Authentic Happiness

book by Martin Seligman, also one branch of the Positive Psychology movement

Nov'2011 email about books: He says the title, Authentic Happiness, was forced on him by his publisher. “I actually detest the word happiness, which is so overused that it has become almost meaningless”. He now believes that “Well-Being”, not happiness, should be the central focus of Positive psychology.

How does this relate to: Hierarchy Of Needs, Eight Circuit Model Of Consciousness

lots of questionnaires

Values In Action (Virtue?) InventoryOfStrengths instrument

The 24 Character Strengths (groups 24 specific strengths under six broad Virtue-s) are :

Seligman maps 3 levels of happiness in life:

  • the Pleasant Life: is a life of smiles, ebullience, and good cheer. It consists in getting as many of the felt pleasures as possible and using three sets of skills to amplify them: savoring, mindfulness, and variation. Such "positive affectivity" is highly constrained genetically. It is roughly 50 percent heritable, with identical twins much more similar for it than fraternal twins.
  • the Good Life: is a life filled with absorption, immersion, and flow... Having the Good Life consists in my view of two steps. The first is simple, the second is difficult. First you need to know what your SignatureStrengths are. Do you "own" social intelligence, or kindness, or fairness, or spirituality, or love of beauty, or integrity? Next, and this is the hard part, you need to recraft your work, your love, your friendships, your leisure, and your parenting to use these signature strengths more frequently than you do now. This produces more Flow State in the activities of daily life.
  • the Meaningful Life: knowing what your SignatureStrengths are and using them in the service of something much larger than you are. (Self Actualization)

In Authentic Happiness he says (inspired by Robert Wright's Non-Zero): (see also here)

  • A process that continually selects for more complexity is ultimately aimed at nothing less than omniscience, omnipotence, and goodness. (Transcendentals?)
  • The best we can do as individuals is to choose to be a small part of furthering this progress (Evolution). This is the door through which meaning (Meaning Of Life) that transcends us can enter our lives.
  • The Good Life consists in deriving happiness by using your Signature Strengths every day in the main realms of living.
  • The Meaningful Life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness. (Self Actualization, Transcendence)

But Guy Kawasaki says Pursue joy, not happiness.

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