My mission is to help spread the word about positive psychology. I help people realize positivity is a choice and there are things each of us can do to make that choice easier.
My three main areas of focus include helping organizations have more positive people, positive interactions and a positive workplace. If you have a better attitude, you can be more positive, productive and resilient. Then, if you apply that in your interactions with others, you’ll have more empathy, compassion, patience and understanding. And as leaders and managers, the goal is to create a workplace that makes it easier to be your best self.
The first part of my career was in biotech—I have a Ph.D. in bio-organic chemistry. In 2011 I was at a continuing education conference and the teacher had brought a number of books to share. One was The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. It was my first introduction to positive psychology and it was interesting to learn there was a science around how to live a better life—I was hooked!
I got certified through the WholeBeing Institute by Tal Ben Shahar, left biotech and started my own company.
My main service is speaking and I do a lot of presentations—everything from lunch ‘n’ learns to all-day trainings. I’ve written a book, Sharpen Your Positive Edge, have an online course and continuing education courses, especially for HR professionals and accountants.
I’m kind of an introvert, so I’ll admit it was pretty difficult to step out of my comfort zone and do this—it was a lot tougher to start a business than I thought it would be. But the amazing things I’ve learned from others and the connections I’ve made have been so worth it.
My most memorable caffeine is the “special” coffee I made for my parents, who were avid coffee drinkers, once I was old enough to make the coffee. On the rare mornings I was up before them, I’d get out the fancy china we never used, put out the tablecloth we never used and create this ambiance. The coffee was probably horrible but trying to create that special surprise is a favorite memory.
My current caffeine of choice is typically a kombucha. I’ve recently had a new obsession with health and have started making my own kombucha, using a SCOBY I got from a friend. The SCOBY is the starter culture and stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It doesn’t look at all appetizing: you put tea in a jar, add sugar and wait as it ferments and produces lactic acid, alcohol and C02.
My favorite place for caffeine is outside on my deck with a family member or friend.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with from a positive psychology perspective is Shawn Achor. He’s absolutely fascinating. When he taught the first positive psychology course at Harvard, he had something like seven students. By the fourth time he taught it, he had the biggest attendance at a Harvard class in history.
My last pick would be Dr. Nasha Winters who co-wrote, The Metabolic Approach to Cancer. When it comes to health, everyone has a bias. But her mantra is, “test, assess, address, don’t guess.” She takes a holistic approach to biochemistry that incorporates the spiritual and mental and she’s a cancer survivor.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: people’s inability to understand others’ differences. We’re constantly judging others for what they believe in and do. We’re here to be different, to have a variety of experiences and beliefs. We’ve become so close-minded and stuck. I’d love to help people expand their perspectives and understand each other better.