Count your blessings and improve your outlook on work

March 2, 2011 Katharina Lochner

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The 3 blessings that will lead to greater satisfaction

You come home from work. What a horrible day. In the morning, you arrived at work late because of a traffic jam. Then you didn’t get as much done as you had planned, just because you could not concentrate. And your new colleague kept you from work because you had to explain so much to him. Really, what a horrible day! You’re fed up and unhappy. Sound familiar?

According to one of the “fathers” of the Positive Psychology movement, Professor Martin Seligman, people spend more time analysing what has gone wrong than thinking about what has gone right.

However, being aware of the good events instead of the bad ones increases happiness and decreases depression and therefore leads to more life satisfaction. In a video, Professor Seligman introduces a method that helps people be aware of the good events: the three blessings.

How does the three blessings exercise work?

It is simple.

At the end of the day, remember three things that went well, and reflect why they went well. You can write your ideas down, but you can also discuss them with someone, for example, your partner. Remembering the positive things may also be used when dealing with people one has problems with. Probably there are also some good sides of the boss that you don’t always get along with. Or the employee that is always causing trouble does in fact do somethings right or is really good in a specific domain. This does not mean that we should whitewash things. It just means that a slight change in perspective can enhance one’s happiness.

About the Author

Dr Katharina Lochner is the former research director for the cut-e Group which was acquired by Aon in 2017. Katharina is now a researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Iserlohn, Germany. In her role at cut-e, she applied the research in organizational and work psychology to real-world assessment practice. She has a strong expertise in the construction and evaluation of online psychometric tools.

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