THE ENCHANTED SELF is a positive psychology technique that helps you utilize your positive memories, your talents, and your capacities for joy and happiness. You may not realize that one of your most precious gifts in terms of accessing joy is your capacity to utilize your memory in positive and productive ways that are sure to lead to a life worth living and to happier thoughts, actions and plans as you navigate life's choices.

All of us seem to know how to use our memories in negative ways. How easy it is to conjure up bad feelings surrounding a disappointment. How easy it is to remember unpleasant times. However, it is much more useful and leads to more happiness if we can reminisce about good times (we have all had at least some) and also sift through our memories for our talents, strengths, and potential.

I focus on teaching you how to value your own history with all its ups and downs. Seeing your past, even with its disappointments at times, as a G-d given opportunity to experience life, is a major step in validating your uniqueness and your specific purpose in life. This is your story and nobody else's. Your life is a marvelous adventure that could not and will not happen to anyone else. I teach you how to scan your history to recognize and emphasize your abilities rather than you disabilities, your strengths rather than your weaknesses.

Learning to view our self in a positive way puts you in an advantageous position to reinvent yourself. Haven't you known someone who was a very successful businessman, for example, and sure enough in his past was a grandparent or a parent who took him to the factory or the office all of the time, making him feel special? Or perhaps you know a mother who later in life started a successful catering business, and sure enough there was a love of cooking and nutrition that went back for many years? Successful people always pull from earlier talents and refurbish themselves as necessary.

Also, there is pleasure and new chances to bring joy into your life in reviewing your life from the perspective of looking for happy memories, For example, you may remember enjoying archery when you were a child at day camp.

Perhaps you loved being out in the field, basking in the sun. Actually you were not interested in the archery so much as a chance to have free time, and socialize and joke with your friends. Your best friend may also have loved archery, but she loved it for different reasons. She was determined to become a champion and win the Blue Ribbon at the end of the season. Her intentions and her experience of pleasure was very different from yours.

Now when you brainstorm ways to bring more joy into your life, you might pick sitting at a park or spending time walking the boardwalk, or planning more time with friends. Meanwhile, your friend might decide to take tennis lessons and become a competitive player. These are certainly different roads to pleasure and joy.

For happiness starters try listing three things you enjoyed doing as a child. How could you find ways to do them again or what else could you try as an adult that might be similar?

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Holstein is the originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R) and a positive psychologist in private practice since 1981. She is the author of The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!, Delight, and now The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything).
Dr. Holstein speaks on radio, and appears on television in NY and NJ. Her website is She gives lectures, seminars, teleclasses and her quotes appear often in national magazines. She has a weekly radio show on, Kids, Tweens and Teens, A Positive Psychologist Looks at All Three. She is the official guide for positive psychology on

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Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, the Official Guide To Positive Psychology