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What Will You Accomplish Next?

The model for flourishing as a person includes five elements, according to the Father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman:


  • Positive emotions

  • Engagement

  • Relationships

  • Meaning and purpose

  • Accomplishments


The last part of PERMA is Accomplishments. The road to accomplishment is what researcher Angela Duckworth calls Grit. Psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of Succeed, offers some excellent advice on accomplishments:
"Don't visualize success. Visualize the steps you will take to succeed."

If your marriage is rocky right now, you may find your attention and efforts mistakenly centered on fixing your spouse. It is very difficult to fix someone, and his or her spouse is the worst person to do it. All of your attention to this fool's errand will keep you from accomplishing something remarkable and within your reach, like writing a book, learning a new skill, or launching a business.

Go for the accomplishment first. Think of it as putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting your spouse. It gives both of you your best shot at a happy marriage.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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