Alright, so now it's time for you to put into practice a lot of what we've been talking about. So the first challenge I have for you is I want to challenge you to think about how you can use your signature character strengths, the best of who you are deliberately, and to deliberately use them to help yourself overcome an upcoming challenge. That's what we're going to be asking you to do. Now, to give you an example of that, we're going to hear Judy talk about the time where she used one of her dominant strengths, which is critical thinking, to deal with something that she found pretty stressful which was taking her son Noah on a bunch of college visits. So pay attention to how Judy tapped into her signature character strength, the critical thinking, to mitigate this stressful situation. So, a few years back we were going through the college process with my son Noah. And while I was really excited for him, I also found myself feeling just sad and nervous about how he would do in a new environment. You know, I've said that he has type one diabetes, I was worried about that. And to be honest, I was just really sad for myself. He's very pleasant to have around and I just knew I was really going to miss him. So, I was kind of getting sad and anxious and anticipating this loss on my part and just really didn't have a lot of energy. And as a result, I procrastinated on planning our spring college visit trip that everybody does. And I probably wasn't even aware of how my anxiety and sadness was showing up until one day he said to me, you know, "Mom, what's up with you? You just don't seem excited about this trip." And the last thing I wanted was for him to feel guilty or worried about me, so I challenge myself to kind of practice what I preach. And I said to myself, how can I use a character string something that I'm good at and is the best of me, to deal with something that I had unwittingly become sort of a challenge for me. So, I'm a critical thinker. It's one of my character strengths, I like seeing things from all different perspectives and trying to figure out all of the various options one could have. So, I started viewing this trip as a bit of a puzzle. So how could somebody most efficiently cover the entire East Coast of the country? And I set myself the goal of saying, "how do you visit six colleges, in five days and still get the information you need, while squeezing in a few interesting rest stops and places to eat and visits with family along the way?" So, I made this elaborate color coded itinerary, where I had hotels coded in yellow, colleges in blue, rest stops in green. And I'm not going to say that doing this made me instantly excited and able to rise to the occasion, but at least I wasn't avoiding the reality that this trip was coming and his leaving for college was coming too. And over time I did get a little bit more excited about the trip. And then once it started, I genuinely started to enjoy it. And I think he did too, which is really the most important part. So, this is a case where I think using the best of who I am, using a character strength allowed me to deal with a personal challenge and to really show up with my son in a way I was happy with. All right, I want you to listen now to Bob share a time where he used his signature character strengths to increase positive emotion during what was a difficult time that he was confronting in the workplace. What's important about this, remember, is that we know positive emotions help us mitigate stress and what you're going to hear Bob do, is he was very thoughtful and deliberate about thinking through how he could tap into the best of who he is to create positive emotion that was going to help solve a difficult workplace situation. Pay attention to that. So, I wanted to share a time when I used my character strengths in my organization to help lessen some anxiety and create some positive emotion during a tough organizational time. We recently hired some new key members of the leadership team and there was some disagreement about the direction of the organization between these two key members and some of the older staff. So, I'm a very curious person, comes naturally to me and I'm also kind, some would say. So, I would use my strengths to- during the course of the conversations, and these conversations weren't forced. I'm a curious person so I, in the course of getting to know both the old staff and the new staff even more, I'd learn a lot about them, which is a byproduct of being curious. And as I was learning information, I realized there were a lot of bridges between the group of new staff and a group of older staff. And, I would take this information and I would make sure that if there were some similarities that weren't known to the other, I'd make sure they knew about it. For example, one of our staff members had been there for a long time loved the work of Carol Dweck, and has been using this work for many many years and one of the new members of our team also loves the work of Carol Dweck, so it seemed like the kind thing to do to be able to connect these two very smart staff around this researcher, and they've connected around that. And because of that, bridges have been built and it's not just work though, we also find that you know, outside of work connections can be built as well. One of our staff, Sam, he loves red wine. Big red wine fan. And, he's been there a long time and I've known this about him but one of our newer staff, she also loves red wine. So, I was able to connect the two of them around red wine and there was talk of a big red wine tasting, never happened at work. I'm hoping it will at some point, but that was also a great opportunity for them not just to connect around something they loved, but also share something they loved with each other and with the team. And I felt doing that created a lot of positive emotion, some playfulness and it helped ease the transition as we were getting these new staff. Here's an example of Judy coaching Grace on how she can use her character strengths to deal with the stress of job hunting. And so, pay attention to the way that Judy coaches grace through applying her character strengths in the service of overcoming this challenge. So Grace, I know you're going through a really stressful period right now looking for a job, what's the most stressful part about it for you? Yes, so the whole process is so overwhelming. I've got so many resumes out there and waiting to hear back. It's just really bugging me down. Okay. So what I want to try to do today, is to see if we can offset some of that stress by having you experience a bit more positive emotion. Okay. And by positive emotions I mean things like happy, but also things like pride or love or just that feeling of fun. Do any of those positive emotions like resonate the most for you in terms of distressing for you? Yeah, I think the fun, I mean, I tend to get really stressed or tense when I'm stressed out. And when I laugh, I feel like everything just relaxes. Okay. Great. So let's now, think about the path to get to that feeling of fun. So, what are a couple of your