Positive Psychology is the newest field in Psychology which focuses on the scientific study of happiness and flourishing. Its founder, Dr. Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvannia, published in 2011 a book entitled Flourish: A visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. In this book he introduced the New Theory of well-being which provides the answer to the elements that will make individuals happy and how to live a flourishing life. These significant factors include (1) positive emotions, (2) engagement, (3) relationships which are positive, (4) meaning in life, and (5) accomplishments. A handy mnemonic is PERMA. Seligman mentioned that this framework can also be applied to various groups and organizations to create programs and services that will assist individuals develop new cognitive and emotional tools.
Let us discuss each one.
P – Positive Emotion.
1. This component of the new well-being theory is one of the most recognizable connections to happiness. However, having positive emotion does not only entail smiling, but rather acquiring an ability to be optimistic and looking at the past, present, and future from a positive standpoint. This optimistic view in life can assist individuals in their relationships, careers as well as in their daily routines. This can also encourage them to be more creative and take more chances or moderate risks in life that promote personal growth and development.
2. Everyone experiences both highs and lows in life. However, focusing on the unpleasant experiences can increase the chances of developing depression. Thus it is essential to focus on the pleasant and the brighter side of life. In fact, one needs to be more optimistic and hopeful in order to flourish. There are also many health benefits to optimism and positivity.
3. This idea is well supported by the theory of “Broaden and Build of Positive Emotions” developed by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson. She believes that individuals who experience many positive emotions (e.g., gratitude, enjoyment, interest, awe) are more open-minded, creative, and flexible thinker, capable of envisioning the big picture of their life. Dr. Frederickson also mentioned that, on the average, those individuals who posted higher wellbeing and who are also flourishing in their life experience at least 3 more positive emotions than negative emotions.
4. There are many ways to experience positive emotions. Some of these methods include, but not limited to the following:
Savoring the moment
Being with nature
DEAD END. A word that is somehow synonymous to RETIREMENT, or at least, that’s how many (if not all) perceive it to be.
In our day-to-day conversation, the common statements we normally hear are ¨Sobrang busy ako para isipin pa yan,¨ or ¨Matagal pa mangyayari yan sa akin.¨ Most Filipinos especially our kababayans locally and abroad are busy on their jobs and other things which they consider more important in life. Once in a while, the thoughts of retirement temporarily crop up but never linger. Maybe whenever boredom and difficulty arises at work, they bring themselves to think about retirement with more seriousness. And, that’s when regret sets in. The thought of, "I should have planned ahead" becomes more common.
¨Ready ka na ba mag-retire?¨ This question often leads to diverse answers. However, the common one usually leads to the world’s superhero Batman – "BAHALA NA SI BATMAN!"
A result from the study conducted by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp (HSBC) showed that the younger generation spends high in leisure expenses. Accordingly, they prefer to enjoy life in the present and not worry about the uncertainty that the future might bring. In the Philippines, the phrase, “Bahala na si Batman!” is a common answer when young people are asked about their retirement. This kind of attitude shows that they don’t appear to recognize the implications of these financial outgoings and the effect that it can bring on their lifestyle when they retire. The opportunity to invest while they are still young is clearly vague to most of them.
Indeed, we see people in their 30’s or 40 who are earning a lot. Yes! Most of them are at the peak of their jobs, businesses, and earning more money than the older generation. They earn more, and they splurge more. Yet they are also at the height of family duties and settlement of debts. The close family ties setting at home calls for obligations. Family financial obligation is close to the hearts of Filipinos. Hence, the ‘sandwich effect’ experience is common among Filipinos with financial obligations to their parents and/or siblings, and often to other relatives as well. But despite of these numerous financial obligations, there are some people who find ways to set a small part of their earnings for retirement — a goal that must be re-evaluated carefully by Filipinos nowadays.
Retirement should be synonymous to the word ‘PEACE OF MIND’. A house built on a solid foundation with a clear blue print gives the owner an assurance that the house will serve as a sanctuary against flood, the rubbles of earthquakes, and the likes.
Retirement should be built on the premise that you are building a stable future for the anticipated old age. A well-structured plan should be in place. After which you can relax. Routine checkups will keep you on track. And, in between check-ups go visit your kids and grandkids, travel the world, enjoy your hobbies or develop new ones. You can even do some charity work, or do whatever it is that you have always wanted before hitting the twilight zone. If you have a solid plan prepared, money will be the last thing to worry when you retire. As they say, "Money may not buy you happiness but it will surely give you comfort".
Every day is SABADO DAY! That’s how retirement should be. It should be a time to enjoy the remaining years of your life. So, forget about Batman or any other superheroes! You can be in charge of your future! You can be your own superhero who can lead yourself to the so called land of bliss!
To learn about Financial EQ and how it can benefit your group/association, please click here.
by Zell Sulit, MA
Zell has an MA in Counseling Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University and completed the Registered Financial Planner program (RFP) Philippines.
A few years back, I remember I was driving my 18 year old son to school and out of the blue he asked “Mama, nag-birthday ba ako sa Mcdo or Jollibee.” ( Mama, did I ever celebrated my birthday with a McDonald’s or Jollibee party?), with a smile I responded with a question, “Anak, naaalala mo bang nag-birthday ka sa Mcdo or Jollibee?” ( My son, do you remember celebrating your birthday in Mcdo or Jollibee).
