Positive psychology is not a fad or pop psychology. Being an academic, it is my practice to keep an open-mind and to examine the empirical evidence behind “scientific” claims. The scientific research behind positive psychology cannot be denied and compelled me to explore this branch of psychology more deeply. The Graduate Diploma in Positive Psychology provided me with a rich foundation to not only understand why it works, but to also apply positive practices daily. 

 

My journey started out in bits and pieces, by cultivating small habits and small perspective shifts – this was the conscious part. The unconscious part was that before I knew it, I was already happy. Now, I take joy in the simplest of things – sipping a cup of my favorite tea, the sight of my dog sleeping soundly, having a conversation with my parents, the delight in my students’ chatter and laughter. Each day brings with it so many opportunities to take joy in… it is hard not to be happy. The only difficulty is in making the initial choice – to be (happy), or not to be – and knowing here to look. Happiness is a choice. Meanwhile, how to be happy can be learnt. 

 

Harnessing positive practices has benefitted me personally and professionally. It has enhanced the way I interact with my family, friends, colleagues, students, and trainees in deeper ways. The biggest perspective change occurred when I was introduced to the concept of vulnerability. Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. It requires self-awareness and self-acceptance, and the willingness to put myself out there and share important aspects of myself. It is common belief that to be professional, one should not engage in self-disclosure. However, “being professional” creates a mask that produces barriers between people. When used appropriately, vulnerability can enhance relationships and bring people closer, even in professional settings. By dropping the mask and embracing authenticity, generosity, love and vulnerability, I have connected with my colleagues, students, and trainees more deeply – communication and learning is now between the “inner selves” of all parties. The result is greater interest and engagement, which in the education/training profession, is a definite win!

 

I am grateful to the wonderful team at TSPP for facilitating my journey towards happiness, and for touching me with your authenticity. Thank you for your care, generosity, and encouragement!


Liz Choong
Class of Apr 2017 
Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology