I can see the Column of Marcus Aurelius from the balcony. The beautiful majestic statue depicts the story of his last battle in the Danube and serves as a powerful visual reminder of success, victory and achievement.
It might be a bit of a stretch to compare a column depicting a gruesome battle to positive psychology, but I am going to do it anyway: the idea of identifying and recording one’s successes and achievements.
Countries and cities do it to help build collective belief. As two key figures in my career Graham Jones and Adrian Moorhouse advocate, it is also an important part of building self belief. Self worth is not just based on one’s last success but is based on one’s whole life experience. Based on their suggestions1, set aside time to think and write down what you are proud of in your life: your achievements, your successes, tangible and intangible. For each of those, identify what it is about you (your beliefs, values, attitude, skills, behaviours) that made each of those successes and achievements possible.
- Look at what you have written. What are the themes ? What are your enduring qualities? How do you feel when you look at the list?
- Keep what you have written. Refer to it when you are faced with new challenges – it will serve as a reminder of your intrinsic self worth.
1. Jones, G. and Moorhouse, A. (2007) Developing Mental Toughness: Gold Medal Strategies for Enhancing Your Business Performance (How To Books, 2007).