In a flash he answered, “Wala akong naalala, Mama...” ( Mama, I have no recollection) and I answered this time while lovingly smiling, “Anak, tama ang alaala mo!” ( My son, your memory is correct). And we both laugh to our hearts’ delight.
But it didn’t end there.
I further inquired, “Anak, did you feel may kulang sa childhood mo dahil di ka nag-birthday sa Mcdo or Jollibee?” (Son, did you feel something is lacking in your childhood because you didn’t celebrate any birthday in Mcdo or Jollibee?) and he said, “Wala naman, Mama.” ( Nothing is lacking, Mama).
“Hamo, nak, kapag kinasal ka, sa Mcdo ang reception.” (Don’t worry, son, on your wedding, reception will be at Mcdo) and both of us blurted out with louder laughter.
As a single parent, my finances were tight when I was raising my 3 children. Everything was budgeted and hence, no budget for parties, but there is budget for education. As parents, we should never feel that we let our children down because we didn’t give them the luxury of Mascot-laden birthdays when they were young especially when we all know that we cannot afford it in favor of the more basic and important needs like food, utilities and shelter.
Sometimes because of our love to our children, our emotions get in the way that we feel pity if our kids do not experience what the other children have. These sentiments Daniel Goleman coined as ‘Emotional Hijack’. We should not fall into the trap of borrowing money just to provide the extravagance that we will need to pay later with accelerating interests. We should nourish our Financial EQ and learn to discipline our emotion when it comes to handling our finances.
It is paramount that we prioritize which will reap better things, like, now, my son earns on his own and he finished his college at the Ateneo de Manila University, which is something that I am very, very proud of.
To learn more about Financial EQ and how it can benefit your group/association, please click here.
Len C is a proud mother of 3 lovely kids, worked in the academe, has more than a decade experience in the BPO industry, with MA units major in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University.
School days are back. Many parents might have been used to this kind of situation many times over.
For first time parents, this can be an exciting and confusing period. A lot of first time parents may be reluctant on how they should manage their kids on their first day of school.
It’s more fun in the Philippines especially during summer when the kids are on vacation.
With the 7000+ islands
A lot of places to visit this summer - Coron, Puerto Princesa, Boracay, Hundred Islands, Calatagan, Bicol, Banawe, Baguio, Ilocos Norte, Vigan, Banggui, - and the list goes on…
Plenty of places to go to – so little time… so little budget! Hehehe
The concept of home is something intriguing for me. To answer the question ¨Where home is¨ is a challenge itself. Is it where my parents live? Is it where I first lived with my husband? The place where we first became parents? Our very first own house?
For me, each place significantly spells home for a time being. But none of it can I truly call Home. In every place I reside, I’m the newest arrival - always new, and slightly on the outside of a friend’s group.
Umaawit na naman ang Aegis sa radio...
Kaya't ibigay n'yo na!
Ang aming Christmas Bonus Pati na ang 13th month pay Para lahat okay na okay!
This is the time of the year again that we get extra money from being employed which we call ‘bonus’ or ‘13th month pay’ because it’s Christmas! And during Christmas, Generosity abounds!
And what do I do the minute that the bonus reaches my hand? I along with my children will march hand-in-hand (with the sound of Hollywood’s war battle in the 1800s in the background), CHARGE!!! TO THE MALL!!! ☺
Yup! That is what 99% of us working class Filipinos do whenever we get that bonus. We spend it until the last drop of it.
And inside the mall, we need not be taught how to spend. We are all NATURAL SPENDERS. We are good in spending but very poor savers.
How do I try to handle the spending?
So you don’t end up buying a shirt you will not wear for a year or even for a decade.
3. Learn to be firm (especially to yourself).
So here you go, I never meant to ask us to be scrooge-to-the-max and rob us of our happy Christmas making. It is more of pushing our Financial EQ to work for us and making the after holiday days smooth-sailing (aka 'no credit card bills hounding us to our sleep').
Len C is a proud mother of 3 lovely kids, has more than a decade experience in the BPO industry, with MA units major in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the Ateneo de Manila University
I lost my parents, including my eldest brother, due to early deaths. Unfortunately, they did not leave me and my youngest brother with any health or life insurance, much less any savings which we could have used for our daily sustenance. So, we decided to sell all our properties until we were left with nothing. And this started our financial difficulties.
It took me a long time before I learned to manage my finances better. This was because of three main reasons.
Tan tan tatan... tan tan tatan...
It was the marching sound of college graduation. 31 May 2017, my second child, my oldest daughter is graduating from college. And I think and I see I was the happiest parent in the hall. Yehey! Clap! Clap! Clap!
I gave her solid deadlines (same deadlines I gave to my oldest child when he graduated in 2012).
As we travel life’s road we come to an intersection where we can’t figure out what or where our next turn would be. It may be confusing sometimes to the point that we don’t want to make a turn at all and instead, go back to where we started.
A lot of us encounter a dilemma at one point in our life. Especially when it is life changing decision that involves our families and kids. Even after all things considered, there is still that small voice going over and over in our head with a list of what ifs which somehow prevents us from plunging into the unknown.
Welcome to P.E.R.A.'s Smart Tips!
The PERA team is committed to provide practical guides toward personal development to reach one's aspirations in life through opportunities in personal development, financial investments, community support, counseling, and government services.