Let Maureen Gaffney Help you Flourish!
Book of the Month
I find myself recommending this best-selling book to everyone at the moment! At training events, with private clients and anyone else who might be interested! It is a comprehensive, readable and insightful ‘go to’ guide on how to identify and reach your potential. Flourishing sets out the why and how of living a conscious and purposeful life – in other words, how to flourish. I’m only half way through but can’t wait to share some of what I’ve learned.
There are four elements needed in order to flourish:
i. Challenge – make something we need happen – a ‘calling’
ii. Connectivity – attunment, within yourself and without. This orients you to your goal.
iii. Autonomy – the ability to pursue your challenge
iv. Using Valued Connections – getting to use your attributes, talents, skills and knowledge to pursue goals.
The magic ratio of positive to negative
So, we all know that we respond to positive feedback, don’t we? Or have you ever given or received the feedback sandwich at work i.e. positive – what can be improved – positive
A fascinating revelation in this book is that, there is an empirically tested precise ratio of 5:1. This means for every occurrence of negativity, irritability, tension, anxiety or concern in your life, you need five times as many positives in order to withstand the pull of negativity. This ratio applies in professional/workplace settings, intimate relationships and in our individual lives.
Our survival; physical, emotional and psychological, is programmed to identify risks and dangers. Therefore, because our bias to negativity is so strong, we must make an achievable, deliberate effort to find the positives in our lives to offset the pull of negative thoughts.
One way to achieve this is to keep a gratitude journal. Our thanks can be big or small, but try to note 5 positives every day, here’s mine from Monday. A crisp winter morning, a happy dog to welcome me home, a nice cup of tea, a great night’s sleep, the touch of my child’s small hand in mine – these were the precious details of my life. A positive mindset can be trained with these observations and practices. Take a moment now. Close your eyes. Think about yesterday, what moments, people or experiences are you grateful for?
The book offers us ten strategies, with chapters on each:
1. Build your capacity for happiness
2. Let yourself feel
3. Control your attention
4. Always know your positive purpose
5. Take charge of your mind
6. Master the art of vital engagement
7. Know the meaning of things
8. Build your resilience
9. Stop sabotaging yourself
10. Embrace the future
To flourish we must have heart and mind aligned. We must understand our biological, emotional and psychological drives. If we can learn about our amazing brains – our supercomputer – we will be able to use this tool rather than be stuck in a hamster wheel of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviour. We can coach our mind and body to feel safe, motivated and inspired. We can all learn these skills – Yippee!
I told you this was a comprehensive book. I will be back to update on strategies 1-4 soon.