Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.
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Time for a kick-start
It's gratifying to run events which are so popular that they sell out. This is what has happened with both the Centre's up-coming events with Tal Ben-Shahar. One of the ironical things about me being involved with organising events with American speakers like this is that I started to write about Scottish confidence issues as I wanted us to look to our own history and culture rather than to America for the source of ideas of how we could tackle Scottish negativity. However, once I had written my first book I came across the work of Professor Martin Seligman and Positive Psychology. The strong empirical basis for this work and the fact that it provides an intellectual rationale for values still strong within Scottish culture meant that it provided a good basis for change. Since the Centre was set up we have now staged events with various speakers from the US - Seligman himself, several times, David Myers on happiness, Carol Dweck on mindsets, Corey Keys on flourishing and now Tal Ben-Shahar on leadership and happiness. Of course, we have also brought in speakers from elsewhere - mainly Australia and England.
Ideally what I would like to see is the ideas and research coming from Positive Psychology helping to kick-start Scottish thinking. Those of you lucky enough to get a ticket for Tuesday night at Oran Mor may get a sense of this when Phil Hanlon responds to Tal Ben-Shahar's lecture on happiness and ponders whether these ideas could help us sovle some of the big health and social issues facing Scotland.
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