Dr Tal Ben-Shahar – Harvard Open Courses 1504 – Positive Psychology 16

This session continues on the topic of Perfectionism first and moves on to the topic of body-mind interconnection.

I like this session very much because it explains fundamental factors that help me to understand my view of life.

The positive modal from outside may look exactly the same, but the inside is different. People at the excellence side of the continuum enjoy the journey. Their excitement about what they are doing is contagious so you know they are enjoying the process. As my own reflection, I didn’t feel extremely exciting or extremely unpleasant, most time it’s glad and cope-able. I would seek changes and inquire why if I felt the journey was so unenjoyable.

Last session, Tal offered advice on “How can we change toward the Excellence schema?” In this session, he stressed it again when answering the question “How do we overcome Perfectionism?”.

  • Awareness – being aware of what I want to change and what I want to maintain
  • Rewarding effort
  • Active acceptance and then act
  • Go ahead and change it. Change our behaviours
  • Act internal too and visulaising
  • Do not do unto yourself what you would not do unto others, or do unto yourself  what you do unto others

Tal’s advice about “How do we help others who are perfectionists?”

  • Know it’s hard to help others as it’s an internal change
  • Be the example
  • Sharing stories
  • Rewarding effort and the journey

Referring to 3Ms talked in the 7th session, Tal recommended 3Ps as an alternative of 3Ms that can help us to cope with the difficulty time or negative feelings.

The 3Ps are (1) The permission to be human – accepting it’s emotional, it’s difficulty, it’s reality. (2) Positive – change the interpretation and see opportunities in the failure. Taking distraction to do something you enjoy. It’s not about avoiding. (3) Taking perspective. Ask ourselves is this really matter? what is really matter?

Psychological maturity is about the ability to willingly shift perspective. 

Tal shared a wonder drug as the start of the mind-body topic:

  • 30 minutes of physical exercise, 4 times a week
  • at least of 15 minutes of mindful exercise 6 or 7 times a week
  • 8 hours of sleep more or leas per 24 hours
  • at least 12 hugs a day
I am thinking about the wonder drug in practice.

  • Physical exercises. Yes, this is no problem for me. I have made it as my routine.
  • Mindful. Yes, I can do it more and regularly. I have done it sometimes over the two years. I can make it as a routine.
  • Sleep. My most favorite routine.
  • Hugs. Hmm, this is hard for me as I still don’t feel so comfortable to hug people or to be hugged though I have lived in the UK for so many years. One reason is I grew up in China where adults do not hug each other so much in terms of the culture. It’s possible with very close friends, family members or your young kids sometimes. Another reason is I don’t know if it’s okay to hug the same person 12 times  in a day. Are there any differences to hug 12 different people in a day? I need to work out a way to practise this 😉
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