Business Week

Here’s the story online:

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News for you:

  • Looking to learn more about how positive psychology can boost your business and your life? PositivePsychologyNews.com – I’m the Editor-in-Chief of this site with over 30 wonderful authors and daily updates in three languages. (To get free daily news about positive psychology in your email in-box, click here).
  • Looking to talk to a positive psychology coach? Our coaching page at PositivePsychologyNews.com or call 1-877-818-NEWS to discover which positive psychology coach is the best fit for you.

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An excerpt:

Once an entrepreneur knows his or her strengths, it’s time to put them to use. That’s what Melanie Morlan, owner of FirstBreathe.com, a wellness and athletic training company in Spokane, Wash., needed to do. She spent a decade working with the U.S. Olympic Committee and professional cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, before taking time out to raise her son.

She wanted to reenter the workforce by building a larger consulting practice than she’d once had, offering nutrition counseling, coaching in weight loss and stress reduction, and building a Web site and blog. But she couldn’t get started. “I’d get scared and set up roadblocks,” she says, telling herself she’d never succeed and ignoring her to-do list. She eventually called on Senia Maymin, a coach and, like Pollay, a graduate of Seligman’s program. Maymin [Editor-in-Chief at PositivePsychologyNews.com] also holds an MBA from Stanford University, and she knows family business and entrepreneurship firsthand, having worked alongside her father and brother at their hedge fund and co-founding three tech startups. Maymin helped Morlan exploit her strengths, of which creativity is first. So if Morlan lost a valuable client or made a bad decision, instead of spending the afternoon moping, she would turn to designing and building her Web site. “Creativity stimulates me,” she says.

Coach Maymin delves into this with her clients, many of whom seek her out when they are between ventures. She says that to be able to get routinely into the mental state that Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”), another founder of positive psychology, calls “flow”—complete absorption in a task—entrepreneurs must craft a workload that’s challenging but not too tough. Its demands should fully use an entrepreneur’s abilities, the same way endurance athletes train just at their physical limit. “In the athletic domain, everyone can see it,” she says. Psychologically, too, “self-regulation is a muscle you can train over time.” She assigns her clients a small, daily exercise challenge each week, based on research that says if you accustom your body to pushing just past its comfort zone toward ever-retreating goals, “you can do the exact same thing in your company”—push past your comfort zone and achieve goals once thought to be out of reach.

Senia’s twitter profile for updates on happiness, jobs, and entrepreneurship.


  • A Ph.D. in Positive Psychology program in announced! Starting with the most exciting news, finally a Ph.D. program in Positive Psychology is launched. It will be at Claremont Graduate University. “The Claremont Graduate University researchers involved—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura—will begin the program in the university’s School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences this fall semester.” The press release is here, and the AP story is here.
  • Eat Less, Remember More: Smartkit site. Caloric restriction can reverse memory loss? (Older news, but new to me). Check out other articles for executives here.
  • Mind Over Matter: Fitness Business Pro. “New findings appearing in the February issue of Psychological Science suggests that many of the beneficial results of exercise are due to the placebo effect. Harvard Researchers studied 84 female housekeepers from seven hotels. Women in four hotels were told that their regular work was enough exercise to meet the requirements for a healthy, active lifestyle (Senia note: you think it’ll wokr if I just tell myself that?), whereas the women in the other three hotels were told nothing. … Four weeks later, the researchers returned to assess any changes in the women’s health. They found that the women in the informed group had lost an average of two pounds, lowered their blood pressure by almost 10 percent, and were healthier as measured by body-fat percentage, body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio.”
  • Will Neuroscientists Be Involved in Increasingly More Court Cases?!: New York Times. This is a crazily in-depth article about what’s happened so far and what may happen in the future as criminals may be tested through fMRIs and other expensive techniques to view their brain make-up before filing their defense. This is a super-distrubing article – on all levels.

Links to wonderful things!

  • Fastest Memory-Jogger: Happiness project. Keeping a one-sentence daily journal. I really like this post from Gretchen. There’s also a company that lets you text message from your cell phone a photo each day or some text each day, and then they build a timeline of your life! I’m a big fan of this idea – see nowthen.com.
  • Brain Tests on TV: SharpBrains site. Video of the Founder on CBS describing two great brain tests. See how you fare! See other wonderful brain exercises on this site here.
  • Definitions of Happiness: Boston Herald (AP). It’s hard to define happiness – therein lies its appeal. About Darrin McMahon, author of “Happiness: A History,” one of NYTimes’ 100 books of 2006. Some definitions of happiness in his book: luck (“Happiness is linked to such words as happen and happenstance.”), feeling good, looking back on a good life, virtue, pleasure. McMahon says, ” “I wish I could tell you that having studied the history of happiness for six years I’ve got the magic bullet, but I don’t,” he said. ”I just go about my business and find that happiness will come to me.” “
  • Drugs to Keep You Alert?: Nootrops (smart drugs) blog. Senia note: How bizarre!! Messing with our minds. Can taking a drug to increase alertness and fast thinking become in the future as simple as a cup of coffee?
  • Ask Questions!: The Practice of Leadership blog. Super book recommendation: “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 7 Powerful Tools for Life and Work” by Marilee Adams (changeyourquestions.com).