Positive Psychology has a wealth of resources online that will help you and your clients develop a growth based mindset and foster happiness and well-being. Here you’ll find some of my favorite resources.

40% of your happiness is within your reach today. Daily intentional activities can vastly improve your happiness set-point. Here’s a list of some of my favourite positive psychology and will power resources for you to enjoy. All of the videos are by Harvard and Standford Research Scientists who are Internationally known for their academic research and their ability to connect with their audiences.

#1 Watch ‘The Science of Character’

(8 min ‘Cloud Film’) by Tiffany Shlain and The Moxie Institute Films on You Tube

#2 Take the Strengths Test

The VIA Survey – Discover your best qualities in 15 minutes with the scientific survey of character strengths.


#3 Use this resource:

Tayyab Rashid, a Positive Psychology Research and Clinical Psychologist has developed a document called 340 Ways to Use VIA Character Strengths. You can download the pdf by copying this link into your browser.


#4 Happiness Formula

Take a look at the Positive Psychology Researcher Sean Anchors funny and very informative video on YouTube called A Formula for Happiness.

He shows how five short two-minute exercise can help our clients tackle their challenges with a more positive mindset.

A Formula for Happiness with Shawn Achor

He talks about the following five exercise.

  1. Three Gratitude’s (Emmons & McCullough, 2003)
  2. Journaling (Slatcher and Pennebaker, 2006)
  3. Exercise (Babyak et al., 2000)
  4. Meditation (Dweck, 2007)
  5. Random Acts of Kindness (Lyubomirsky 2005)

The benefits of these exercises are as follows:

3 Gratitude’s result in the brain being able to retain a pattern for scanning the world for the positive and not for the negatives first.

Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it.

Exercise teaches your brain that your behaviour matters. It allows the brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we have been creating by trying to do multiple tasks for once.  It also helps our brain to focus on the task at hand.

Random Acts of Kindness.  Writing one positive email or sending a positive text, note or card, or simply calling someone to praise or thank someone in their social support network.

By doing these activities we are training our brains just like we train our bodies.

We are creating ripples of positivity and happiness before success rather than falling for the false belief that when we are successful we will be happy.


Take a look at Carol Dweck’s Growth Based Mindset

Or if you want to share with your clients, try this cartoon style video

Here’s a handy list of things you and your clients can do to develop your growth based mindset

1. Acknowledge and embrace your imperfections

Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them.  Acknowledge them and focus on cultivating your strengths.

2. View challenges as opportunities

Having a growth mindset means seeing challenges as opportunities to improve yourself and to learn.

3. If at first you don’t succeed…try something else

There are lots of different learning styles some people learn by thinking, others learn by watching others, others learn by doing and others learn by thinking through the implication or the ‘what ifs’.  You have your own learning sytle, keep trying until you find what works for you.

4. Replace the word “failed” with the word “learned”

We all make mistakes, it’s part of personal growth and development.  When you make a mistake or fall short of a goal, you haven’t failed; you’ve learned.

5. Cultivate a sense of purpose

Dweck’s research also showed that people with a growth mindset had a greater sense of personal purpose. Cultivate a sense of purpose by drilling down into the why’s of what you want to do.

6. Redefine “genius”

True genius comes from three things:

Hard work, effort and consistent action is what creates talent.

7. Place effort before talent

Hard work should always be rewarded and noticed and praised. Focus on praising hard work, commitment and effort over talent.  Becoming smart or talented is a skill that comes from effort.

8. Develop the signature strength called Grit

Learn how to cultivate ‘grit’.  If you have ever been told you are stubborn or obstinate then you have the building blocks for grit.

9. Use the word “yet.”

Dweck says “not yet” has become one of her favourite phrases. Whenever you are struggling to get something done, just tell yourself that you haven’t mastered it yet.

10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

It’s not always wise to compare yourself to others, but it is important to realise that humans share the same weaknesses.

11. Stop seeking approval

It’s all too easy to get caught up in what others think of you. Waiting for approval from others can leave you feeling stuck.  Instead take action and start learning. When you pt approval from other over learning, you sacrifice your own potential for growth.

12. Don’t be afraid to take risks

Stop trying to save face all the time and just let yourself do silly things every now and then. Doing so will make it easier to take risks in the future.

13. Own your attitude.

Be pleased with your commitment to personal growth and developing a growth based mindset.

Always know that your best is always good enough.


Hardwiring happiness: Dr. Rick Hanson Hardwiring Happiness at TEDxMarin 2013

#7 Watch Kelly McGonigal describe Willpower

#8 Watch Dan Gilbert and the Surprising Science of Happiness

Watch Dan Gilbert and What Your Mother Didn’t Tell You

#9 Watch Maureen Gafney

Author of Flourishing, Positive Psychologist and Irish Broadcaster has a wonderful 40 minute lecture on YouTube worth watching.

#10 Discover Are you a Fault Finder or a Benefit Finnder

TAL BEN-SHAHAR, PhD: How to Be Happier Right Now! | Positive Psychology | Choose the Life You Want

Tal Ben Shahar discovered the two archetypes

Fault Finder

  • Things that don’t work
  • What’s not going well
  • Find fault in paradise
  • Think their perception is a reality
  • No matter what they do they always end up with the wrong job, partner, etc things always go wrong.
  • No matter where they look they always seem to find the glass is half empty

Benefit Finder

  • Always looks for things that are going well
  • Sees strengths not weaknesses
  • Good example is Nelson Mandella, prison gave him time to transform his thinking

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise isn’t just about the release of feel-good chemicals, it’s also about the messages it tells our brain. When we exercise, we are telling ourselves that we can be successful. We have a tendency to eat better, focus better and get more done. We feel like we are successful.

It helps your brain to understand the concept that your behaviour matters.  This helps develop positive patters of action and creates momentum.

“Initial victory leads to a cascade of success!” Watch Shawn Anchor explain it on YouTube to professionals.