Here are a few of our favorite Big Ideas + Other Cool Stuff from Week 4 of Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson's 4 week course The Scientific Secrets of Happiness.
Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson is a motivational psychologist, speaker, and author. She serves on the Board of Advisors at Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center, and her research on goals and well-being has been published in some of the field’s most prestigious journals.
The truth is, success only brings you lasting happiness and authentic well-being when you pursue certain kinds of goals – the ones that satisfy your basic needs as a human being. Too many of the goals we pursue each day don’t actually satisfy our needs, and leave us too preoccupied and distracted to ever be truly happy.
In this course, we talk about what scientific psychologists have discovered about the true nature of happiness and well-being.
THIS WEEK, we're talking about how Well-Being Exercises That Really Work.
Let's check out some of our favorite Big Ideas from this week:
Big Idea #1: Promotion VS Prevention Goals
People look at goals primarily in two ways.
- Promotion Focus: Seeking gain such as love, adventure, fun, and “going in for the win.”
- Prevention Focus: Avoiding loss such as costs, security, safety & health, and accuracy.
Promotion focused people are usually great at being creative, innovative, quick, confident, and seizing opportunities. Their weaknesses include ignoring pitfalls, having no Plan B, doing sloppier work, and being poor maintainers. Generally speaking, what feels right to them is eagerness, optimism, praise, embracing risk, not dwelling on past mistakes, and making decisions based on their gut feelings and instincts.
Prevention focused people are usually great at planning, maintenance, accuracy, cautiousness, and reliability. Their weaknesses include missing opportunities, being conservative, being slower, and being inflexible. Generally speaking, what feels right to them is vigilance, realism/pessimism, criticism/self-sacrifice, avoiding risk, learning from past mistakes, and making decisions based on reasons and evidence.
In the next Big Idea, we’ll look at how understanding promotion and prevention can help *you*.
Big Idea #2: How Understanding Promotion & Prevention Helps You
Understanding the difference between these two outlooks helps us realize that often the things that make us good at one thing, will make us bad at another.
Knowing if we're promotion or prevention based helps us have a much better understanding of who we are. It enables us to identify our strengths and capitalize on them by consciously engaging in them.
Understanding this also assists in accepting, embracing, and compensating for our weaknesses.
When we pick a strategy, we want to pick one that will be most effective for us based on if we’re primarily promotion or prevention based. Refer to the descriptions from Big Idea #1 to help you understand which you are.
Big Idea #3: Optimism Isn’t For Everybody
Have you ever encountered a pessimistic person who was uncomfortable when you tried to nudge them towards a slightly more optimistic way of thinking? I have. :)
Turns out, that may not be the best idea!
Optimism is a great thing, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
Based on what we know about promotion VS prevention minded people, some prevention minded people actually thrive in their pessimism (or what they call realism). They know that they get a strong sense of motivation from their way of thinking, and being more optimistic would zap their energy.
It helps them be effective, and remember, effectiveness is a key to happiness! :)
Other Cool Stuff
Check out this week's slides for more goodness!
You can also check a *great* book Heidi recommends for some happiness exercises: The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.
Another great book Heidi suggests to check out is, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being.
Lastly, to get a better understanding of our strengths, Heidi recommends we try Martin Seligman's VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. And then, find creative ways to use our top "signature strengths" on a daily basis.
If any of your questions went unanswered, or if you’d like to learn more about something that you’ve heard us discuss, just email Heidi: (email@example.com).
We hope you enjoyed this course with us and look forward to seeing you again!
- The en*theos Team