Flourish – PERMAnently

Hi All,

This is a repost of an article I did in May of 2011. I’m sharing it again today, because it was a topic of conversation with a wonderful group of Wishful Thinking Women this weekend in Cape Coral, FL and it’s filled with information that can change your life permanently, if you let it!

Enjoy,

Patrice

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Give me a P.  “P”   Give me an E.  “E” 

  Give me a R, M, A!   “R, M, A!”

What does it spell? PERMA! Louder. PERMA???

Now that I have your attention, I would like to tell you about Dr. Martin Seligman’s acronym for what we need to flourish in our lives – PERMA. My explanation comes from the pages of his book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, which I have mentioned several times in recent posts.

The book is 300+ pages of:

  • what’s working in positive psychology (lots)
  • stories about how positive psychology got to where it is today (It’s growing by leaps and bounds and finding its way into schools, businesses, and the United State Army – more on that later.)
  • a how-to manual for those interested in improving their lives (that’s us)
  • and a guide for where Seligman thinks positive psychology, we, and the world should direct our attention next.

Ambitious? Yes.  Interesting? Quite!  Insightful? Undeniably.  Helpful? Unbelievably.  Readable? Well, yes, but my guess is not everyone will find it the page-turner that I did. (I say this only because I have learned from the kind and well-meaning feedback of friends and family throughout the years that one woman’s non-fiction dream, can be another person’s sleeping potion.) So just incase you don’t pick-up the book, I am sharing a bit of what’s inside it.

Which brings me back to PERMA, and how to create the life your really want from Seligman’s five pillars of well-being.

P – POSITIVE EMOTION (happiness, fun, gratitude – a solid base)

E – ENGAGEMENT (flow – losing ourselves or becoming so absorbed in our work, our hobbies, the moment)

R – RELATIONSHIPS (those that touch our hearts, our souls and our minds)

M – MEANING or a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives

A – ACCOMPLISHMENT (learning and moving forward with our endeavors big and small; knowing and using your strengths)

Put them all together and what do you have? PERMA and folks, who are flourishing by living happy, interesting, fulfilling lives that they created, embrace, value and appreciate.

PERMA is much more than a to-do-list. It’s about creating the life you really want, and can help you focus your attention and efforts on what’s ahead for you, not the past. There’s a big difference and that difference can help you flourish – PERMAnently!

PERMA is definitely one of those Wishful Thinking kind-of things that work!

WTW Dandelion

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Flourish PERMAnently

Give me a P.  “P”   Give me an E.  “E” 

  Give me a R, M, A!   “R, M, A!”

What does it spell? PERMA! Louder. PERMA???

 

Now that I have your attention, I would like to tell you about Dr. Martin Seligman’s acronym for what we need to flourish in our lives – PERMA. My explanation comes from the pages of his newest book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, which I have mentioned several times in recent posts.

The book is 300+ pages of:

  • what’s working in positive psychology (lots)
  • stories about how positive psychology got to where it is today (It’s growing by leaps and bounds and finding its way into schools, businesses, and the United State Army – more on that later.)
  • a how-to manual for those interested in improving their lives (that’s us)
  • and a guide for where Seligman thinks positive psychology, we, and the world should direct our attention next.

Ambitious? Yes.  Interesting? Quite!  Insightful? Undeniably.  Helpful? Unbelievably.  Readable? Well, yes, but my guess is not everyone will find it the page-turner that I did. (I say this only because I have learned from the kind and well-meaning feedback of friends and family throughout the years that one woman’s non-fiction dream, can be another person’s sleeping potion.) So just incase you don’t pick-up the book, I will keep sharing what’s inside it.

Which brings me back to PERMA, and how to create the life your really want from Seligman’s five pillars of well-being.

P – POSITIVE EMOTION (happiness, fun, gratitude – a solid base)

E – ENGAGEMENT (flow – losing ourselves or becoming so absorbed in our work, our hobbies, the moment)

R – RELATIONSHIPS (those that touch our hearts, our souls and our minds)

M – MEANING or a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives

A – ACCOMPLISHMENT (learning and moving forward with our endeavors big and small; knowing and using your strengths)

Put them all together and what do you have? PERMA and folks, who are flourishing by living happy, interesting, fulfilling lives that they created, embrace, value and appreciate.

