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Be an Agent for Positive Change, With Robyn Stratton-Berkessel – PS044

Increasingly, many of us want to have a positive impact in all that we do. Find out how to get greater clarity and comfort with change. Learn the value of positive emotions to change your brain and your body; learn how to assess your character strengths and put them to work; follow a five step process (Appreciative Inquiry) to bring about positive changes.

Positive Psychology Program – Resources and Tools, With Seph Fontane Pennock 026

Positive Psychology Program – Episode Overview

Positive Psychology Program is an awesome website created by Seph Fontane Pennock.  It is a fantastic resource for those interesting in learning about positive psychology  – what’s out there, who’s doing it, how to learn about it, its applications, and so on.  In this episode, Positivity Strategist host, Robyn Stratton-Berkessel talks to Seph about his intention, his experiences and his aspirations in the field of positive psychology in general, and with Positive Psychology Program specifically.

Episode Introduction

Positive Psychology Program with Seph FontaneIn this episode, guest Seph Fontane Pennock, creator of the website, Positivity Psychology Program talks with Positivity Strategist host, Robyn Stratton-Berkessel about why he created such a great resource for people seeking answers to their questions about the field of study and practice of positive psychology. Positive Psychology Program is designed to enable and energize educators worldwide by sharing expert knowledge and experience within the field of positive psychology.  In this conversation, Seph shares his intentions and aspirations and his passion for this subject.

Positive Psychology Program – Applying Strengths

Seph is applying his strengths in the field of international business, and internet marketing with his passion for positive psychology.  He tells the story that when he first became aware of positive psychology, the first thing he did was search the web for courses and programs so he could learn more.  Sadly, he did not find a great deal of relevant applicable information.  There were some universities that offered programs, but not a lot for people new to the field with a lot of curiosity and passion.

However, the stars were aligning and he stumbled upon Tal Ben-Shahar’s online Harvard course, Positive Psychology 1504. He was “sucked in.” That was five years ago.

So, as any enterprising, entrepreneur would do, Seph, decided to use his knowledge, skills and networks to create a solution.  He set out to design the product he was looking for.  With his partner, Hugo Alberts, they began to design a site that provides all the resources that any person interested in positive psychology might look for.

In 15 months, Positive Psychology Program has experienced fantastic growth.  The site is a rich resource of information, providing access to courses, people, services, products, books, articles in the field and is growing daily. Interested in statistics? Listen in to what Seph shares.

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Evolving Vision for Positive Psychology Program as a Cause

In partnership with Hugo Alberts, the original direction of developing on-line courses in mindfulness, strength-based approaches and positive psychology and related subjects was somewhat derailed.  The good news is they are back on track and such courses will be available soon.  The derailment was positive because Positive Pyscholgy Program is now a robust site with a vibrant community, offering hundreds of diverse resources and blog posts on current research and initiatives.

Seph views the development of Positive Psychology Program as a cause because his desire is to provide a single place where people can find the answers to all their questions about positive psychology.  It’s, therefore, an ongoing work-in-progress, as there will always be questions requiring answers.

Engagement and Connection Enhances Learning

In our conversation, we explore the importance of engagement and applied learning. Engaging with others over content in interactive ways is the norm these days – facilitated by technology and social media.  Furthermore, we emphasize the application of learning.  If you “learn” something and you don’t apply it, and there’s no change in your interaction with others, then you have to question if you have learned anything at all.  Listen in to Seph’s story.

Sideline – The intention of the weekly Positivity Lens Activity (see below) is to invite my listeners to go beyond just listening to and reading about each episode.  It’s an invitation to apply the learnings to begin to integrate them into your life.  As Seph says, there’s no point if learning and insights stay in your head.  To learn is to change.  We need to embody the learnings in a behavioral sense.

Identifying Strengths

I always love to hear my guest’s response to the question

“What do you value about yourself?”

Listen in to hear what Seph values about himself.  He reveals more of his character strengths coming out of the VIA (Values in Action survey) and we have a good laugh. (Maybe humor is also one of our “values in action.”)

The Scientific Rigor in the Field of Positive Psychology

Seph recounts how it is still necessary to shift the public perception that positivity is something flakey or shallow and an equivalent to “positive thinking.” We are excited that the field is growing, the research is rich and crosses multiple fields of scientific research.  Take the opportunity to explore on this site and visit Positive Psychology Program.

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