Productivity, Optimism, Empowerment, and Learned Helplessness

Productivity, Optimism, Empowerment, and Learned Helplessness

Week Seven Lecture (Post to class forum)

Week Seven lecture was fascinating to me because of my deep interest in optimism, positive psychology, self-transcendence, and flow. I have read many of Csikszentmihalyi’s books and research on flow. What resonates with me is his idea that flow is, “The optimal state of inner experience is one in which there is order in consciousness” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 6). An individual who has achieved mastery over his psychic awareness and has directed consciously those things desired from life grow into a more enlightened and awakened individual person (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Patterson (2005) suggested that people are at varying stages of development. Those people that are least developed will become, in time, more developed and those that are more enlightened will face even higher development (Patterson, 2005).

Tangential to Csikszentmihalyi’s argument is Patterson’s (2005) theory of harmonic vibration. To live in harmonic vibration, one is attuned to their inner life as well as their outer environment, and as such, there is a vibration in the body and mind that establishes perfect thought and perfect health (Patterson, 2005). In essence, one’s thoughts create one’s world. Holmes (1966) postulated, “The more power one gives to his thought- the more completely he believes that his thought has power- the more power will it have” (p. 47). Holmes (1966) believed that everything that one thinks must take form in the physical world. Holmes’s (1966) idea is that for our awakened thought to manifest, the awakening must be within our thought.

These aforementioned researchers’ arguments’ align with Steinwall’s (2013) discussion that in blending the best of both worlds- optimism and pessimism- people are living from the flow and possess a positive psyche. Similarly, employees who work from an inner experience of flow are more productive yielding higher productivity for an organization or place of employment.

In addition to the positive aspects that optimism and positive psychology have on workplace productivity, optimal well-being empowers a leader scholar practitioner. As doctoral students, we are striving toward a flawless realization of our studies. We continue to enlarge our thought processes, “Until it realizes all good, and then cut right through all that appears to be, and use this Almighty Power for definite purposes” (Holmes, 1966, p. 148). In this way, we will all reach the success we demonstrate through thought. It will manifest in our doctorate degrees.


Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience.

          New York, NY: Harper Perennial.

Holmes, E. (1966). Science of mind: A philosophy, a faith, a way of life. New

          York, NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc.

Patterson, C. B. (2005). New thought: A 21st century awakening. Retrieved


Steinwall, M. (2013). Productivity, Optimism, Empowerment, and Learned

          Helplessness. Retrieved from MGT736-Contemporary Systems

          Management website.

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