I’ll be posting more info about Seligman’s 5 factor approach for flourishing. PERMA is much more than a to-do-list. It’s about creating the life you really want, and can help you focus your attention and efforts on what’s ahead for you, not the past. There’s a big difference and that difference can help you flourish – PERMAnently!

PERMA is definitely one of those Wishful Thinking kind-of things that work!

WTW Dandelion

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

Visit Wishful Thinking Works on Facebook for posts and updates.

If you enjoyed this or any other post, please “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on FB and share the post with your friends!

One question

Are things in your life falling apart or into place?

Sometimes, things may look like they are going wrong, but with time and perspective and or by simply staying in the moment, we realize they are actually falling into place.

Have a great day!

Are you ready to create the life your really want?

Start today with Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching! 

Patrice encourages all of us to identify and follow our dreams, because she knows first hand that Wishful Thinking Works.

Patrice Koerper Robson is a United States Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served in Macedonia from 2006-2009 beginning at the age of 53. She is one of only 460 people over the age of 50, who have served annually in the United States Peace Corps (Approximately 6% of the Volunteers who serve each year are over the age of 50).

Patrice loves Macedonia, and is happy to have traveled back to the tiny, mountainous country many times. Her first return trip was in the fall of  2010 for two months to visit friends and work on projects. She traveled back again for a month in 2011, and as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer for four months from 2012-13. 

In 2016, she and her wonderful husband, Dan, spent their extended honeymoon in Macedonia combining five weeks in the ancient and beautiful city of Bitola with side trips to Venice and to the Isle of Corfu. Patrice was also a Response Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia for four months from 2011-12, which she plans to revisit in the future.

Patrice’s main passion and occupation is Wishful Thinking Works life coachingworkshops and presentations, which combined with her family and friends and travels with her husband, are all part of the life she is really wants

 

 

 

 

Are you on Ego-matic pilot?

ego (2)At our Wishful Thinking Women gathering this weekend we were talking about “taming” our egos. Because of ego influence, I think many folks believe that change is often too hard to even attempt. We believe that we must live according to the whims of our egos and this ego-inspired belief is what keeps us stuck in a permanent state of ego-matic pilot making change seem difficult or overwhelming.

In a state of ego-matic pilot, we throw away or delay the possibility of love, our dreams, losing weight, going to college, getting a better job, being the kind of Mom, Dad, wife, husband, friend or colleague we want to be and so much more. We think it is all too hard for us to attain, or maybe worse, that we don’t deserve the fulfillment or happiness those changes may bring.  In ego-matic mode we create explanations and excuses to support our negative perspectives and then use them as justification for our personal pity parties or our failed prospects and attempts.

I don’t believe we need to tame our egos, they are just another part of us, but I do believe we can calm them and neutralize their perceptual stranglehold on our actions and emotions through awareness, acceptance and fulfillment.

Here is my Wishful Thinking Works plan for releasing yourself from ego-matic pilot:

  1. The first step is belief in the possibility that living a happy, fulfilled life is easier than we think. (Just like Dorothy discovered in the “Wizard of Oz”, perhaps you have always had the power!)
  2. The second step is an openness to new options and opinions. (Don’t be afraid to change, an evolutionary outlook and approach to life is not only energizing it can be deeply rewarding.)
  3. The third is awareness in the moment and of the world around us. (Time spent noticing our thoughts or paying attention to the beauty around us, rather than listening to the never-ending ego appraisal going on in our minds, is always time well spent.)

EX: The next time you start beating-up on yourself for eating too much or too little; saying too much or too little; doing too much or too little, etc., etc.  – STOP, take a deep breath and tell yourself “I love you, I love you for this choice and all the others you have made in your life. I will accept you as you are this very minute.” Take one more deep breath, exhaling slowly.

