My husband Thom grew up in a very religious household. A questioner by nature, he struggled to grasp what he was told without constantly asking for evidence. But one thing he heard stood out as absolutely true. Without a doubt, he knew deep in his heart and soul that the most prized possession on Earth, more precious than gold or jewels, had to be wisdom. The certainty of that awareness never wavered. As it turns out, new research appears to confirm that obtaining wisdom just might be central to what leads to a happy and healthy long life—in other words, a key to positive aging. And it’s likely that treasure is something all of us would like to experience in the years to come.
The late afternoon has always been my favorite time of day. So this weekend when I found a quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, it grabbed my attention. He said, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….”. Intrigued I continued to read how Jung believed that the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience. Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, the SMART perspective is to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose. [Read more…]
Years ago, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs was a popular way of understanding human motivation and ourselves in general. His work was one of the first to look at what allowed people to thrive, rather than struggle in dysfunction, and preceded the field of positive psychology as we know it today. Beginning with a basic need to merely survive, Maslow showed how some people evolved beyond that to eventually arrive at a pinnacle: self-actualization. But while Maslow’s theory made a major contribution to developmental psychology, there are new theories replacing his. Could human happiness and motivation really be as simple as the three needs in Self-Determination Theory (SDT) or the six factors in The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being? And is it really possible to know what we humans need to be happy? [Read more…]