6The Role of Positive and Negative Emotions

Positive emotions are the seeds of resilience.

—BARBARA FREDRICKSON

A number of years ago, I started practicing gratitude with my sons. My younger son seemed to take to the exercise with his usual passion and eagerness to please. When I put him down to bed, I asked him to list three good things that happened to him that day. His usual response went something like this: “I played football with Gus. I had fun with my friends at school. And I got to spend time with you, Dad.” The last one, no doubt, is how he simply hones his sales skills.

My older son, on the other hand, usually required a little “encouragement” to bring forth his three good things. When I entered his room, I found him with his comforter ...

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