My worklife balance plan is always obvious – it changes and moves but I am never left wondering what my next project, hobby, challenge, travel adventure will be in my future focus. I could not conceive of not knowing what to do if I did not work full time. Future Focus came about after a discussion with my workaholic friend on what life would be like if he reduced his work hours and commitments. “But what would I do?” he said. I found the question almost impossible to understand.
I love my work. I totally understand the rewards of utilising my strengths; of being valued; of feeling useful and productive; having meaning and purpose; having colleagues, structure, being challenged. Oh, and the income is great too. But I get most of those things alongside work as well and I wanted my friend to know he could too. Read more
My interest in psychology was useful. In Well-Being theory (from positive psychologist Martin Seligman) there are five elements that contribute to our well-being: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment. I identified a wide range of options in each of those areas. I added in earning because my friend was still likely to want to do that.
Since then, various events (my own recovery from cancer, a suggestion that Future Focus could be developed into an app, and people finding more and more ways to use the cards) have led to a much broader vision for the cards. At the same time my goal for them became bigger. In the words of Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology, “The goal of positive psychology in well-being theory is to increase the amount of flourishing in your own life and on the planet.” I totally believe that if you have great worklife balance, you will flourish.
These life choice cards are my attempt to increase the amount of flourishing in the lives of everyone who touches them. So get on and:
Hi. I’m Claire. I developed Future Focus and I’m delighted to be sharing it with you. I want to be part of a world where we all flourish and have great worklife balance that involves a wide range of engaging, satisfying, challenging, meaningful, fun and sociable activities. I have a very happy and satisfying personal life alongside a very happy and satisfying career as a career specialist and I want you to have the same. Read more
95% of the world’s population (at a guess) now nothing about New Zealand. No worries, as we would say.
It is often said about us that we “punch above our weight”. And that feels totally true. We can beat the largest, richest countries in one or two sports. We can tell Hollywood that a film will be totally made in NZ, or it won’t be made at all. We send our creative, technical, scientific, foodie, hands-on talents out into the world every day. It hasn’t made us rich, but we make up for that in buckets with our fabulous life style. So why am I telling you all this? Because every now and again I have a flash that maybe from my NZ born talents and my NZ ability to do something with number 8 wire there could come a product that would be of value to the world. So I offer Future Focus.
So who am I to produce this resource? A few details:
So my underlying belief is that we are all meant to be happy (in a wide and deep way, in other words: to flourish) and we are all meant to be satisfied both within and outside of work. I have all that. Therefore why shouldn’t others have, or strive to have, the same degree of flourishing? That is at the core of my resource, Future Focus: its aim is to help you flourish. Please enjoy!
What makes people happy, achieve a sense of well-being, flourish? It appears that, contrary to popular wisdom, the pursuit of pure pleasure is not enough in itself for happiness.
Martin Seligman, an academic in Pennsylvania, USA, has made positive psychology the focus of his studies since 1998. His work on optimism and strengths has been important in my work for well over a decade now. His language on flourishing formed a structure for me to hang my Future Focus cards from.
In the preface to his 2011 book Flourish, Seligman states “The content (of positive psychology work) itself – happiness, flow, meaning, love, gratitude, accomplishment, growth, better relationships – constitutes human flourishing. Learning that you can have more of these things is life changing.”