Sunday, May 13, 2018

New! Practical Wisdom for Busy People podcast - episode 1.

Listen to at:

(3 mins 29 seconds)

The great Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca once said “If you don’t know to which port you are sailing, no  wind is favourable”.
Imagine a boat in the middle of the sea representing  your journey through life.
Where is your boat heading? Do you know?
Are you clear  where you want  your life to go?
If you don’t know,  other people are quite likely steer you somewhere they want you  to go.  Or the winds of fate may blow  off course so you end up wondering how you got to this job, this relationship and this lifestyle.
So you might conclude, as some  people do, that the answer it to take full control over your boat and not let other’s influence you.
But what if you end up steering it in the wrong direction, working on the wrong life goals, living an independent but unhappy life?
What we all  need  is a  clear – and wise -  conception of what we want from life. What matters most in life to you? Happiness? Good relationships? Meaning and purpose? Achievement? Being the best version of you?
Take a moment to reflect on what port you would like to sail towards, the values that matter most to you.
Now think about how you can take a step closer towards that port.
When you are deciding what to do, how to respond to what someone says, take a moment to reflect on how consistent it is with your values so it move you in the right direction.
What one specific thing can you do today  that you weren’t already planning to do to move one step closer. Perhaps gardening, reading a book, meeting a friend, exercising, making a healthy and tasty meal for you and others?
For the rest of the day you might like to imagine Seneca as a wise sage on your shoulder, advising you to be mindful of  where your boat is heading and to what you can to move in the right direction
See you soon, have a great day.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Food for the brain ...

Last time I ran the Positive Psychology Best Version of You course at it City Uni some students understandably asked me to narrow the reading down to a top 12 books for the course.
I've just updated this list.
It's for my course starting on Thursday
As I looked through it, it struck me that it wasn't a bad reading list for anyone wanting to understand the nature of the good life, well-being, strengths and virtues and how to build them.
Let me know if you like any of these especially, or if there is a favourite of yours you think should be added.

Food for the brain: Positive Psychology strengths and virtues Reading

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Positive Psychology: becoming the best version of you - next Thursday - updated topic list

Looking forward to new Best Version of you Positive Psychology course starting on Thursday

Here is what we are covering

1.Introduction: Developing the best version of you
2.Moving towards the best you: goals and steps
3.Overcoming obstacles to behaviour change - mindfulness and thinking fast and slow
 4.  Overcoming obstacles to behaviour change - CBT
 5.   Virtues and Strengths
6.  Wisdom, Stoicism and the role of Practical Philosophy
7.  Compassion, Self-Compassion and the virtues of humanity
8.  Courage &  Grit
9.  Self-Control & Willpower
10.  Conclusions

Thursday May 3rd Thursday 1830-2030
10 Weeks
Tutor : Tim LeBon


Would you be interested in learning how psychology and philosophy can help you and others become the best version of themselves?  Positive Psychology, the science of well-being can help you identify and cultivate your key values,  signature character strengths and  relevant goals and behaviour change. Psychology combined with ancient philosophy such as Stoicism can also help you learn how to learn about and begin to cultivate stable character traits – traditionally called "virtues" - like  wisdom, self-control, compassion and courage which can enable profound and lasting change.

Tim LeBon, author of Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology & Wise Therapy, will  your guide in this lively 10 week, 2 hour course to be held at City University, near Angel/Islington, London starting Thursday May 3rd.

Learning will be provided by a mixture of lectures, videos, small group discussions and role plays. Recommended reading will be given for each week.
 You also have the option of giving a short presentation in class.

You should set aside at least 2 hours each week for completing reading and exercises between classes.

What You Will Learn

The 10 week course will cover the following and will be discussed in further detail during the first class.
Note: This is indicative of likely content and is subject to change
Pre-course preparation
Complete questionnaires (strengths, well-being, SABS)
LeBon, T. (2014) Achieve your potential with Positive Psychology 
Introduction ,ch 1  pp 11-14, ch. 3, ch 5 p 81-87

1.Introduction: Developing the best version of you – values, goals and strengths
This week we will introduce the course themes , looking at
* Course Overview
* Personal course goals
* Values, Goals and Strengths- what is the difference?
* Values clarification
*  Reflection: The “Best version of me” 
First reflection on “best version of me”
Complete strengths and well-being questionnaires
Reading for next week's class

2.  Setting goals and moving towards values

This week you will learn ideas from behavioural psychology to help people set SMART+ goals and work towards their values

*  Values-based SMART+ goal setting
* Behavioural Activation
* Stimulus and environmental control to help goal attainment

Take action according to steps
Notice what you do well
Notice what goes amiss and in particular what thougths or feelings or urges get in the way. Jot these down.

3. Overcoming obstacles to behaviour change - mindfulness and thinking fast and slow

This week you will learn ideas from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based approaches.
* ACT and the hexaflex of psychological flexibility
Thinking fast and slow
* The value of mindfulness

4. Overcoming obstacles to behaviour change - CBT

This week you will learn ideas from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based approaches.
·        Negative automatic thoughts
·        identifying and overcoming interfering assumptions
·        Real – time change - STOP

5. Virtues and Strengths

This week you will learn about the philosophy of virtue and the psychology of strengths and how they are different yet connected.

* The cardinal virtues updated
* Aristotle's theory of the virtues
* Seligman and Peterson's VIA Strengths classification

You will take an inventory to discover your own top strengths and virtues, which will be discussed and built throughout the course

6.Wisdom, Stoicism and the role of Practical Philosophy

This week you will learn about the ancient Greek and Roman philosophy of Stoicism and how it is relevant to building the best version of you.

* What is Stoicism and how it is not the same as stoicism
* The evidence base for Stoicism
* How to be Stoic
* Theoretical & Practical Wisdom

7.Compassion, Self-Compassion and the virtues of humanity

·        The science of Compassion and self-compassion
·        Compassionate Mind Training

8.Courage &  Grit
Courage was identified as a cardinal virtue long ago; the related quality of grit has been advocated by psychologist Angela Duckworth as key to achievement

* Courage and associated qualities - persistence and grit
* How to develop courage
* How to develop grit

9.Self-Control & Willpower
Self-Control and will-power usually come out as the least developed of the character strengths for many people, yet they have also been identified as being foundational.

* The psychology of self-control and willpower
* Marshmallows, fallible resources and Ulysses
* Evidence-based ways to increase self-control

In this week you will get the opportunity to re-take the inventories you took at the start of the course to learn how much change has occurred. Key course themes will be summarised and next steps discussed.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

New course in London starting Thursday May 3rd at City Uni 630 pm Becoming the Best Version of you

Really looking forward to running this course, which combines the positive psychology of self-development with ancient wisdom from the Stoics and others.

Details at

To book click here

Topics include:-

What is the best version of me?

How do I develop wisdom, self-control, courage and compassion and self-compassion?

What can Stoicism bring to the show?

Reading will be provided on a weekly basis.

Weekly on Thursdays from May 3rd
City Uni, London
10 weeks

Hope to see you there.