Monday, June 18, 2012

Putting good books to use

Stripes and oranges
The contents of this entry is mostly from Laura A. King's The Science of Psychology: An Appreciative View, 2008 (pictured above) which I bought from MV Logos in March. 

For those who didn't know, I studied Psychology in college. I learned a lot about myself and other people through it. It helped understand myself and why people do what they do. The learning has not ceased when I passed through the Arch of the Centuries, nor when I walked down the aisle on my graduation day; it continued long after I finished school, and I appreciate it more than ever, if its possible to do so more than I already did. 

It eased my nerves to know that my feelings are normal. Haha. And that our emotions and thoughts have been well examined and studied by many scholars who has done countless of researches to explain human beings. Take for instance, Cognitive Dissonance, a concept developed by Festinger (1957) which explains an individual's psychological discomfort caused by two inconsistent thoughts (I hope this doesn't start sounding like a research paper). This can occur in many areas in our lives, particularly in everyday decision-making. 

To explain this more clearly, before I entered the corporate world, I promised myself not to get involved in a job for the sake of earning money. I made it clear that this wasn't the life I intend to start living. Now enters the conflict:

- It is important for me that I get a job that is fulfilling 
- But I landed a job which is the complete opposite of what I wanted (slow-clap for me)

Laura A. King's book magically took my real-life dilemma to explain the concept in this example: "I hated my job. I need to develop a better attitude towards it or else quit." Luckily, I did not choose the latter and I've survived my first year in IHG last May. The lesson here is, when there is two conflicting beliefs, something must change in order to get rid or reduce the discomfort. 

Psychology also helped justify external things in life that are rather unpleasant, especially on the relationship department. My previous love interest, who not so long ago, deliberately cut ties with me for the sole reason of not having enough time for himself and his priorities, blah, blah, blah (I've forgotten if this was the correct excuse but anyways) has found someone else. This may be explained through the Mere Exposure Effect--the more we encounter someone or something, the more likely we are to start liking the person or thing. Proximity, or physical closeness, is a strong predictor of attraction (King, 2008). Mega ouch.

Ultimately, this field of science, Positive Psychology to be exact, gave me ways to enhance my well-being. I quote the author of the book: "For those who want to enhance happiness...strive mightily for the goals that you value." More so, one should pursue goals that are moderately challenging and would lead you to your broader life dreams. But most importantly, these goals must be personally valuable.

I'm extra optimistic at this moment. It must be the cake I ate. But though I know that these happy thoughts may soon leave me, for I'm not always contented with life and its surprising disappointments, I hope to concentrate on three things: 1.) Look forward to better days, 2.) Invest in yourself, and finally 3.) Cherish your family and friends. 

1 comment:

  1. i read it in your voice...
    now imagine this in one of our profs' voice. different story. :)

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