Change is easy when life is easy. Without stresses, challenges, or adversity we might all be able to achieve exactly what we want to. However, at least in my experience, this is not how life works. Personally, I was rejected from grad school 3 years in a row before getting into my dream master’s program, where I studied positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. As amazing as it was to finally get in and experience one of the best years of my life, I will admit that the road, at times, proved both difficult and discouraging. There were also points along the way where I felt like giving up. However, when I get asked if I would change anything, or if I would rewrite those 4 years of personal history if I could, my answer always seems to be the same. Absolutely not.
Anything worth doing in life typically involves a certain degree of uncertainty, risk, and discomfort. Meaning and purpose are not forged out of pleasantries, and while comfort feels good, it is not where growth occurs. Recent research supports this idea, suggesting that when we learn, when we grow, and when we contribute in meaningful ways, we often boost our wellbeing and feel more fulfilled. This is why my philosophy of optimal living is not simply about empowering you to feel better, elevated, or inspired. Don’t get me wrong, positive emotions and pleasant experiences in life are very important, but if you want to be successful and get the most out of your life, you are going to need more, and I am here to partner with you as you discover what that might look like.
After studying cutting-edge research in positive psychology, spending over 5,000 hours coaching individuals, and training and mentoring hundreds of health professionals in the latest science of behavior change and motivation, I believe that performing at our best means shifting our focus, increasing our self-awareness, recognizing our choices, planning, strategizing, and designing our lives more intentionally. To do so, I contend that we need to tap into hope, develop a compelling vision of our future, choose courage, cultivate inner wisdom and resilience, savor positive experiences, and build our social, psychological, & emotional agility. Simply put? These factors will enable you to better adapt to rapidly changing environments, and thrive in a larger variety of situations. Life is dynamic. It can be wrought with setbacks and if we are not prepared, our best intentions may be derailed.