Slide 2 Notes
I really have learned a lot about myself and how I interact with others during this class. Some of the topics that have been covered have reinforced previously held beliefs, and some have even altered my perception. For instance, I have always held the belief that well-being should always supersede being well-off. But I did not understand why that was the case. This course has helped to explain my own view to myself. I have also felt flow in my life at times, but I was never been able to put a face with a name, so to speak. Likewise, developing self-esteem has always been an aim in my life, but I never knew how to go about it productively. I have always strive to exhibit humility, but this course really got to the heart of humility and made it personal. Furthermore, I have always been optimistic, but have never fully understood how that could affect me physically. Lastly, I have read many books, such as Think and Grow Rich, which have espoused the belief that visualizing success is fundamental; however, I have never gotten down to the nuts and bolts of how to visualize success. Truly, this course has helped me understand the how and why of many “whats”.
Slide 3 Notes
It is possible to be wealthy and still not obtain happiness. Apparently the old maxim “You can’t buy happiness” is true. Stuff does not automatically equal psychological well-being. In fact, according to some research (Bolt, 2004) increased income actually leads to less self-actualization and lower vitality; whereas, emphasis on the pursuit of affiliation and physical fitness brought with it physical and psychological well-bring. As it turns out non-material activities such as hiking or just spending time with family help increase happiness much more than income related activities such as power boating or shopping. We have all seen the Priceless commercials by Mastercard. They help to illustrate one resounding central theme, namely that the point of money is not to bring about happiness but rather to take care of the expenses of life so that we have the opportunity to bring about happiness.
To be more specific, in the future I will balance financial gain with activities that foster psychological well-being. I will keep in mind that money does have its place; namely, in my wallet rather than in my heart. It will also be important that I take seriously the old saying “money does not buy happiness”. In our culture is seems like that is the all-prevailing maxim. However research has shown that this is not the case (Bolt, 2004). Therefore, I must gear my life towards promoting psychological and physical well-being rather than financial gain.
Slide 4 Notes
This one truth has been explained through many different mediums, from City Slicker the movie to the Bible. The truth that I am referring to is this: to find that thing or set of things that make you happy and don’t worry about anything else. It seems like we Americans get caught as adults doing only things that we do not enjoy, things that must be done. We forget the wisdom of our forefathers, our religion, and our consciences. That is where flow comes into play. TV is rarely ever engaging and takes literally no concentration. Likewise, activities involving money such as shopping only last as long as income steadily increases due to the adaptive nature of humans. As our income grows so does our desire for additional and more expensive objects. As a result, finding those things which we can become fully engaged in, which require all of ourselves, is the only way to achieve flow in our daily activities. We must do those things which make us truly fulfilled to the exclusion of financial gain.
In my life I have felt flow many times, whether that be when reading a book, completing a fulfilling work-related task, or simply taking care of my children. During this course I have tried to analyze what are those activities which I truly enjoy, which I can truly involve myself in. Since I have started this course I have started reading John Grisham novels again. Those are my favorite. When I read them I truly become absorbed into the narrative. His novels also help increase my ability to see situations from another person’s perspective. Furthermore, I can increase flow in my life by treating my college work as a learning adventure rather than a task to be completed. It would also be important to remind myself that it was my choice to start college, rather than a command. By implementing those two mechanism towards my college experience I think that I could increase flow while at the same time completing my college curriculum.
Slide 5 Notes
In the future, my area of concern is not necessarily developing self-esteem, but rather moderating my current levels of self-esteem. The text explained that too much self-esteem can lead to a state of defensiveness and aggression. Someone with high levels of self-esteem would rather lash out at others than have to adjust their self-concept down. I have seen this happen in my life. It would advantageous for me maintain a more realistic self-concept in order to moderate my high levels of self-esteem. I have to realize that I have talents and weaknesses just like everyone else, and that sometimes I might have to admit that I was wrong on a particular matter. By setting my sights on perfection I rob myself of development of self-esteem that might come from significant accomplishment.
Slide 6 Notes
As I have mentioned, I really do admire the character Maximus in the film Gladiator (Scott, 2000). I see him as a man who focuses beyond himself and is a model of humility. At the beginning of the movie he is the commander of an entire army, but he does not wear it on his sleeve, so to speak. He is a servant to the emperor and nothing more, as far as he is concerned. He does not want praise or glory for himself, but rather for his country and king. One day I would aspire to come to that place; where I can wholly give myself to a cause and never look back. Furthermore, during the entire movie he is concerned with his family and the state of the Roman Empire. He is definitely focused beyond himself. In fact, he is completely unconcerned with himself or what my become of him. Again, I hope to one day be devoted to something so admirable that I can overcome myself and become something more.
Slide 7 Notes
During my life I have used the ABC’s referred to in our text many times (Bolt, 2004). The way that we react to adversity really does effect our beliefs. It really all comes down to how we encode certain situations. For instance, I could miss a bus in the morning on the way to work. Now I can encode that adversity as a negative event. By encoding this event as negative it will bring about stress in my life. However I can take advantage of this adversity and turn it into an opportunity to catch up on some reading on the way to work. Sure I might be late, but I have so many late days a year and I haven’t used any yet. By adapting to the circumstances I am able to foster a belief that no matter what happens I will be okay, which is I think the root of optimism.
In particular, I can apply the ABC’s directly to my college education. When I receive a grade that is less than I had expected I must foster a belief that the grade is only a temporary setback rather than a significant stumble. By doing this adversity will become a stepping stool to success rather than a road block. I must also be cautious not to place blame on others for my missteps, because this can eventually alter my beliefs. I could begin to believe that it is other people’s fault that I make mistakes, which leads to maladaptive responses to adversity.
Slide 8 Notes
I have used the tool of visualizing success in order to bring about hope throughout my life and have not even known it. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in high school. I have taught Sunday school classes, homeschooled my children, and taught vacation Bible school. I know that I would be a good teacher and that I could handle the stresses much more efficiently than most teachers. When I am getting ready for bed or when I wake up in the morning and am just sitting there I sometimes think about what it is going to be like when I am a teacher. I think about how I will react in certain situations. I have children so I know the line of thinking that most children follow. I envision myself becoming that inspirational teacher that students come to visit long after they have graduated. I had a world history teacher when I was in school. He really inspired me to develop my talents and become more than I was. When I become a teacher I will go back to my old high school and find him. I will tell him that I became a teacher in large part because of the example that he provided me with when I was in high school. I want to be that teacher for someone.
Slide 9 Notes
In conclusion, the pursuit of hope, happiness, and self-respect constitute the core areas of human striving. They all three work in tandem in order to bring about success, fulfillment, and indeed legitimacy. I have sought all three during my lifetime, however before this course I lacked the framework from which to operate within. This class has given me a structure that will enable me to bring myself closer than I have ever been to my ideal self.
Bolt, M. (2004). Pursuing human strengths: A positive psychology guide. New York, NY: Worth.
Muccino, G. (Director). (2006). The Pursuit of Happiness [Motion Picture]. United States: Columbia Pictures.
Scott, R. (Director). (2000). Gladiator [Motion Picture]. United States: Universal Studios.