This simple, momentary change of thought and heart yields tremendous power. It not only pulls you out of your negative auto/ego-matic pilot, it signals the brain to release a more relaxing set of chemicals and hormones and offers you what we all need more of – love and support – thereby increasing the possibility you will be more open to seeing, feeling and sharing love and support with yourself and others in the future. Try it, and repeat it every time you slip back into any negative auto/ego-matic thinking!  (I know this will be a change for you, so please re-read Steps 1 & 2 and then repeat as necessary.)

Please note: If you were beating-up on yourself for having said or done something to someone that hurt them now is a good time to apologize, and if your ego-matic mind ramps-up to dissuade you, repeat Step 3, and then go for it. Here are some tips on apologizing to help you out. 

knot-252096_960_720Don’t tie yourself or your life up in knots thinking change or life is too hard. Don’t hide from hope, don’t turn your back on possibilities and please, no matter how many times life knocks you down, believe better is possible.

If you find yourself flat on your back, emotionally or physically, don’t worry about jumping right back up, simply take a deep breath, let a feeling of peace wash over you, repeat the words in quotes in Step 3 and then relax knowing better days are ahead.

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Free Virtual WTW Workshop, “Finding More Meaning in Your Life”

Wishful Thinking Works Meaning of Your Life (2)Do you feel that your life has purpose and meaning? Are you excited to get our of bed each morning?

Or, are you busy but not really satisfied with your life? Are you second guessing your career, your relationships, your life choices?  Are you wondering what to do next?

Studies show that those who are leading a purposeful life – live longer, are happier and experience a greater sense of resiliency and trust! I know my life did a 180 when I focused on what mattered, which led me in many new and rewarding directions.

Would you like to learn more about the concept of meaning, the role it plays in your life and how to find yours?

  • If so, join us on Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m to learn about the latest research on meaning and to take an individual survey to discover where you fall on the meaningful life scale. (Only you will know your score, unless you choose to share it!)

Taking the 3-5 minute survey can help you get started on your personal meaning journey. A few days before we meet I will send you the survey and we will score it at the end of our session.

Also before we meet, please read my Wishful Thinking Works post about PERMA (3 minutes), which describes a bit about purpose and then join us for a fun evening of insights and positivity! (Hint: Meaning is related to connectedness and relationship, but not necessarily how we may normally think about them.)

We will begin at 6:30 pm with a Welcome and Intros and then I will share on the topic for about 35-40 minutes followed by Q & A and survey scoring.

RSVP today!  I will email you details about joining our call by July 17.

Meaning matters and can enrich and expand your life!

Talk with you soon.

Warm regards,

Patrice

 

 

Free Virtual WTW Workshop, “Finding More Meaning in Your Life”

Wishful Thinking Works Meaning of Your Life (2)Do you feel that your life has purpose and meaning? Are you excited to get our of bed each morning?

Or, are you busy but not really satisfied with your life? Are you second guessing your career, your relationships, your life choices?  Are you wondering what to do next?

Studies show that those who are leading a purposeful life – live longer, are happier and experience a greater sense of resiliency and trust! I know my life did a 180 when I focused on what mattered, which led me in many new and rewarding directions.

Would you like to learn more about the concept of meaning, the role it plays in your life and how to find yours?

If so, join us on Wednesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m to learn about the latest research on meaning and to take an individual survey to discover where you fall on the meaningful life scale. (Only you will know your score, unless you choose to share it!)

Taking the 3-5 minute survey can help you get started on your personal meaning journey. A few days before we meet I will send you the survey and we will score it at the end of our session.

Also before we meet, please read my Wishful Thinking Works post about PERMA (3 minutes), which describes a bit about purpose and then join us for a fun evening of insights and positivity! (Hint: Meaning is related to connectedness and relationship, but not necessarily how we may normally think about them.)

We will begin at 6:30 pm with a Welcome and Intros and then I will share on the topic for about 35-40 minutes followed by Q & A and survey scoring.

RSVP today!  I will email you details about joining our call by July 17.

Meaning matters and can enrich and expand your life!

Talk with you soon.

Warm regards,

Patrice

 

 

Free Virtual WTW Workshop, “Finding More Meaning in Your Life”

Wishful Thinking Works Meaning of Life (2)Do you feel that your life has purpose and meaning?

