The next optional rewirement in Week 1 of the Science of Well-being course is the free Character Strengths test on the VIA website. The test comprises of 120 questions and takes 15 minutes or so to complete. There are no right/wrong answers, and there are no better/worse answers. The key is to be authentic, so that you can derive the most from the experience.
The Science of Well-being course’s Week 1 Rewirements also recommended, but not required, other tests in the greater Authentic Happiness Inventory. The course especially recommended the PERMA™ (an acronym for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment— the basic dimensions of psychological flourishing). Since they asked those who take it to keep score, I took it to get the most out of the course.
But first, I had to find out what psychological flourishing was. From Wikipedia, flourishing is described as “a state where people experience positive emotions, positive psychological functioning and positive social functioning, most of the time,” living “within an optimal range of human functioning.” If I were to describe it in plain language, it’s how positive someone is in a general lifestyle range (rather than in distress or euphoria moments or spans of time). Further from Wikipedia, flourising is a descriptor and measure of positive mental health and overall life well-being, and includes multiple components and concepts, such as cultivating strengths, subjective well-being, “goodness, generativity, growth, and resilience.” Flourishing is the opposite of both pathology and languishing, which are described as living a life that feels hollow and empty. It is a central concept in positive psychology, developed by Corey Keyes and Barabara Fredrickson.
If you want to know more about the dimensions, which I will cover with my PERMA results, I found a more comprehensive description on the Positive Psychology Program site.
Last night, I had my first look into the Anki Cozmo robot’s SDK that uses Python. It was a little nerdy to install and set up, but the videos were well put together. Now, the real fun begins!
My strategy for learning these programs is to alter them in some way, to be creative but also to get some hands on coding done, and maybe to do some independent things rather than just following instructions without having to think much. It’s one thing to repeat words and phrases to learn a language. It’s another to make your own, or at least tweak, the words and phrases you got taught. I learn much better the latter way.