Positive Excellence: An Exploration of the Potential Impact of Positive Psychology on the Road to Excellence and Expertise
The search to understand the origins and development of human excellence and expertise reaches back to ancient times. The introduction of empirical research methods has created much new knowledge in these areas, but the majority of investigations and the resultant findings have focused on physical mechanisms and structures associated with the acquisition of expertise rather than the variety of adaptive psychological states. This paper reviews the recent history and development of the fields of expert behavior and positive psychology, discusses their aligned pursuits, and explores the potential impact that positive psychology –- particularly positive relationships –- may have on the process of developing and optimizing expertise. I suggest that an integration of the fields of expert performance and positive psychology can lead to breakthroughs in the quest for personal and professional excellence.