Studies show that those who are leading a purposeful life – live longer, are happier and experience a greater sense of resiliency and trust!

Would you like to learn more about the concept of meaning, the role it plays in your life and how to find yours?

If so, join us to learn about the latest research on meaning and to take an individual survey to discover where you fall on the meaningful life scale. (Only you will know your score, unless you choose to share it!)

Taking the 3-5 minute survey can help you get started on your personal meaning journey. A few days before we meet I will send you the survey and we will score it at the end of our session.

Also before we meet, please read my Wishful Thinking Works post about PERMA (3 minutes), which describes a bit about purpose and then join us for a fun evening of insights and positivity! (Hint: Meaning is related to connectedness and relationship, but not necessarily how we may normally think about them.)

We will begin at 6:30 pm with a Welcome and Intros and then I will share on the topic for about 35-40 minutes followed by Q & A and survey scoring.

RSVP today!  I will email you details about joining our call by June 26.

 

Meaning matters and can enrich and expand your life!

Talk with you soon.

Warm regards,

Patrice

 

 

Happiness is a choice

Throughout the year I am lucky enough to be able to present on a topic I love, “Happiness Is a Choice.”  Today is one of those days, which makes me very happy!

For those of you who won’t be able to join us in beautiful, sunny, Fort Myers Beach today, here are a few of the tips I will be sharing.

  • 40% of your happiness is entirely up to you! happiness-graph
  • Studies show 50% is determined genetically,
  • only 10% by actual life circumstances,
  • and the remaining 40% is entirely up to you!

You truly have a choice as to how you want to react to your feelings and life’s situations.

We will also be talking about P.E.R.M.A., the father of positive psychology, Dr. Martin Seligman’s  five-point life list for flourishing. Hint: meaning and purpose are key; for the details click here.

And, I will be sharing positive psychology lecturer, author and researcher, Shawn Achor’s 21-day “Happiness Advantage” plan. To learn more and receive a free copy, click here.

Hope these tips help, so wherever you are today, you can learn a bit more about why “Happiness Is a Choice”!

You can do it!

An even fuller, full circle

About 15 years ago, I began gently and patiently exploring how to create the life I really wanted. I slowed down, stepped back a bit from the life I was leading, began asking myself lots of questions and then, really listened to my answers. The process helped me decide how I wanted my life to look and feel, and I’ve been living my life that way ever since.

bitola-hills-looking-toward-pelister-1-1-079a.jpgMy journey has taken me many places. First stop was an honest look inside myself – the toughest journey of all. I hired a life coach to help me with that. I then used the support and insights I gained to help me create the life I really wanted, which led me to three exciting years as a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Macedonia.

It was there that my journey came full circle, when I realized that when we change ourselves, we change the world. And, not necessarily by making major life changes, but by believing change is possible. When you accept that change is possible, others will too, and then all sorts of doors will open – for everyone. That’s how Wishful Thinking Works.

This blog, Wishful Thinking Works: Create the life you really want, is part of my journey. I share what I’ve learned, what I enjoy, what I’m discovering and what lies ahead. I’m glad you have joined me. I also share great photos and information about my time in Macedonia (Search Macedonia for more.), the Republic of Georgia (Search Georgia for more.) and other volunteers’ experiences in the Peace Corps (Search Peace Corps for more.).

Since my first Peace Corps experience, I became a certified life coach, served two additional assignments as a United States Peace Corps Response Volunteer, spent a month volunteering at a Benedictine monastery, was the Director of Corporate Training and Continuing Education at a state college in Florida and married the man of my dreams in 2015 after enjoying the single life for 18 years! We now split our time living on two islands that vary greatly in size – Fort Myers Beach, Florida and Long Island.

And, today are I am thrilled to be back in Bitola, Macedonia as part of our month long honeymoon! Dan has enlarged the circle, making it even fuller – how fun to share the country I love with him. We will spend time in Macedonia visiting wonderful friends and enjoying its laid back and ancient beauty, then we are off to explore Venice, Italy, relax on a beach in Albania and go sightseeing in Greece, but we will return to Macedonia and dear friends after each side trip!

