Last night I watched a wonderful movie, The Ultimate Gift , and it made me think of the many basic principles of Positive Psychology and spurred me on to write this blog. There were 12 gifts that each of us should consider as we live the gift of life.

  1. The Gift of Work

In positive psychology this is considered having meaning and purpose., pursuing our goals and enjoying the journey along the way. This is what gets us up in the morning. Our “work” shows up in many different ways. What is your unique gift of work?

  1. The Gift of Money

Often times we think if we had more we would be happy. Research has shown that this is not necessarily the case. Here are two articles by top researchers that discuss this in detail.

  1. The Gift of Friends

Having close connections and our tribe is integral to increasing our happiness quotient. One of the founders of Positive Psychology, Chris Peterson, said basically, “ Other people matter.” We need a few true friends we can count on in life.

  1. The Gift of Learning

Keeping a growth mindset and learning new things throughout your life not only keeps your brain young but helps you to continue to flourish as you move on in this journey called life.

  1. The Gift of Problems

Often times we learn more from failure or challenging times than we do at any other time in our life. In the moment it is difficult to see but when we look back we can often see how much we grew from challenges. Tal Ben Shahar, my mentor, said, “Learn to Fail or Fail to Learn.” There is often a silver lining that can be seen in time.

  1. The Gift of Family

For some this is challenging but we can learn much from our family whether it be what we want to aspire to be or leave behind. Sometimes we need to regroup and find a new family tribe. Having this connection somewhere is what counts.

  1. The Gift of Laughter

Laughter can boost your immune system and lighten up your day. Laughing triggers the release of chemicals in your brain, creating feelings of happiness.

  1. The Gift of Dreams

Journaling about your best life and visioning what you would like in the future is a great way to keep your dreams alive. Looking at them and creating a step by step action plan to achieve them is the gift of dreams.

  1. The Gift of Giving

Adam Grant recently wrote a book called Give and Take. You can see a summary here

“Givers are winners, and they win Big and often, because they lift others with them.”

  1. The Gift of Gratitude

Robert Emmons, the premier researcher on this topic, has shown that if we focus on 3 things we are grateful for each day we can boost our happiness. Have you written your gratitude letter yet?

  1. The Gift of a Day

Being mindful and paying attention to each moment is when you realize that this is really the only moment you truly have.


  1. The Gift of Love

Giving and sharing love in any way you can is definitely the best way to go in my book. Try Barbara Frederickson’s Love 2.0 to open your heart more and more. So as always I am sending you my love and light.