04 Jul 2013

Lunch meeting: Ms Elaine Chow - "Happiness is a Choice"

This was the first meeting of Rotary Year 2013-2014.  IPP Michael handed the President’s sash to President Adrian.

Our speaker today was Ms. Elaine Chow to talk about “Happiness is a Choice”.  Elaine holds a MSc in Occupational Psychology from the University of Nottingham and a Postgraduate Certificate in Psychology from the University of Hong Kong. She works as a Consultant in an Employee Assistant Program (EAP), which provides counselling and training to the employees of various government departments and companies.

Elaine explained to us how to apply Positive Psychology in the workplace.  She based on the theory of Dr. Martin Seligman from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychology. 

Seligman worked with Christopher Peterson to create what they describe as a ‘positive’ counterpart to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). While the DSM focuses on what can go wrong, Character Strengths and Virtues is designed to look at what can go right. In their research they looked across cultures and across millennia to attempt to distill a manageable list of virtues that have been highly valued from ancient China and India, through Greece and Rome, to contemporary Western cultures. Their list includes six character strengths: wisdom/knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each of these has perhaps a half-dozen sub-entries; for instance, temperance includes forgiveness, humility, prudence, and self-regulation. One of their key points is that they do not believe that there is a hierarchy for the six virtues; no one is more fundamental than or a precursor to the others.

At the end, Elaine emphasized how a work life balance is important.  People who work happily will bring their happiness to their family and vice versa. 

We collected HK$590 for raffle and fines; Elaine helped to draw the raffle gift as a bottle of red wine, which Rtn Michael Lam won with relative ease.