Flourish – Martin Seligman

Flourish – Martin Seligman

Notes – Chapters 1 & 2

http://www.melvinkonner.com – medical Anthropologist

– Aristotle thought that all human action was to achieve happiness

– Nietzsche thought that all human action was to get power

– Freud thought that all human action was to avoid anxiety

– Senia pointed out that although achievement can lead to desirable outcomes & is also often accompanied by positive emotion, achievement can be intrinsically motivating as well

– Jeffersonian happiness involved self-restraint to achieve long-term fulfilment

– Csikszentmihalyi – flow – It is only after we get out of flow at the end of the session or in moments of distraction within it, that we might indulge in feeling happy and then there is a rush of well-being, of satisfaction comes when the problem is solved
– There are no shortcuts to follow. On the contrary you need to deploy your highest strengths and talents to meet the world in flow
– Hence the importance of identifying your highest strengths and learning to use them more often to go into flow
– flow involves high skill, high challenge
– use the Values in Action Questionnaire – To identify your highest strengths
– Use the “satisfaction with life scale” to determine how satisfied you are with your life

– Introverts are much less cheery than extroverts

– Harvey Ball’s cliched smiley face

– Reis & Gable (2003): Concluded that good relationships with other people may be the single most important source of life satisfaction and emotional well-being across people of all ages and cultures

– Doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being

– Cacioppo: Loneliness is such a disabling condition; It extracts a significant toll from sufferers by raising stress levels and causing negative cycles of self-defeating behaviours; Found that lonely young adults are higher in anxiety, anger, negative mood as well as fear of negative evaluation; He also found that lonely young adults are also lower in optimism, social skills and support, positive mood, extroversion, emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness and sociability
– UCLA Loneliness Scale

– The human brain is a social problem solver

Charles Darwin – The descent of man (1871) notes: “Selfish free riders are condemned by morality and religion and so lose their reproductive edge – hence the universality of moral and religious systems among our species.

– Ancient Greeks: happiness is leading a productive, purposeful life – what a person does – not how much fun they had


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