Everyone wants to know the secret to success. Many of us want even more so to pass it onto our kids. If we could find a way to bottle the magic ingredient, I think we would. Two weeks ago, we immersed ourselves amongst a group of parents, educators, thought leaders and positive psychology experts drawn together by this common desire. Amongst those who attended the first Victoria Chapter Positive Education School’s Association (PESA) Conference, the feedback was unanimous. It’s time to shake things up, pivot and consider how we can take the leading theories, research findings and practical strategies born out of positive psychology into an era of innovation so that our next generation of thought leaders continue to benefit.
For those not yet up to speed with the movement, let us unpack it for you a little. Those on track now’s the time to skip ahead to the next paragraph!
What is Positive Psychology all about?
Originally a science that explored ways to foster “feel good” emotions, positive psychology has evolved as a discipline and now recognises the need for individuals to develop a positive relationship with the full spectrum of emotional experiences. Crafting a flourishing life is a lifelong journey, and one our young people start to explore as they consider their place in the world around them. Those already applying tried and tested interventions such as gratitude, mindfulness and the use of character strengths have experienced benefits including increased wellbeing, resilience and academic achievement. Now, individuals and communities are reaching out for new strategies, and importantly, new ways to capture the imaginations of our young people and maintain momentum in supporting their growth.
Back to the conference…
As the questions surrounding “Where to next for positive education?” flew in from conference delegates, I must admit, I may have begun imagining myself jumping up and down in my seat and fist pumping the air with the same passion and enthusiasm Tom Cruise brought to Oprah’s couch all those years ago.
That’s because, at The Posify Group, we’ve been giving the above question some serious consideration for a while now; we’ve looked to the big thinkers and movers and shakers contributing to the shift and are ready to share our contribution.
Our ‘Why Story’…
We join those who believe it is the right of every individual to discover his or her unique purpose. The more people who work toward creating a purposeful and meaningful life, the greater the likelihood that their unique ideas will turn into actions that positively contribute to our world. Finding your purpose takes courage, creativity and collaboration, and the younger you start, the greater your chance of establishing life-long goals that translate into valuable action. That’s where we come in. At The Posify Group, we exist to empower families, educational providers and youth based communities with the knowledge and practical strategies they need to support young people as they work to uncover the passions, strengths and skill sets that contribute to realising their unique purpose.
Why purpose? Latest reports released by the FYA suggest that young people will have 17 jobs over five careers within their lifetime. That’s a big shift that requires a mindset shake-up when we consider what is required for our young people to flourish in a changing workforce. Yet, preliminary findings from our research investigating the effects of the Luminosity Youth Summit suggest our young people are ahead of the game. Their feedback suggests that the same principles for career and life success proposed by big thinkers such as Simon Sinek (check out his TED talk here) also apply to them, and the key starting point may just be finding their purpose.
So here comes the challenge. Knowing that our young people will benefit from uncovering and strengthening their unique passion and purpose profiles, how can we work to foster their dreams and big ideas? Our latest workshops have been created in response to these questions. They aim to demystify the science that informs the practice of positive youth based interventions. The result? Sessions jam-packed with simple, achievable tactics and goals that take the hard work out of creating solutions for those in the business of ensuring that our young people thrive.
Presenting our “Dream Big for Student Engagement” workshop at the PESA VIC State conference was our exciting start to fulfilling our own purpose, and we can’t wait to share the journey with those already jumping on board as early adopters. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, or young person yourself, we want you along for the ride. Through the spirit of collaboration, we will continue to share our knowledge of current research in the field of positive psychology, collectively supporting our next generation of sustainability creators, peacemakers and solution seekers. So, come say hello and join in the conversation. We’d love to welcome you to the group!