Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences
New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper
Chapter 14: Flourishing at work: improving wellbeing and engagement
The influence of ‘positive psychology’ has grown significantly since its formal introduction more than a decade ago (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), and has spurred considerable interest among academics and practitioners alike (e.g., Seligman, 2012; Rusk and Waters, 2013). One of the key attractions about positive psychology is its potential to reframe a strong tradition of helping people to deal with deficits and problems in life, to a more positive approach that is focused on building the necessary conditions, resources and skills that will enable people to flourish and reach their full potential. Research and practice in the area of positive psychology has helped us to understand that there is much more to optimizing human potential than merely treating the symptoms of psychological distress, and reducing feelings of negativity and helplessness. In order for people to really achieve their potential and optimize outcomes for themselves and others, it is necessary to focus on building a strong and enduring sense of positivity (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005) that is oriented toward achieving a range of personal and group-related goals (e.g., Emmons, 2003). In essence, this positivity is the motivational force that enables people to achieve the goals that bring meaning to life and foster a sense of self-worth and fulfilment.
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