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SENG Director's Corner: Crossroads

By Lin Lim, Ph.D.


At the end of each year, I stand at the annual crossroads of my life journey looking back to re-evaluate impactful path options for the next year. This year’s crossroads exercise is extra special, as I look backward and forward through the lens of our SENG organization. Serving on this board has not only allowed me to contribute to SENG's mission but has also provided me with invaluable insights into the complexities of supporting the emotional needs of the gifted. At the end of this year, I conclude my three-year board term and prepare to transition into the role of Immediate Past President in 2024, a position that brings with it a unique perspective and responsibility. While the title may suggest a conclusion, I view my volunteer service journey with SENG as continuing in a different capacity.




Our past informs who we are in the present, while our future is full of possibilities with many options for agency. Studies demonstrate real-world impacts (e.g., developmental (1) , mental health (2-4), and behavior (5)) on variations in past (6,7), present (8), and future focus (9-10). I am speaking to you to advocate for the intentional celebration of any positive impacts/events past and present events, whilst taking a “falling forward” attitude regarding mistakes. This reflects life, dynamic and probabilistic, yet full of opportunities for agency and innovation--especially under conditions of constraints. In our rapidly changing world constrained by limited resources, SENG-- just like many organizations--needed to change and innovate to exist. 


2023 was a year of intentional, impact-focused, and inclusive collaborative experimentation that honored our past whilst forward-looking. This reflected a conscious decision to break new ground, challenge existing paradigms, and actively shape a future that not only acknowledged SENG’s rich history but also propelled us forward. This intentional mindset maximizes positive outcomes and ensures that our actions embed cultural and inclusive approaches to contribute meaningfully (impact-focused) to SENG’s stakeholders and our broader community.


New experimentations this year included SENGChat, SENG Author Visit, APA Professional Development, and Outreach such as our Mental Health Month in May and Black History Month in February. New non-profit collaborations included the Gifted Development Center, Dyslexic Advantage, and the National Association for Gifted Children


I give thanks and gratitude to our SENG members, volunteers, supporters, staff, and our Board of Directors. Building a community of belonging takes a village: we are the ones we are waiting for, and 2023 showed us how to make lives better together. I have gained much in my three years at SENG connecting across organizations, learning from peers, making new friends, and exchanging different and similar gifted experiences with other families. My interactions with numerous gifted organizations highlight the unique space SENG can grow to occupy – a lifetime organization for gifted individuals from birth to death, a place for active community involvement, and a safe space where we are united in uplifting everyone through honoring our diversity and through nonjudgmental exchanges of experiences.



Looking forward, our SENG board envisions SENG as a place of community and belonging for all gifted individuals across our lifespan. Is that what you are seeking? Our first major program update SENG Community Groups (SCG) was released this year, broadening a SENG classic (SMPG) into building inclusive collaborative communities of belonging for diverse gifted groups. If you are seeking an inclusive, safe, and non-judgmental community that “gets” you, participate in an SCG group or train to become an SCG facilitator.  Perhaps you would like to write an article for us sharing your gifted journey. Another program we will pilot in 2024, SENG Partner Outreach, includes four virtual outreach events for gifted children and teens.  We invite you to realize our shared vision through active involvement in building our community together. We are stronger, and our lives are enriched when we share, exchange experiences, and support each other.

Endnotes


(1) Mello, Z. R., & Worrell, F. C. (2014). The Past, the Present, and the Future: A Conceptual Model of Time Perspective in Adolescence. In Time Perspective Theory; Review, Research and Application (pp. 115–129). Springer International Publishing : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-07368-2_7


(2) Mooney, A., Earl, J. K., Mooney, C. H., & Bateman, H. (2017). Using Balanced Time Perspective to Explain Well-Being and Planning in Retirement. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1781. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01781


(3) Routledge, C., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., and Juhl, J. (2013). Nostalgia as a resource for psychological health and well-being. Soc. Personal. Psychol. Compass, 7, 808–818. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12070


(4) Olin, C. C., McDevitt-Murphy, M. E., Murphy, J. G., Zakarian, R. J., Roache, J. D., Young-McCaughan, S., Litz, B. T., Keane, T. M., Peterson, A. L., & Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (2022). The associations between posttraumatic stress disorder and delay discounting, future orientation, and reward availability: A behavioral economic model. Journal of traumatic stress, 35(4), 1252–1262. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22820


(5) Finan, L. J., Linden-Carmichael, A. N., Adams, A. R., Youngquist, A., Lipperman-Kreda, S., & Mello, Z. R. (2022). Time Perspective and Substance Use: An Examination Across Three Adolescent Samples. Addiction research & theory, 30(2), 112–118. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2021.1948537


(6) Newman, D. B., Sachs, M. E., Stone, A. A., & Schwarz, N. (2020). Nostalgia and well-being in daily life: An ecological validity perspective. Journal of personality and social psychology, 118(2), 325–347. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000236


(7) Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., Routledge, C., and Arndt, J. (2015). Nostalgia counteracts self-discontinuity and restores self-continuity. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 45, 52–61. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2073


(8) Dennis, A., Ogden, J., & Hepper,E. (2022). Evaluating the impact of a time orientation intervention on well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown: past, present or future? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 17:3, 419-429, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2020.1858335


(9) Beaty, R. E., Seli, P., & Schacter, D. L. (2019). Thinking about the past and future in daily life: an experience sampling study of individual differences in mental time travel. Psychological research, 83(4), 805–816. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-018-1075-7


(10) Moon, J., & Mello, Z. R. (2021). Time among the taunted: The moderating effect of time perspective on bullying victimization and self-esteem in adolescents. Journal of adolescence, 89, 170–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2021.05.002

________________________________________________________

Dr. Lin Lim has a Ph.D. in human development psychology from Boston University, an Academic Graduate Certificate in twice-exceptional education from Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education, and an Academic Graduate Certificate in Mind, Brain, and Education from Johns Hopkins University Graduate School of Education. She is a translational scientist specializing in sustainable well-being and complex outlier lifespan development through a dynamic systems perspective. Dr. Lim volunteers for gifted-related non-profits, currently serving on the board of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum (GHF), the PECAB advisory for the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC), PGRetreat, and is the president of Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG).  She is currently a Dean at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education and is pursuing an MBA at UCLA. She is an international presenter, author, creator of NEST!®, and founder of a non-profit Quark Collaboration Institute Inc. Connect with her at zenliving.com and Linkedin.com/in/linlimgoh.

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