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Caroline Adams Miller  

Speaker, Author, Educator, Professional Coach and Media Personality

For almost three decades Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP has been a pioneer with her ground-breaking work in the areas of goal setting/accomplishment, grit, happiness and success. She is recognized as one of the world’s leading positive psychology experts on this research and how it can be applied to one’s life for maximum transformation and growth. In 2015, she was named “one of the ten Positive Psychology coaches to follow.”

MEDIA PERSONALITY Caroline has been featured in hundreds of magazines, newspapers and other media around the world for several decades, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, US News and World Report, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR and CNN. She was the first Positive Psychology expert to bring coaching and happiness to satellite radio via XM with her “Positive Tip of the Day.”

SPEAKER Caroline’s TEDx Talk on grit, The Moments That Make Champions has received great reviews. Angela Duckworth, winner of the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship for developing the Grit Scale, said about the presentation, “Beautiful talk by a paragon of grit! Bravo, Caroline!” Caroline’s keynotes and workshops inspire and empower her audiences to set and accomplish goals by using their grit, helping them to be more successful and happy in work and life. Past clients have included: Young Presidents’ Organization, Edward Jones, Morgan Stanley, WorkHuman, Columbia University, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, The Wharton School and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

AUTHOR Caroline is the author of six books, including the bestselling My Name is Caroline (Doubleday 1988), which was an Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild, and Positively Caroline (Cogent 2013), its sequel. Creating Your Best Life (Sterling 2009), is the first mass market self-help book on the science of happiness and how it intersects with the science of accomplishing goals. It is used as a textbook in numerous coaching and Positive Psychology classes around the world, and was lauded by the “father of Positive Psychology,” Martin Seligman, in his book Flourish. Seligman says that Caroline “added a major missing piece to the world of coaching” because of her ground-breaking and evidence-based connection between Positive Psychology and success. Her workbook, Your Happiest Life, is a four-week guide to help users learn how to set and accomplish goals in a step-by-step way through science-based activities and proven techniques. Caroline’s next book, Getting Grit (SoundsTrue 2017), will discuss why this character strength is so important to a flourishing life, who has it, and how to cultivate, amplify, and teach it.

PROFESSIONAL COACH Since 2000, Caroline has coached hundreds of individuals, from senior executives to professional athletes, and parents to politicians. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation.

EDUCATOR Caroline is one of the first happiness experts to join and advise Happify, the world’s largest pioneering online tool dedicated to assessing and amplifying well-being through evidence-based games and activities. She created their goal-setting and grit tracks.

Caroline is a popular presenter in the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School Executive MBA program, where she is considered one of the world’s experts on the science of goal-setting, grit and their intersection with Positive Psychology. She was an adjunct lecturer in Positive Psychology and coaching at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, and at the University of Texas-Dallas School of Management for almost a decade. She does webinars and training for dozens of organizations, including the VIA Institute on Character about well-being, productivity, grit, and success.

AWARDS Caroline was named the 2012 Good News Ambassador by the Good News Network, and in 2013, received the Mentoring award from the George Washington University School of Business for her decades of helping others achieve their goals.

Caroline graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and was one of the first 34 graduates of the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) in 2006. She is a top-ranked Masters Swimmer in multiple events, has a black belt in Hapkido, and has more than three decades of unbroken recovery from bulimia.

Speech Topics


Create Your Best Life: How to Identify and Pursue the Most Meaningful Goals with Grit

Studies have found the happiest people are those who wake up every day to clear-cut goals that provide their lives with meaning and purpose. Their goals are usually quite difficult; however, they don’t quit or make excuses. Instead, they rely on the characteristic of “grit” to overcome and thrive. Grit is defined as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals.” In this session, positive psychology expert Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP shares her unique, comprehensive and evidence-based approach to helping you create and accomplish any goal on your list. You will learn the power of goal setting and grit to drive happiness and success in your professional and personal life.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Set learning and performance goals – and why each matters, as well as the most common mistakes that derail almost everybody
  • Identify your “web of influence” and know who should and should not be in it
  • Start using the environment to trigger positive habits and goal success
  • Cultivate grit in yourself and use it as your “secret to success”

FORMAT: 45-60 minute keynote; half and full-day workshops are available, as well

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Anyone who is required to create and accomplish goals in their job or wants to create a better life for themselves. Specific audiences have included: Leaders, Women's Groups, Universities, Schools, Entrepreneurs, Sales Teams, Athletic Groups, Multi-level Marketing Distributors, and Professionals such as Lawyers, Financial Advisors and Accountants.

