The answers to these age-old questions can surface from our favourite books, popular culture, talk-show personalities—and perhaps even your own mother!
For some, happiness is an integration of concepts from eastern and western religion or philosophy.
For others, wellbeing is the hard-earned benefit of lived-experience.
The promotion of wellbeing is the driving force of positive psychology. Abraham Maslow was the first to coin the term “positive psychology” in 1954, noting “the science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than the positive side.
It has revealed to us much about man’s shortcomings, his illness, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his full psychological height.”
Over a decade ago, a call was put forth by Drs Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi as a rallying cry at the American Psychological Association to renew science’s spotlight on the positive.
Could we in fact answer the question, “What makes life worth living?” using evidence-based practice backed by rigorous research to bring this learning to families, schools, public health, and organisations?
And if we want to best meet the needs of vulnerable young people, isn’t it important to best understand the complete picture of the human being and gain insight into building, nurturing and sustaining positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment?