Positive Psychology

Recognize the principles we need to understand, in order to create the lives we want.
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  • Lectures 112
  • Length 8.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 12/2015 English

Course Description

Positive Psychology” takes the traditional “just think positive” approach out of the trite and fluffy inspirational speaker category into the real psychology behind the power of positivity. A simple model is shared to provide a tool for students to immediately implement in their own lives. Traditional psychotherapy is based on a model of pathology, diagnosis, treatment. A positive psychology approach is less stigmatizing and therefore has a broader reach to a segment of the population who may not otherwise benefit from services in a more traditional setting. In addition to the theoretical models presented, practical applications including communication, relationship dynamics, and personal protection are also addressed and explored.

What are the requirements?

  • No specific pre-requisites are listed for this course.
  • As part of the course, students will be reading the books "Pathological Positivity" and "Portable Positivity" which are authored by one of the course instructors. This requires about a 7th grade reading proficiency. Digital copies are provided as part of the course. Students will also need to have the capability of viewing video content on their computer to gain the best benefits from the course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Identify the cognitive and metacognitive processes behind positive thinking.
  • Immediately implement practical cognitive tools for improving personal functioning based on an understanding of positive psychology and the art and science of positivity.
  • Describe the key differences between positive psychology and more traditional psychology
  • Help others to learn the tools and models presented in the course so they become a positive agent of change in their families and communities
  • Practice appropriate self protection and have a healthy self concept and understanding of personal value.

Who is the target audience?

  • Who should take this course? Students who are interested in psychology and personal development. Students who are looking for a course that is immediately applicable to every-day life with tools and models that can be implemented to improve every other aspect of life. Students who are open to a more practical approach to psychology. Students who may be looking for answers and practical ideas to address their own stress, anxiety or depression (this course is not a substitute for treatment and should not be considered to be therapeutic in nature, but many students do experience enhancement of their own functioning or mood as a result of applying the principles learned herein).
  • Who should not take this course? Students who are looking for empirical studies or specific research findings. Although the content of this course is founded in research, we do not address research or empiricism in this particular course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome and Meet the Instructors

Meet the instructors and learn what we will teach in this course.


Elizabeth's Short Bio.


Dr. Paul's Short Bio.

Section 2: Introduction to Positive Psychology

Watch out for the plethora of plosive "P's" in this video!


This video introduces the difference between traditional psychology and positive psychology. Dr. Paul shares that our mental health can be seen on a spectrum that ranges from pathology on the one side to thriving on the other. Elizabeth shares her experience of making a choice to move forward and be happy.


Learn about the spectrum: It is not as useful to ask whether you are depressed or not, or whether you are anxious or not. It is more useful to ask where we are on the continuum.

Section 3: Principals
Like gravity, principles are always on, and they always affect us no matter what. Principles determine all of life's outcomes. Through participating in this class, you will learn about principles that can change your life for the better.

Principles are always on. Like gravity. You never get up in the morning and wonder if gravity is on. What happens when you take a flying leap from the top of a tall building? What if you are really not "into" gravity and jump from that same tall building? Gravity doesn't care if you believe in it or not. Principles are always on and always affect you whether you are aware of them or not - whether you believe in them or not.
Outcomes in life can change drastically depending on how you apply principles. I had a client who was 35 years old and on her 7th marriage. She first thought that the common factor in all of these marriages was abusive men. She finally realized that the common factor was actually her. When she realized this she was finally able to stop jumping off of the cliff. Another client felt that all of his teachers hated him and that's why he was failing at school. He finally figured out that he had something to do with that. Instead of complaining about falling off of cliffs, maybe we should get clear about how we keep jumping off of them.

Some things we control and some things we don't. We need to get clear about which is which and realize that there are principles involved. Principles determine all of life's outcomes.

6 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

8 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

7 questions
Section 4: Discontent
8 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

8 pages
Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.
10 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

3 questions
Section 5: Metacognition

Learn about Meta-cognition

My job as a psychologist is to illuminate the obvious. Many things that are obvious are actually unnoticed, because they are in a subconscious area of our mind - they are below our awareness. One of these obvious but unnoticed things is metacognition. Metacognition is thinking about thinking. Notice now that you have the ability to actually think about your own thinking. This creates a space and in that space exists choice. Thinking about thinking.
6 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

4 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.


Directions for how to do the Meta-cognition Exercise


Meta-Cognition Exercise

3 questions
Section 6: Power of Perception
In this course, you get to learn how your mind operates. It's like having an owner's manual for your mind. This, in turn, gives you a higher level of choice and control over how you experience your life. This welcome video also demonstrates the power of perception and how our reading of a neutral phrase or set of letters is affected by how we prepare our mind before seeing it.

As stated in the video our powers of perception affect our mind. Do this exercise before continuing to the next lecture.

6 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

8 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

Power of Perception
4 questions
Section 7: Choice
Elizabeth - so many times in life we have very little control or ability to predict. There is only really one thing that we can predict, and that is how we are going to react - our choices. Making the decision to move forward and not letting something that happens to hold us back. I was kidnapped and raped and starved for nine months. Mom told me, "This man has stolen 9 months of your life that you can never get back. The best thing you can do is to be happy. Don't give him another second." That advice has served me well and allowed me to move forward when I face something that I can't control. Am I going to let this control me and stop me? The one thing we have control over is what we do. This is what gives us perspective no matter what happens.
10 pages
Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.
This video illustrates the power of choice - not over our circumstances, but over our responses to whatever happens to us. Most people grapple with the question of how much they control or don't control the circumstances in their life. Viktor Frankl was a Jewish Austrian psychiatrist during World War II. He was captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp where he witnessed some of the most terrible atrocities possible. He identified what he called the last of human freedoms, to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. He also said that between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
3 questions

This classic piece by Viktor Frankl should be required reading for all citizens of the planet.

Section 8: Paradigms
Noxious negativity versus Pathological positivity, victim versus agent. Description of the difference between these two paradigms.

This particular example shares the switch idea. As soon as you say I can't it turns the brain off. Sometimes we're hesitant to say "I can" but we don't know how. This puts the brain in the power position and enables us to take steps to move forward.


It is easy to ask that question in a whiney voice. Subconsciously we need to have some reason for or answer to our questions. If a bad or hard or difficult thing happens to me, what answer would make sense? What kinds of kids get abused? It is about opportunity and availability, not about the kids themselves. Outside of putting ourselves in harm's way, it's really not about us. This is true of abuse, and it is also true of other things that can happen. A certain percentage of the population will experience any particular event or circumstance. A more empowering question would be "why not me?" You really wouldn't wish this on anyone else that you love. Elizabeth shares example of her sister who was in the same room with her. Why not me is an empowering position. It doesn't remove the unpleasant nature of what you are experiencing, but it puts you in a position that is much more productive.

You are never wrong about how you feel.
This choice does not necessarily make the challenge go away, but it changes your own position and perspective.
Challenge - whatever you are going through right now - can you ask a different question and ask "why not me?" See what kind of power that can bring into your life.


In scarcity we are living in lack - there is never enough time, love, money, attention. The opposite side of this is a perspective of abundance.

Everything you make in excess of what you need is for the purpose of serving others. This idea was shared by Hyrum Smith, one of the founders of Franklin Covey.

Scarcity has us clinging to things - our hand is closed. When we let go of something, we open our hand to receive what is to come.

Consumers devour more than they bring to the table. Producers create or makes or brings more than they take away.
Paradigms Quiz 1
5 questions

I'll do whatever it takes.


Watch the video.


Watch the escalator video first, then this will give you the wrap-up

20 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

8 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

8 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.


When Elizabeth was first kidnapped she was scared and didn't know what she was going to do - didn't feel that she had any control over what would happen next. I may not be able to control everything that happens, but I can decide to do everything I can to survive. I can always make decisions based on "is this going to help me survive?" Didn't know if she would ever be able to go back to her family. Focusing on what she had lost felt worse. Decided that she could see whatever was happening as a step toward getting to where she wanted to be. Used to think that things couldn't get any worse. Would remember in those times that there was a life out there worth surviving for. We need to remember that there is hope, no matter how hard things seem.

The bottom line of the two determinant paradigms is either captivity or liberty, and that is a choice. Just like gravity is always on, the two paradigms lead to very determined outcomes. The victim paradigm creates and leads to captivity. The agent paradigm creates and leads to liberty.
Paradigms Quiz 2
9 questions
Summary discussion of the two determinant paradigms with Dr. Paul and Elizabeth.
Section 9: The Cognitive Triad
The cognitive triad consists of three elements: What you think, what you feel, and what you do. Of the three, which would be the most difficult to control consciously? The number one answer is what you feel. You can force yourself to do something even if you don't feel like it or want to. Thinking is the tricky one - sometimes you control it and sometimes you don't. Feeling is so automatic, that we sense little control over that part of our experience. If we want to change what we feel, we can work on the other two.

Knowing about the cognitive triad helps us to take a higher level of control over our experience. This story helps us to see the application.

This mnemonic (memory tool) helps us to see more clearly how to manage our own cognitive triad. Make sure you watch the video about the knife attack before you watch this video - then it will make a whole lot more sense. Think about how this relates to your own experience.
8 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

Cognitive Triad Quiz
6 questions
Section 10: Relativity

The point of relativity is so important. On the one hand, if we always focus on how things could be so much better it is easy to get into jealousy and negative feelings about our life. It becomes easy to focus on what is better and feel badly. We can think the other direction as well. It could be so much worse in my life. That perspective can help you see the things for which you can have gratitude in your life. You can be thankful for what you have and then from there move forward to achieve other things that you feel you want and need.


One of my favorite movies is "Ever After" - a Cinderella story. The step mother says that no matter how bad things get they could always get worse. This gives us a perspective that is powerful and changes how we feel. During the kidnapping she often felt that her life could be so much better, which is true but not so helpful. She would also have thoughts that it could be worse, which helped her to see that her situation was not so bad. Life could always be better, but it could also be worse. It could always be worse. Keeping that perspective and point of relativity is so important.

12 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

Relativity Quiz
4 questions
Section 11: Evaluation
Our mind is an amazing power tool. We are constantly evaluating our life and our circumstance. We have to have something to compare it to. We go to our imagination for the comparison and make our judgment compared to that. What is the media connection? We are constantly bombarded by the media which gives a standard of comparison and we tend to judge ourselves negatively as a result. Could we come up with a better or more realistic standard for our comparisons. Our unique characteristics are what make us feel beautiful.

Read Portable Positivity


This video is basically an introduction to the model that is described in the book, Portable Positivity. It introduces the concepts of evaluation and creation as it relates to the proper operation of our own mind.

Start with where you are right now without changing anything. It is what it is.

Shared the scenario of going into the bank and a man comes in with a gun. We feel nervous and upset because of our imagination. We can see this when we think about our thinking.

You can always imagine something better than what it is, and you can always imagine something worse. What is is always between better and worse. That means that no matter how good this is, it could always be better, and no matter how bad this is, it could always be worse.

Evaluation is where you compare what it is to our imagination of something better or something worse. Your mind has to compare, you can't turn this off. How we feel about what we have depends on how we make that comparison.

Creation is about what is coming, and that doesn't exist yet because we haven't created it yet. Our mind is ready to move forward and create what is to be. What would you rather have from the menu - something better or something worse than what you already have?

Evaluation Quiz
4 questions
Section 12: Intention and "The Feeling"

When you fire a gun, where does the bullet go? It is most likely to go wherever we aim it. Even if we are not aiming, the bullet goes somewhere. We aim our life through intention. What is the reason we do anything we do? It all comes down to "The Feeling" - The feeling that life is good. We call this feeling happiness, success, prosperity, peace, joy. Adversity is a natural part of life, and we are still able to achieve The Feeling. Anxiety is caused by imagining that what is coming is worse than what we already have. Our subconscious asks and answers a "what if" question. The default answer of the subconscious is that we can't handle whatever thing that we fear. A more psychologically healthy answer is that we can handle it. We have already handled absolutely everything that has happened so far. The truth is that you can handle anything that comes up for you in your life.

13 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

The Feeling Quiz
5 questions
Section 13: Creation

Elizabeth's firm decision to survive and not rely on wishing or waiting for the If Only to happen is what set her up to create a scenario in which she was eventually saved.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking that if only _______, then I would be happy or things would be okay? The more we focus on the if only, the longer we have to wait until we are actually happy. Take a step back again and make a decision about what you can do right now with the way things are. When I was kidnapped, I made up my mind that I would survive, even if I had to outlive my captors. We have to muster our own internal resources to find a way to help ourselves.

10 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.


Elizabeth's experience of overcoming the negative through thinking intentionally about positive things moved her into a position to start thinking about ways to actually improve her situation and eventually create a scenario where she could be saved from her captors.

It was too easy while kidnapped to go down that path of negativity. I would catch myself doing that, and it wasn't helping me but only made me feel worse. When I caught myself I would start to think about positive things and focus on those thoughts. That would bring me back and help me move forward and get through those dark moments. That led my mind to start thinking about how to move forward and improve my situation. Made a conscious decision to be nice to try to gain their trust quicker.

Portable Positivity
1 page
This graphic shows the whole model of evaluation and creation as described in Portable Positivity. Print out the model and post it somewhere you can see it frequently to remind yourself of these processes.
Section 14: Practice and Work
10 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

6 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

Section 15: Relationship Hierarchy
Key Relationships Introduction

Your relationships fall into a priority lineup. They are, in this order:

  1. Your Creator
  2. Your Self
  3. Family
    1. Spouse
    2. Children
    3. Extended Family
  4. Other People
  5. Things

Elizabeth was taught as a young child that God is loving and caring and we can build an individual relationship with Him. When she was kidnapped and she was away from friends and family with people who did not love her or treat her well, she could turn to God who loved her and gave her feelings that her parents and family would still love her. This is what helped her to make the decision to survive.

Loves the contrasting perceptions. Hester is forced to sew a big red "A" on her dress so everyone will know that she has been immoral. Hester changes the perception from "Adulteress" to "Able" because she doesn't shrink or hide in shame, but instead she shows up and serves. She impacts the mindset of everyone because of what she decides the "A" gets to mean. It is our choice, just like it was for Hester.
After returning home, I realized how important my family relationships were. My grandfather was very important to me during that time. He helped me to step back from my own life and take a different perspective. I was able to look at my life as a whole, compared to only nine months that were really hard and difficult. The small portion of my life that was dark does not define my whole life. We need to find those people whether inside or outside of our family that allow us to have resources. Find your true friends. There were some who only showed up for me during the spotlight, but true friends are there for you after the spotlight ends.
Appreciation for Family
12 pages
Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.

Relationships are an essential part of life, we have them everywhere we go.

Section 16: Effective Communication

Our model of communication includes a sender and a receiver. The message originates with the sender, is encoded (usually into a language like English), and then sent through a cloud of noise. The message is then decoded and picked up by the receiver. Things can go wrong at any phase of the process.

To ensure effective communication, Stephen R. Covey taught that we should:
1. Listen to Understand
2. Express to be Understood

Understanding and agreeing are not the same thing. In effective communication it is more important first to make sure we understand each other.

12 pages

Read the chapter from Dr. Paul Jenkin's book Pathological Positivity.


Conflict happens whenever two people come together. Differences create conflict, but it is differences that makes us relevant and interesting to each other. A good relationship is often dependent on how we handle the differences. Dr. John Gottman did some research in which he found out that roughly 70% of the conflicts in a relationship are unresolvable. Is this good news? This number was true of the miserable relationships as well as for the happy relationships. Do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

Gottman showed us in his research what doesn't work - he called it the four horsemen of the apocalypse. These four doomed steps are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

What does work? Principle. Remember that principles are natural laws and they always work. Compassion, respect, love... These are the kinds of principles that lead to success in relationships. Mark Gungor (see the Tale of Two Brains video) sums up his entire approach to marriage counseling with two words: Be Nice.


Watch a video from youtube

Section 17: Sexuality

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Navanas Institute provides current market skills and self-development to help you succeed in today's economy. We teach you how to work from anywhere with an internet connection, and get industry recognized certifications right from your home. Everything from IT, to Digital Marketing, and Positive Psychology to Self Defense, we have a course for you.

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