What would it mean to you to flourish?
What would a flourishing life be like for you?
What would some of the pieces of that life be?
And … how might you get there?
Psychologist Martin Seligman believes that looking at what’s wrong, or not working well, in our lives is not sufficient to support happiness and well-being. Because of his views, and the work he has done to develop them, Seligman is considered the father of the “positive psychology” movement, a more recent branch of psychology promoting the study and application of what supports human flourishing.
Much of coaching is built on a positive psychology model. Coaches see our clients as naturally creative, resourceful and whole. The purpose of a coaching partnership is to support each client’s journey toward well being, success and, indeed, a life of flourishing.
As the field of positive psychology develops, a widely accepted positive psychology framework, developed by Seligman, has emerged. It is known as the multidimensional “PERMA” model of flourishing.
The PERMA model identifies five domains supporting well being:
- Positive emotions: Cultivating positive feelings helps us to perform better, boosts physical health; strengthens relationships; and inspires creativity, courage, optimism and hope.
- Engagement, or “flow”: Identifying and engaging our strengths promotes a state of absorption where our abilities are well-matched to the demands at-hand.
- Relationships: Research has demonstrated that a key aspect to successful living is healthy and strong relationships.
- Meaning: Identifying our values and weaving them into our daily lives and regular pursuits supports a sense of purpose and a life well-lived.
- Accomplishment: Past successes can promote confidence and optimism while identifying and and working toward future goals builds anticipation and hope.
What would it be like to take a moment in the transition to the new year to consider what your strengths are in each of these positive PERMA dimensions?
Undoubtedly you will have strengths to celebrate – with or without champagne!
And considering the elements of PERMA may also offer you ideas about the types of goal you might consider for your “New Year’s resolutions.”
Happy New Year!