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Positive Psychology

The assignment entails knowledge regarding positive psychology as the subject of the matter. The assignment further narrows down to a personal reflection of life experiences and how such experiences affect individual attitudes, behaviours, lifestyles and perception regarding various life facets. Drawing insights from the attached document in the course work instructions, the paper examines the life of a child born in the fourth position in a family of five. From the reflective essay, the following information was deduced; the head of the family had passed on several years ago leaving the children with only one parent. The fourth born child took care of the larger portion of house chores and while at the same time raising younger brother since their mother had been diagnosed with epilepsy disease; which made her spend most of her time in a hospital bed. The essay is, therefore, a reflection of the positive psychology that targets on examining the life of a child facing a number of challenges and further elaborates on how she successfully managed to overcome the same. In light of being a reflective essay, the paper, therefore, borrows avalanche of ideas or claims from the recommended course work document attached in the instructions.

Despite the situation and the many challenges not forgetting the overwhelming duties, the grief of their father’s death, as well as the sadness, entwined with their mother’s health condition, the extended family especially the aunts hated on the fourth born child, exploited her and manifested high levels of bias in the way she treated them. The paper, therefore, revolves around the idea of all the hardships, challenges, traumatising events facing the fourth born child and the corresponding initiatives such as hope employed to help the child face the situation.

The paper examines positive strategies to curb negative life experiences. To ensure that the essay meets professional standards, claims in the paper are well cited throughout the document as a way of acknowledging other people’s work. In addition, for the purposes of better understanding and flow of ideas throughout the paper, the essay takes the form of a reflective essay presented in first person pronoun. The essay, therefore, explores positive psychology by boiling down to personal life experiences and further proposes the corresponding strategies to handling the negative experiences.

The essay is, however, properly structured to help the reader gain a smooth flow throughout the essay. First off, the initial section elaborates about family history and the various challenges faced by the individual in question. Second off is the various ways on how the individual was able to overcome greater percentage of the issues. The essay finally terminates with a conclusion of the general idea discussed in the essay giving the reader a strong final understanding regarding the key points brought out in the essay.

The second section included the following as its core points of interest which were further elaborated individually as provided below.

  1. Optimism illusions

  2. Individual strength

1. Discussing the elements of optimism illusions, hope and personal strength to cope with a negative life experienced leaves a lot to be said about each of these elements. In today’s world, optimism continues to become more desirable characteristics and a vital component of the functioning humans. While it is considered to be a mood associated with expectations about the future, whether materially or socially, optimism appears to have taken a different course in the modern social world from what it used to be decades ago (Peterson, 2006). This could be argued that although optimism had been in existence, it is not until recently when the element has been brought to the face of humanity that people have been identified to think ahead (Tiger, 1979, as cited in Peterson, 2000).

The course of optimism is furthered by the aspect of illusions thus birthing positive illusions, which are essentially perceivably unrealistic favourable moods or attitudes that one might have towards themselves or to people in close proximity to them. By engaging positive illusions in my negative life experiences, I was able to stave off discomfort and keep my self-esteem high. Although there are controversies regarding how beneficial positive illusions are and the extent to which individuals may reliably demonstrate the element, I believe positive illusions, in the right moment, may be beneficial (Sheldon, & King, 2001).

2. Hope, on the other hand, may lack the illusions section but falls in the same bracket as optimism since thinking ahead is involved. They are both positive beliefs and can, in one way or another, be linked to psychological wellbeing and good mental health (Pritchett, 2007).

3. Hope and self-strength go hand in hand with each other; in that, for hope to exist, an individual needs to overcome his or her fears by developing the strength and capacity to fight back when need be. Personal strength boils down to person’s inner zeal to fight or push on even when things are unfolding in an unfavourable way. Upon developing one’s strength, scholars such as Carr (2011) have attested that investing on strength is a significant way to instigate good endings or flourishing of events. The paper points out that challenging situation requires a person to possess top levels of expectations and further developing strength to accommodate and live with the end results or the event’s aftermaths without being adversely affected or jeopardising the output in terms of quality and quantity of one’s occupation or goal.

In conclusion, the paper has reflected on positive psychology by focusing on the life of a troubled individual and the number of strategies she applied to overcome her problems. According to the discussion posed above, the essay has brought into broad light the key aspects of positive psychology as per the individual in question. As such, it has exclusively focused on optimism illusion, hope and strength as its principal areas of focus. As aforementioned in the essay, the three aspects serve as the fundamental facets to achieving positive psychology by the troubled person.


Carr, A. (2011). Hope and optimism. In Positive Psychology: The science of happiness and human strengths. (2nd ed., pp. 83-111). East Sussex, England: Routledge

Peterson, C. (2000). The future of Optimism. American Psychologist, 55 (1), 44-55

Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. New York. Oxford University Press

Pritchett, P. (2007). Hard optimism: how to succeed in a world where positive wins. New York: McGraw Hill