Build your own ‘A-team’ – a personal advisory board

Build your own ‘A-team’ – a personal advisory board

Historically, psychology and all “health” professions have predominately focused on faults and deficits; those factors that detract from the quality and length of our lives .More recently, however, with the birth and growth of Positive Psychology and what’s come to be known as the “wellness revolution” there’s been a markedly greater emphasis on those variables that facilitate health and wellbeing and even longevity. Friendly advice: Draw on the wisdom of those around you. Photo: iStock So we now know quite a lot about what contributes to a long and a good life.Of all the findings, one stands tallest and proudest; in fact, it’s so prominent it’s come to be referred to as “the single biggest predictor of human happiness”.So what is this magical ingredient? This holy grail? This miracle potion?Quite simple, it’s none other than the quality of our relationships! In the words of Professor Chris Peterson, one of the founding fathers of Positive Psychology, when all is said and done, and when we’re looking for the secrets of living our best lives, other people matter!

At the same time, however, it’s worth noting that we’re not just talking about any people here; or any relationships. All of the various relationships in our lives are important, to some extent, but some are most definitely more important than others. The barista who makes my morning coffee is a very important part of my life; but the reality is, as much as I love my coffee, the relationship I have with him is not quite as important as the relationships I have with my wife; my children; some of my close friends and a number of professional colleagues.Which is exactly what I was working on with a client I was coaching recently. Without going in to too much detail, he’d gone through a pretty difficult period in his life and he was feeling quite isolated. Most of the people he’d considered friends in the past had either disappeared or let him down.So we decided to build a new support team; a group of people who he believed could help and support him in all the various parts of his life with which he felt he needed help.And this is something I believe we all could and should do; just because we grew up with or went to school with or happen to work with some people doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best people for us. All of the successful people I know have either formally, or informally gathered around themselves a group of mentors.It’s not unlike having your own, personal Advisory Board!Most businesses and organisations have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board who can offer advice and provide expertise in areas they might not directly have experience with. Wouldn’t that be great for all of us to have in our lives?…

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