A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being

Book - 2011
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This book will help you flourish. With this unprecedented promise, internationally esteemed psychologist Martin Seligman begins Flourish, his first book in ten years and the first to present his dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Traditionally, the goal of psychology has been to relieve human suffering, but the goal of the Positive Psychology movement, which Dr. Seligman has led for fifteen years, is different it's about actually raising the bar for the human condition. Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman's game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life, unveiling an electrifying new theory of what makes a good life for individuals, for communities, and for nations. In a fascinating evolution of thought and practice, Flourish refines what Positive Psychology is all about. While certainly a part of well-being, happiness alone doesn't give life meaning. Seligman now asks, What is it that enables you to cultivate your talents, to build deep, lasting relationships with others, to feel pleasure, and to contribute meaningfully to the world? In a word, what is it that allows you to flourish? Well-being takes the stage front and center, and Happiness (or Positive Emotion) becomes one of the five pillars of Positive Psychology, along with Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment or PERMA, the permanent building blocks for a life of profound fulfillment. Thought-provoking in its implications for education, economics, therapy, medicine, and public policy the very fabric of society Flourish tells inspiring stories of Positive Psychology in action, including how the entire U.S. Army is now trained in emotional resilience; how innovative schools can educate for fulfillment in life and not just for workplace success; and how corporations can improve performance at the same time as they raise employee well-being. With interactive exercises to help readers explore their own attitudes and aims, Flourish is a watershed in the understanding of happiness as well as a tool for getting the most out of life. On the cutting edge of a science that has changed millions of lives, Dr. Seligman now creates the ultimate extension and capstone of his bestselling classics, Authentic Happiness and Learned Optimism.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2011
ISBN: 9781439190753
Branch Call Number: 150.198 SEL 2011 22
Characteristics: xii, 349 p


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JCS3F Feb 09, 2014

'This book will help you flourish. There I have finally said it.' So Seligman begins his extemporaneous exploration of emotional and psychological growth. With such a self-imposed standard to achieve, 'Flourish' needed to be methodically constructed to provide a treasure trove practical advice to readers in admirable search of contentment. Instead, Seligman sprinkles a few moderately useful exercises throughout the book (write a nice letter to someone!) and profiles several exemplary individuals whose ability to frame a circumstance allowed them to transcend it. Unfortunately, Seligman also uses 'Flourish' as a public platform to parry his many adversaries. During his exploration of resiliency in the military, Seligman detours to defend himself against accusations that his work enabled the 'enhanced interrogations' that were later properly reclassified as torture. Toward the end of the book, he is inexplicably, distractingly diverted by a diatribe against Barbara Ehrenreich, a vocal skeptic of positive psychology. As Seligman himself points out in the first sentence of the preface, his grand, all-consuming goal was to be the enrichment of his fellow man. If so, wouldn't it have been nice to have given his fellow man more than a minor, supporting role?

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