signature characters strengths? mind me. Yeah. So Curiosity is high for me? Okay. And so is social intelligence. Okay, if you're game let's try the social intelligence, let's see if we can use social intelligence and combine that with some kind of activity to bring about the sense of fun. This is starting to sound like the clue game I used to play when I was little, but let's think about what is it that you could do using social intelligence. Like something that I do regularly? Yes, so maybe it's something you're already doing as part of your job search, but we could just like enhance it a little bit. I travel a lot. You travel a lot. Okay, so what's a what's a moment that we could work on there? Where we could infuse your social intelligence to to bring on that feeling of fun? Yeah, I spent a lot of time in airports so, I wonder if maybe we could do something there. Maybe like while you're waiting for the plane? Yeah. So, maybe you're looking around. What could we do? how can we make a game of this? Like, how can it be more fun? Yeah. Well I'm actually thinking what I could do, is I could you know, while I'm waiting, look around and maybe make up stories that are fun about like the people around me and where they're going and who they're going to meet. That's a cool idea. So you could take your social intelligence and your insight into people and create like stories that make you laugh, stories that are fun- Yeah. And that'll bring on that feeling of fun. And like we said, that'll help you to roll back that stress and to just get a breather so you can carry on with what you need to do for your job search. So how does that all sound? Really good. Okay, great. Thanks Judy. Sure. Let me know how it goes. All right now to your turn. So, here's what I'd like you to do. And don't rush this. This activity is going to take you, I think a fair amount of thought. You're going to need to really process this and come up with some very specific action steps So, here's what you're going to do, I want you to identify an upcoming stressor or challenge, see if you can come up with something that's going to be happening you know, in the next few weeks. Maybe it's- maybe you're applying to graduate school, maybe you're about to have a baby. And as wonderful as babies are, they can also be a little stressful at times. Maybe your spouse is going to be on a work trip and although we are not home for the next couple of weeks you've got to deal with everything professionally and on the home front. So, step 1, Identify some upcoming challenge, pick something that really matters to you, because I want you to work with situations that are meaningful. Then what I'd like to do, is just like you heard in some of our stories, I want you to identify which of your character strengths you can tap to help you to overcome that challenge. And again, I don't just want you to list out while I use my humor and playfulness, or all I'll tap into my persistence. That's great, but the work here is to be deliberate about identifying the specific behaviors that you're going to engage in that come from those character strengths. So, which character strengths are you going to leverage and how are you going to leverage them? What are the specific things you're going to do through those character strengths that will help you to overcome that challenge, to create more positive emotion for yourself during that difficult time so you're handling your stress effectively, that's what you're going to do right now. The question of how our character strengths are related to our grieving is really fascinating now. So, partly it fascinated me through this whole experience because when I first did the VIA , back in 2009, forgiveness, I'm pretty sure it was my bottom strength. So it's really not something I would have called a signature strength. And yet when Abby died, forgiveness of the driver was a no brainer for me. And not only me, and I can't really remember if it was my son or one of my sons or my husband, but in the police car on the way home, so the police drove us back home having told us, and one of one of the men in my life said, "we're not going to blame the driver, are we?" And I remember thinking, yeah you know, thank goodness for that. No you're right, we're not going to blame the driver because forgiveness is going to help us so much here. And and it really it really has helped us I think, because it has enabled us to move through that initial part of our grief so much and more easily. Love and be loved has always been my number one character strength. And, I think that has given me a sort of guiding steersman through my grief. And when I find myself tempted into jealousy and I look at other mothers and daughters of Abby's friends and I think you know, it's it's tough and it's a big thing and it's a continual challenge to overcome. I love those girls and I can choose to love them and to hang out with them and they're really great to me and they look after me. And so, I think again you know, you can withdraw and shy away and retreat into negative emotions. But actually, I'm fine. I can use those positive emotions and use those strengths to enable me to participate and engage and move forward. You know, it's upbeat that being industrious when you have a setback. Because, I basically didn't really lose my stride, I got dictation software, I was working on that I could still do interviews over the phone. I hired a research associate, who's now a really good friend- a graduate student, to take me to interviews and help me with with all of this stuff and I ended up really using her a lot. She was hugely- even after my collarbone healed, hugely helpful to me. So, the industry worked. I just kind of kept going on. And then gratitude was the second thing. And what happened during this period, perhaps hasn't had to slow down which is not something I do willingly, even at 57 I don't slow down. I became enormously conscious of how rich my life was. You know, I have a great husband, I have a great step daughter, I have a 14 year old dog, then she was whatever she was, 12, 11 you know, named Sandra Day who's kind of the center of our universe and we wanted a smart blonde but Hillary was too divisive so we picked Sandra Day. And so, you know I just have a really- you know, my mom, all my family's here. A meaningful work, lots of friends. I just really became grateful, and that got me through this period. I sometimes find my eyes welling up, seriously with gratitude even though I couldn't drive. Well you know, six weeks later, I can't drive. I'm on a plane to L.A. to do my reporting trips. Eight weeks later I'm riding my bike. I mean, you know, it was a hiccup, but it was actually a hiccup that gave me a lot of kind of perspective on my life. And then also it was just kind of marker for me, that if something else , I mean it's probably likely I'll get in another biking accident, if something else happens, I've been here before, I know what to do. I know to kind of rely on my character strengths. So, we all have these strengths and it's really really good to fall back on them when you hit a setback.