PODCAST Positive Psychology, Gratitude and Adventures in Well-being
Season One: What would you do with 12 months to live?
During a dark time in his life, Dr. Dave, a licensed therapist and college professor, created a project he called "12 Months to Live" to help him get out of his melancholic funk. He asked himself, "What would I do if I had 12 months to live?" as a way to frame what turned out to be a global research expedition to figure out his life.
Each month for a year, he would come up with a new interest, career, or passion he wanted to explore. He worked with the United Nations World Food Program in Nepal, walked alone into the Cascade Wilderness for a three day/three night solo fast vision quest, and shot an adventure film while trekking up Everest.
And then he met the girl who couldn't laugh.
Watch or just listen as Dr. Dave's "12 Months to Live" journey of discovery unfolds in either or both of the following video and/or audio podcast formats.
Season Two: The Gratitude Visit
Gratitude has risen in popularity and impact as one of the most effective psychological and spiritual practices for enhancing overall well-being.
Dr. Robert A. Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, is the world’s leading expert on gratitude. Emmons (2013) reports that gratitude has one of the strongest connections to well-being and life satisfaction. He cites that numerous research studies have revealed that the practice of gratitude leads to “Increased feelings of energy, alertness, and vigor; success in achieving personal goals; better coping with stress; greater sense of purpose and resilience; solidified and secure social relationships; bolstered feelings of self-worth and self-confidence; and generosity and helpfulness” (p. 10).
In 2017, I conducted a personal research project based on Martin Seligman’s work on gratitude visits. Seligman’s research has shown that writing and delivering a letter of gratitude to someone who impacted your life can boost mood, enrich relationship connections, and increase meaning in life for up to a month after the visit (Seligman, 2011).
After several months of research and planning, I personally delivered and read letters of gratitude every month for a year to family and friends across the United States and tracked my emotional state as an evaluative tool. Then in 2020 and 2021, I revisited many of those letters as I recorded conversations with the recipients of the gratitude visits for this second season of my positive psychology podcast.
Season Three: My Ikigai (reason for being)
Ikigai is a Japanese word that is believed to be an important factor for achieving better health and a fulfilling life (Nakanishi, 1999). Ikigai is defined in Japanese dictionaries as something to live for, the joy and goal of living, a life worth living, and the happiness and benefit of being alive. “It is also understood to be a comprehensive concept including not only pleasure and happiness but also the meaning of one's life and self-realization” (Tanno, 2008).
This ancient Japanese concept of ikigai has a long history, but with a much more recent resurgence, it has taken on new meaning and a modern positive psychological framework. In this third season of The Come Alive Collaborative podcast, we get a behind the scenes look into one of our learning collaboratives for helping people grow in ikigai.