This keynote will provide a framework for existential positive psychology (PP 2.0) which embraces suffering as the foundation for flourishing. According to this perspective, the worst thing that can happen after the COVID-19 pandemic is a return to normal without learning anything from COVID-19 suffering, whereas the best thing that can happen is to become awakened to the  need to transform suffering into blessings.

Traditionally, the broad way towards the most desirable life goal of happiness and success is littered with countless wounded losers because only a few can claim a victor’s crown. This keynote proposes the alternative way of self-transcendence, which may be defined as a narrow path of pursuing the highest ideal and spiritual practices which can free us from the ego and human bondage so that we can become fully functioning decent human beings.

More specifically, this presentation will explain (a) why optimal human development entails overcoming different existential crisis associated with various developments stages through the dialectical process of Yin-Yang; and (b) how the inverted pyramid (or diamond) symbolizes the 12 rules of self-transcendence based on Victor Frankl, Abram Maslow, Carl Jung, and Taoism. Finally, it will introduce empirical findings of the new science of self-transcendence to complete the circle of wholeness and flourishing.

Learning objectives

  • The definition of existential positive psychology (PP 2.0)
  • The definition of self-transcendence
  • The need to transcend existential crises associated with different developmental stages
  • The function of the 12 rules of self-transcendence

(This keynote address was presented at the International Network on Personal Meaning’s 11th Biennial International Meaning Conference, August 6-8, 2021, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.)


Wong, P. T. P. (2021, August 6-8). Beyond happiness and success: The new science of self-transcendence [keynote]. International Network on Personal Meaning 11th Biennial International Meaning Conference, Toronto, ON, Canada.