This week, I have been reading the book Flourish, by Martin Seligman. With a focus different from the traditional goal of psychology to relieve human suffering, Flourish shows how to get the most out of life for individuals, for communities, and for nations. Seligman asks: What is it that enables you to cultivate your talents, to build deep, lasting relationships with others, to feel pleasure, and to contribute meaningfully to the world?
He identifies several key factors that can help individuals thrive: positive emotion, meaning, engagement with what one is doing, a sense of accomplishment, and good relationships. With inspiring stories, he demonstrates these principles in action, including performance improvement along with employee well-being in corporations; military training in emotional resilience; and education in schools for fulfillment in life and not just for workplace success.
Reading Flourish reminds me that when we think about cultivating resilience in the workplace, it’s important to be really aware of how we think about ourselves in both our work and our daily lives. What if we focus more on flourishing instead of just getting by and dealing with our pain when faced with distress or challenge?
Instead of getting the message that change is difficult, or will be difficult, what if I got a message that I could flourish in change? Because of what we know about how the human brain is wired, we know that it is, in fact, possible and desirable for people to reorganize around a picture of flourishing, if that’s what’s presented.
If we refocus our conversations on hope, possibility, and flourishing, I believe organizations and the people in them can thrive, grow and achieve top performance during times of change.
Share your ideas about the book or flourishing in general!