5. Isn’t there a danger of being too introspective?
Of course there can be dangers of reflecting too much about ourselves. We can become too inward looking and worry about how we are doing. Some of what we look at will be internal attitudes such as you optimism or sense of satisfaction with your life. But there is a lot that is to do with what we do especially in the context of others such as being honest and genuine.
What I like about the positive psychology approach are those three little words ‘other people matter’. When we examine character development you will see that some character strengths are very personal such as a love of learning but others are very outward looking such as gratitude and forgiveness.
You will find the topics covered here are very practical. We will look at how to control your kid’s behaviour, how and why to monitor what they look at on TV and the internet. How do improve your relationships, how to control your temper, how to lose weight, how to be a positive influence.
Some self help literature I feel can take a very selfish approach. It is all about developing yourself sometimes at the expense of others. One principle in life coaching that I like is that it values contributions to society and to other people. It looks at how we can help others. We cannot be fulfilled ourselves in isolation to other people.
6. Is this part of the New Age movement?
Positive psychology and coaching do have spiritual sides. In fact this is one of the aspects of positive psychology that I find very attractive. They get you to think about your life in a very holistic way and allow you to ponder big questions such as your sense of mission. They emphasise the importance of a finding meaning and purpose in your life. For many people spirituality is one way to explore this.
There is a wide spectrum of spirituality reflected within these movements including atheism, parapsychology and ideas drawn from eastern religions. It is this mix that people sometimes loosely refer to as the new age. Some of the books and materials may discuss spirituality from any of these view points and more.
My own perspective lies firmly within the Christian tradition so I wouldn’t see myself as part of the new age movement or anything like that. But I do want to discuss spiritual development as it is an important aspect of positive psychology and coaching. Where appropriate I will draw on my Christian faith and spirituality. If you are interested and want to explore this further you might want to read my other blog CharisMissional where I discuss my faith in more detail.
Whatever your beliefs or lack of beliefs there is still plenty to be gained from coaching and positive psychology.
What do you think?
Well that covers a few of the questions or comments that some people might have. Please feel free to let me know if you feel this answers these or if you have further points that you would like to raise.