“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory” ~ Albert Schweitzer. “
“All.. The girls… Are on me… SWAG” Soulja Boy Tell Em’
Swag is perhaps thee most over saturated word in entertainment these days. Ever since Soulja Boy “turned his swag on” it appears that everyone from soccer moms (recent commercial with station wagon swag) to President Obama (1st African American President of United States swag) have all embraced some degree of “swag”. Working in the school district I hear students all the time discuss who has swag or who is lacking this magical ingredient. What is the magical ingredient for someone to have swag? Is there an magical ingredient? Or is swag only something that entertainers can have?
Here at Fligher Education, I posit that “swag” can be linked to the psychological definition of positivity. First we must define what swag is. Urban Dictionary (credible source right?) defines swag as “the way in which you carry yourself. Swag is made up of your overall confidence, style, and demeanor. Swag can also be expanded to be the reputation of your overall swagger. You gain swag, or “Swag up”, by performing swag worthy actions that improve this perception. A person can also “swag down,” by being an overall
explicit and garnering negative swag for their actions. Swag is a subtle thing that many strive to gain but few actually attain. It is reserved for the most swagalicious (blank stare) of people”. Got Swag?
Psychologically, positivity is defined as the unique positive characteristics that an individual possesses and maximizes his/her potential. Some schools of thought hold that positivity is what makes us flourish and what makes life worth living. Drawing the connection between positivity and swag, both terms focus on the unique, optimistic, confident personas that a individual may or may not exhibit.
Need help increasing your swag/ positivity? Here is an psychological perspective on increasing both simultaneously (more so increasing your positive emotions). Joe Wilner, creator of the blog Adventures in Positive Psychology, is a life coach, educator, and writer who helps inspire and empower people to find their purpose and meaning. He provides training and coaching to assist people in stress and anxiety reduction, and to help them enhance positive emotional experiences. Wilner has an article on the Top 10 Positive Emotions that are discussed in Barbara Frederickson’s book entitled Positivity, which explains the ten positive emotions that we experience (hopefully).
Joy - Joy comes from delightful and cherished experiences, and raises our well-being where we feel light and vibrant.
Gratitude - This entails an emotion or attitude of appreciation where we acknowledge some benefit we have received.
Serenity - This emotion comes along when things are going just right. You may experience a state of peacefulness and tranquility.
Interest - Interest comes from being curious or engaged in something. It’s a state of intrigue and wonder, where you want to know more and are pulled toward an object of interest.
Hope - This is a belief and feeling that things will turn out for the best.
Pride – This comes from feeling dignified and important in what we do or have accomplished.
Amusement - Whenever we experience fun, humorous, and playful situations with others we are being amused. We can get amusement from laughing with others at a funny joke, watching a puppy frolic, or playing a fun game or activity.
Inspiration - This comes from experiencing a very moving and emotionally uplifting experience, such as those times in life when we see true goodness or where someone goes above and beyond the ordinary.
Awe - The notion of being awestruck comes from feeling wonder and reverence toward something extremely powerful and admired. These are the moments when we realize how small and ordinary we really are compared to the vastness of the world around us.
Love - Love is the compilation of all of the above emotions. In general, love is related to a feeling of strong affection and personal attachment, where we have a very positive feeling of connection toward another person.
Let’s make it a conscious effort to increase our positive emotions through practice on a daily, consistent basis. Peace, Love, & Happiness!
Check out Joe Wilner’s blog at Adventures In Positive Psychology