About a year back, I was teaching a group of adult students and one of the topics I taught was ‘Positive Psychology’. The most fascinating part of the process were the people’s reactions to the subject.
But first, allow me to give you a brief description of Positive Psychology. It’s a way of looking at human beings from a perspective of their strengths and abilities that help them move on with life. The way I see it, it celebrates mental strengths which all of us possess. These mental strengths can be resilience, hope, zest for life, love of learning and many more.
Dr Martin Seligman is considered to be the Father of Positive Psychology.
I asked the students in my class to share an incident from their personal life, which reflected one of their mental strengths. It could be a positive incident or a challenging situation that brought about a strength which they never knew existed within them. I gave the class 5 minutes.
It was amazing how every member had a touching story to tell. All of a sudden people shared the most intimate stories of their lives. Some of their eyes went visibly moist, but every face looked different, stronger, more confident and introspective. It seemed as if people’s most vulnerable moments made them aware of their own personal resources and strengths.
I ended the discussion by saying that each of us need to keep our strengths constantly alive, not just in good times, but also when going gets tough.
A student after the discussion mentioned how she thought psychology was just about human suffering and now she felt that there’s more to psychology. It’s also about people’s goodness, their personal capabilities.
This post goes to all those people who trusted me in the class and bared their soul, teaching me and the class so many strengths that will now always be a part of me.