TAG: positive psychology

Managing the Downturns: 4 Happiness Strategies for Coping with Challenge

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” Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon This summer, I planned to take it a bit easier. I scheduled a few teaching engagements, intended to concentrate on the piano, and planned a trip to California to meet my new baby grandson. The rest of the time was going to be devoted to …

Cultivating Optimism: How Musicians Can Create Life-Long Happiness

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I had the privilege of participating in the Community Day at Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music this past weekend, a day-long celebration of transformation through the arts, where I spoke about how musicians and artists can create long-lasting happiness. I am fascinated with this topic since research shows that happiness and optimism generate the positive emotions that make it possible to …

How Arts Leaders Manage Challenge: Change Your Perspective

Rising arts leaders face a host of challenges including too much to do with too little time, constant deadlines,  not enough money, time or staff to carry out the great work, conflicting priorities and having to respond to numerous constituencies.   In these situations, it’s easy to focus on the negatives.  Yet happily, there are some very effective strategies to …

Living “in the Zone”: How Music Entrepreneurs Optimize Their Flow Experiences

Creative people know the feeling of being “in the zone”,  the state of effortless concentration and joy where your skill level meets the challenge at hand, you know what you want to achieve and you are receiving the feedback on how well you are doing, time whizzes by because you are doing something that you love, and you are thus inspired …

Playing To Strengths Part 1: Do I Have To Be Good At Everything In Order To Succeed?

My class at Yale this semester is my most diverse group to date, mixing opera singers, early music voice majors, composers, string and orchestra players, one guitar major and a conducting student.  The result is a rich sharing experience from many points of view.  And they are highly motivated to find out what it takes to create success in today’s …

How Happiness Breeds Success: 5 Tips to Enhance Your Career Success

For those who know me, it should come as no surprise that positivity is one of signature strengths (under the StrengthsFinder 2.0 strengths assessment), something that I am truly grateful for.  So when I learned that there was a branch of study called positive psychology, I was most intrigued to find out more. 

Positive psychology, a field that emerged in the 1980’s, is the scientific study of what makes people thrive and excel.  Simply put, it is the science of what makes us happy.

Happiness is often defined as “subjective well-being”, involving pleasure, engagement and finding meaning in life.   This can include:

•    Realizing that you have the capacity to change
•    Experiencing fulfillment
•    Joy in striving towards your potential

Happiness comes along with a positive mindset that looks at the world through the lens of learning and opportunity. For professional musicians, cultivating a positive mindset is an essential element of music entrepreneurship. Let’s take a closer look at how the science of happiness can help musicians to create greater career success.

Two Confidence-Boosting Tools for Music Entrepreneurs: Strengths and Flow

One of the goals of my entrepreneurship class at the Yale School of Music is to help my students develop a mindset of positivity and project confidence since this is at the heart of being a successful entrepreneur. My students have learned two great tools for boosting their confidence—strengths and Flow.  These are more than “feel-good props”.  Both originate from positive psychology, the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive and whose mission includes “find[ing]and nurture[ing] genius and talent”.

What’s not to like?

So here is how strengths and Flow can help you to become confident in your professional and your personal endeavors.