WHAT MAKES THIS PRESENTATION UNIQUE: All of Caroline’s keynote presentations and workshops offer insightful scientific research, applicable examples, and powerful stories (including from her own personal journey); and, leave her audiences with tangible takeaways and actions they can use to accomplish their goals and drive happiness and success in their professional and personal life.

Authentic Grit: Your Secret to Happiness and Success

Grit is increasingly considered one of the key ingredients of success. It is defined as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals.” How gritty are you? If you do not know, you are not alone. Some people are predisposed to be more resilient and optimistic than others; however, most people don’t know how to identify and cultivate grit, and as a result don’t achieve their full potential in their work or personal lives. Positive psychology expert Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP uses insightful scientific research, applicable examples, and powerful stories to help you understand why this character strength is so important and what you can do to cultivate it in yourself and others. The audience takeaways include specific actions to change your behavior and mindset so that you are more likely to achieve fulfillment and success with all of your goals.

In this session, Caroline will teach you how to become gritty. After attending, you’ll be able to:

  • “Change the channel” when difficulties arise and use more effective self-talk that is based on the newest brain science
  • Challenge yourself to take the right risks by asking “why not?” instead of “why?”
  • Create positive relationships and moments that define effective, resilient teams
  • Develop clear-cut goals - both learning and performance goals – and avoid the mistakes most people make

FORMAT: 45-60 minutes keynote and has been done in a TEDX format of 20 minutes. Half and full day workshops are available, as well.

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Anyone who is required to create and accomplish goals in their jobs; who wants to cultivate a more resilient, gritty mindset; and/or wants the tools to build a better, more fulfilling life for themselves. Specific audiences have included: Leaders, Women's Groups, Universities, Schools, Entrepreneurs, Sales Teams, Athletic Groups, Multi-level Marketing Distributors, and Professionals such as Lawyers, Financial Advisors and Accountants.

WHAT MAKES THIS PRESENTATION UNIQUE: All of Caroline’s keynote presentations and workshops offer insightful scientific research, applicable examples, and powerful, timely stories (including from her own personal journey); and, leave her audiences with tangible takeaways and actions they can use to create their own happiness and success.

Putting the “AWE” Back In “Awesome”

Although the word "awesome" is thrown around a lot in today's society, experts say that we have become "awe-deprived" in recent years due to cheating scandals in sports and business, lowered standards for excellence, and school funding being cut for the arts and music. The millennial generation, however, has been raised with abundant praise, leading to concerns that when their performance reviews aren’t "awesome" they feel discouragement and demotivation. Easy goals and low standards for excellence can actually prevent people from becoming awesome. According to the most current research, when people are truly awe-inspired by extraordinary behavior and events, they are profoundly impacted, and are more likely to work hard, be hopeful, and be kind to others. Grit is also an essential element in being awesome, and specific character strengths that undergird gritty behavior can be cultivated to support becoming awesome. Using research, client stories and her own personal experiences, Caroline weaves together a variety of information that will leave audiences understanding the importance of hard goals, gritty behavior and why inspiration is a necessary ingredient in a flourishing life.

Audience members will leave with specific takeaways of how to:

  • Develop three behaviors that have been found in authentically awesome people
  • Cultivate their own character strengths that lead to becoming grittier
  • Set their goals so they inspire not just themselves but others, too, to pursue awesome goals

Caroline has designed a number of worksheets to accompany her next book, "Getting Grit" (SoundsTrue 2017) that can be used in breakout sessions or as audience takeaways.

FORMAT: 45 to 60-minute keynote; half and full-day workshops are available, as well

IDEAL AUDIENCE: Anyone who is required to create and accomplish goals in their job or wants to create a better life for themselves. Specific audiences have included: Leaders, Women's Groups, Universities, Schools, Entrepreneurs, Sales Teams, Athletic Groups, Multi-level Marketing Distributors, and Professionals such as Lawyers, Financial Advisors and Accountants.

WHAT MAKES THIS PRESENTATION UNIQUE: All of Caroline’s keynote presentations and workshops offer insightful scientific research, applicable examples, and powerful stories (including from her own personal journey). The consistent feedback is that her audiences leave with tangible takeaways and actions they can use to accomplish their goals and drive happiness and success in their professional and personal life.

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