I have always wanted to write a book; however I am very irregular with even my blog posts and think that I lack the self-discipline to write regularly or write for a longer project. I want to test both these assumptions.

Moreover, I have been consciously moving away from theoretical stuff to more hands-on and applied issues. Writing a book typically appeared an intellectual pastime to me- where I could demonstrate my ostensibly expert/superior knowledge of a subject; lately however, I have started to veer more towards writing more of a book that is grounded in personal experience and uses theory as a guide to help other practitioners.

As you might be aware, I am deeply fascinated by strengths especially the VIA framework as developed by Peterson and Seligman. I am doing some work with school children around these strengths and hope to reach out to many more school children in this new year. While I apply the well tested interventions of positive psychology with these kids, I will also be experimenting with them myself and be on this collective strengths workout. I hope you join me on this journey.

Each fortnight I will be focusing on one of the 24 character strengths – reading books and articles related to that strength, digesting that and posting about that on my blogs- The Mouse Trap/ Flourish Mentoring; creating awareness about the strength on the social media; hopefully intervening with a larger group of school children around that strength, making that strength a focus of my life for the fortnight, making a collection of songs, movies, videos related to that strength and so on.

All this will also become rich material for a book that I will be writing in parallel, the book directed at positive psychology practitioners, especially people in school based settings who wish to work towards the socio-emotional development of children, but do not know where to start. If I am lucky enough to find a publisher, nothing like it; else I plan to release it myself (I still haven’t made a decision as to whether I will be releasing the book for free (and ebook) or it will be a very low priced paperback version).

If I manage to keep the average schedule of working on a strength per fortnight, then keeping aside 2 weeks of vacations too, I should have a book by the end of the year- however it will not be possible to have a useful book unless you all accompany me on this strengths workout. I would humbly request everyone to be generous with their time and suggestions- reading the posts and related material, thinking about the strength, experimenting with the interventions themselves and sharing their experiences with the world-at-large. Also dont forget to provide the moral support and encouragement.

For those of you who are new to the strengths framework, I strongly recommend that they take a free VIA adult/ youth survey be creating an account at viacharacter.org and reach out to me in case you need help with interpreting your free report. For starters focus on your top 5 strengths which are your signature strengths and try to see how you can enhance them even further and leverage them more in your daily life.

This VIA framework is quite a bit different from the Gallup’s Clifton Strengthsfinder 2.0 framework (please note that I am also a Gallup certified strengths coach) and both faremworks have their utilities, but for working with school children I am increasingly leaning towards VIA and will be focusing on that only for this project.

New year is a time for all round hope, so I have picked hope as the strength of the fortnight. More posts specifically on the topic of hope will follow. I truly hope that you are as excited about this project as I am and will joyfully accompany me on this strengths workout!

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