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Authentic Happiness: Using Positive Psychology

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment, Martin Seligman.

Authentic Happiness is the name of Professor Seligman’s book in which he explains and champions the positive psychology movement. His attitude is best summed up in these stirring and thought-provoking words:

“I realised that my profession was half-baked. It wasn’t enough for us to nullify disabling conditions and get to zero. We needed to ask, what are the enabling conditions which make humans flourish? How do we get from zero to plus five?”

Dr Seligman (below), director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, is a thought leader in the field of happiness research.

A pioneer in the development of this relatively new branch of psychology, Seligman’s work proves that positive thoughts and actions can help us lead happier lives. Positive psychology, according to his website, “focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.” Seligman defines authentic happiness as combining:

  • The pleasant life (pleasures and enjoyment);
  • The good life (engagement and productivity);
  • The meaningful life (significance).

Martin Seligman - Authentic HappinessHis book: Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment, is an essential read for any student of happiness.

As a key aim of the Happy Manager is to help managers make the workplace a happier place, we think this is a great place to begin.

“Seligman provides the tools you need in order to ascertain your most positive traits or strengths.

Then he explains how, by frequently calling upon these “signature strengths” in all the crucial realms of life — health, relationships, career — you will not only develop natural buffers against misfortune and negative emotion, but also achieve new and sustainable levels of authentic contentment, gratification, and meaning.”(Amazon book review)

Some Suggestions to Get the Most From This Book

We have no hesitation in recommending Authentic Happiness, just as we’ve been happy to refer to it in several places on our site. Take a look at some Happy Manager articles which have used the wisdom of Seligman’s excellent book:

Benefits of Time Management: Begin with the End in Mind

Elements of Happiness: 6 Happiness Tips

Happiness Quotes

Rate Your Happiness: Are You Happy?


Where to go from here:


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