromising and making adjustments that are mutually beneficial and when you are been taken advantage of. Whether you’re trying to compromise with your partner, a family member, or a coworker, the process will look similar. Start by finding out each person’s stance on the issue. Then, work together to come up with different ways you can resolve the issue. It can also help to avoid some common roadblocks that prevent successful compromise, like being disrespectful or focusing on winning.

First you need to know where you stand on the matter and why you have taken such stance. Try to see things from the other person’s point-of-view by stepping into their shoes. Envision what the experience is like for the other person and what may be driving their actions.

Secondly, suggest multiple options or let the other party suggest multiple options. When people have the freedom to make decisions, they’re generally happier. And when a person has two or more options instead of one, they’ll generally be more willing to move forward–not to mention being happier with the end result. If you want to offer an effective compromise, instead of suggesting just one option for meeting in the middle, suggest multiple options. Lay out multiple paths forward, and open yourself to other options too. This method of multi-option presentation will make it easier for the two of you to find a mutual ground you can both agree upon.

Also, bear in mind that not all compromise attempts will work. Some people are fundamentally unwilling to compromise, and sometimes, there really isn’t a middle ground for two diametrically opposed positions. This is rare, as when two people work together to find new, creative solutions, there’s usually room for at least one potential path forward, but failed compromises are a reality you’ll need to prepare for. In such cases, it is appropriate to stand your ground as you wouldn’t want to be in a position where you are the only person willing to compromise.

Compromise has saved numerous relationships be at work or at home. It is fostered communication and peace. The world is not a battle ground today because nations were able to come to an agreement.

Ultimately, it is better to bend a little than to break.

Curbing Moral Decadence

I heard about the 13year old Chrisland School girl’s tape with the 11-year-old boy. But that was not the first knowledge I had about the event. I didn’t know there was a video until I saw a mother’s cry for help on Instagram about her daughter who got raped.

These rotten private schools are doing the worst and not taking accountability for their negligence.

That was my first thought upon hearing that pained mother lament and seek justice.

It was preposterous that a school of such high tier would try to cover up a rape case involving their student — a minor. Then, I learned there was a video about the rape incident and so I went in search of it and watched it!

My perspective changed abruptly!

Are you on TikTok? If you are not, You’d think we have much hope left in this generation and that morality can be easily salvaged. The App has become a breeding ground of all degeneracy.

There, you’d see our leaders of tomorrow engage in mindless viral challenges. Young girls make videos attesting to how lucrative “hook up” is as opposed to other decent means of income and young boys would make suggestive videos and even admit to fraudulent and shady businesses.

As unbelievable as these sound,  more bizarre things happen in our present world and they are not a facade or make-believe or clout, but reality.

Recently in the news, there was a teenager who sold 2 babies each for 5,000 naira. These atrocities leave you wondering to what extent this younger generation would go to be perceived as rich, famous and “woke”.

More than ever, our society has become debauched, with an untamable generation lost between bad and evil, a society not doing much to help and a people who have more problems than do a morality check.

Poor upbringing, emphasis on materialism, the decline in religious training, poverty, the influence of western education and socioeconomic status has been identified as the major causes of moral decadence, but this article is not for who or what to blame. It is about what we should be doing in the littlest way possible to help revive moral standards and uphold a sane society.

As people, As a society, we need to spotlight good role models for the younger generation. We need to talk more and highlight people who successfully climbed the ladder to success legitimately. We need to tell real stories of people and their struggles to the top. We need to emphasize the importance of dignity as it relates to labour. We need to start appreciating people for their humble beginnings and not only referencing “public figures”.

The quest for quick money without work is largely based on the fact that some of these youths perceive success as a rapid process. They go on social media and people who are regarded as influencers are people without any traceable means of sustainable income. Women who are called “queens” and ambassadors are women who cannot reasonably account for all the money they have.

Sure, there’s still dignity in labor. Success is not a get-rich-quick scheme and every good thing in life requires dedication and effort.

Also, we need to pay more attention to our children and ward. It’s our responsibility to monitor their affairs and groom them. If we portray and teach the right morals and imbibe discipline, we will have children who are well grounded in decency.

These days, parents get so busy that they barely have time to invest in their kids, unfortunately, these kids go out to a more polluted environment and absorb bad habits they weren’t warned about.

Lastly, we need to be true to ourselves. We need to tell our stories for what it really is if we must tell it at all. There have been several cases where a role model who has passed a message of hard work and consistency later came off as a courtesan. There have been stories of men who appeared on Forbes under 30 for their innovative works only for them to later be traced to cases of fraud and scam.

You don’t want to crush the hope of the younger generation who look up to you. You don’t want to twist their mentality to think that the wrong way is the only way to do it.

Do not camouflage success. Do not ridicule the reward of true hard work!

The future holds promises and dreams for the youth that can be achieved through hard work, dedication, planning, education and words of wisdom, the least we can do is help them achieve it!

Happy Easter!

Hello brilliant and excellent people, we are glad to be writing to you again on this special occasion. Happy Easter to you! May this Easter bring you new beginnings, fresh starts and sweet surprises.

How has the year been so far? We have gradually moved to the 2nd quarter of the year and we hope the experience has been a good one, if not, there’s still plenty of time for things to come around!

Sessions like Easter give us new hopes and fill our hearts with new expectations. We look at it as a fresh start and a progression from the past months. We hope you take out this Easter holiday to relax your mind, appreciate how far you have come and prepare yourself to keep going! This Easter is a season to show a random act of kindness to yourself and others around you. These seasons are a great time to reach out and touch the lives of people who are not as privileged as you. People who do not have anyone to celebrate with or what to even celebrate with. For many of us, it’s going to be a feast on different platters, so we can afford to feed one or two people and put a smile on their faces.

No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.

I read a story about Kelly McGuire’s act of kindness and thought to share it here to inspire someone to do right by doing good this Easter.

Kelly McGuire and her husband Sean were leaving a Bears game in Chicago when she spotted a homeless woman across the street. The woman held a sign reading “I need winter boots and winter clothing items.”

McGuire had a bag of warm clothing with her because she had worn layers for the 30-degree weather, and then took them off while she was eating dinner. She wrote on her Facebook post, “I had everything in that bag that she needed. Shirts, sweatshirts, gloves, scarves, etc.”

After giving her the bag of clothing, McGuire sat down next to the woman and removed her boots, intending to walk to the train in her socks. That’s when the woman stopped her and offered her the old, dirty boots she had been wearing. McGuire wrote, “She, who had nothing, offered me these boots. Her boots. I wore them all the way home.”

With all of the negative stories in the news, sometimes it’s nice to find tears running down your face for a different reason: a profound appreciation for the kind things people do for each other.

Easter offers the opportunity to share goodwill and gratitude with friends and family or colleagues, clients and strangers.

For Christians around the world, Easter celebrates the resurrection of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For many others, Easter commemorates the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.

Whatever you do this Easter, make sure you are kind to yourself. Make sure its significance is felt in your life and also ensure that through you, someone else could smile.

We wish you a happy Easter Celebration.