I hope to post lots of new photos, along the way!

среќен пат,

Happy journey!

Patrice Robson (Koerper)

WTW Dandelion

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For free resources to help you create the life you really want, click here.

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching . . . Are you ready? Life could be even better.

 

A surefire diet for 2016 – “The Joy Diet”

Today has to be one of the toughest return-to-work days of the year! So many of my friends were dreading going back to work after all the holiday fun and festivities. Others were looking forward to getting back in the groove, but were still wishing for “just one more day” to shorten the first week back.

No matter where you fall on the back-to-work spectrum, I have a plan that can make this week and every other week in 2016 happier and more joyful for you. This diet isn’t mine, but I love sharing it. If you’ve ever thought you might need a little more joy in your life Martha Beck’s book “The Joy Diet” may work for you. It helped me change my life, big time.

I opened Beck’s book in 2003 and penned this post five years ago in 2011. As 2016 unfolds before us, I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts again and encourage you to visit its pages.

Beck’s approach is simple and methodical. I like that.

She shares clear-cut steps and tells you how to combine them for the biggest impact, and then she sort-of kicks you out of the nest, trusting you will figure it all out, and, you will. (This is what led me to creating the life I really wanted.)

The first step was the toughest, and Beck won’t let you move on until you get it right. I will be eternally thankful to her for that. Her words led me to step back and slow down at a time when I truly needed it. Her light and breezy way of writing kept me interested, and as silly as this may sound, the short length and size of her book, immediately put me at ease – I knew I wouldn’t have to wade through hundreds of pages to get to the good stuff. (I truly am lazy at heart. ♥)

“The Joy Diet” is all good. Below is an Amazon’s overview of Beck’s 10 steps. [My insightful comments are italicized in parentheses. :-) ] Don’t let the number of, or the descriptions of the steps intimidate you, Beck walks you through them and into a joy filled life.

Martha Beck’s Joy Diet:

  1. Nothing: Do nothing for fifteen minutes a day. Stop mindlessly chasing goals and figure out which goals are worth going after. (Yup, absolutely nothing, you can do it. It’s not meditation-but it could be, it’s more like simply sitting still.)
  2. Truth: Create a moment of truth to help you unmask what you’re hiding—from others and from yourself. (Scary, but she holds your hand and you come out much happier on the other side.)
  3. Desire: Identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart’s desires—and learn how to let yourself want what you want. (Wishful Thinking at work.)
  4. Creativity: Learn six new ways to develop at least one new idea to help you obtain your heart’s desire. (Good way to brainstorm yourself into your new life.)
  5. Risk: Take one baby step toward reaching your goal. The only rule is it has to scare the pants off you. (It will, but it also gets you where you want to go, and afterward you will feel quite proud of yourself.)
  6. Treats: Give yourself a treat for every risk you take and two treats just because you’re you. No exceptions. No excuses. (Can you imagine, a diet that encourages treats?)
  7. Play: Take a moment to remember your real life’s work and differentiate it from the games you play to achieve it. Then play wholeheartedly. (Adults at play – pick me, pick me!)
  8. Laughter: Laugh at least thirty times a day. Props encouraged. (Yes, yes, you get to be silly or simply enjoy life a bit more.)
  9. Connection: Use your Joy Diet skills to interact with someone who matters to you. (Solid social connections are key to happiness and overall well-being.)
  10. Feasting: Enjoy at least three square feasts a day, with or without food. (Feasts? It sounds so primitive, and adventurous, and well, wonderful. And honestly one of the most difficult for many of us. You can feast with your eyes, your heart, your mind and your soul.)

I suggest you treat yourself right this year and pick-up a copy of “The Joy Diet” today. By Valentine’s Day, your life and everything around you could look a bit sweeter.

 

Joy diet

No commissions, just love her book!

 

If you need help getting started, check out “My Courage Diet” and lots of other free Wishful Thinking Works resources that can help you create the life your really want.

Enjoy! Writing this post was a joyful thing for me to do!

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If you enjoyed this or any other post, please “Like” Wishful Thinking Works on FB and share the post with your friends!

 

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