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Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by Martin E.P. Seligman
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“Authentic happiness derives from raising the bar for yourself, not rating yourself against others.”
Martin E.P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
“Depression is now ten times as prevalent as it was in 1960, and it strikes at a much younger age. The mean age of a person’s first episode of depression forty years ago was 29.5, while today it is 14.5 years. This is a paradox, since every objective indicator of well-being—purchasing power, amount of education, availability of music, and nutrition—has been going north, while every indicator of subjective well-being has been going south. How is this epidemic to be explained?”
Martin E.P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
“TRANSCENDING Escher got it right. Men step down and yet rise up, the hand is drawn by the hand it draws, and a woman is poised on her very own shoulders. Without you and me this universe is simple, run with the regularity of a prison. Galaxies spin along stipulated arcs, stars collapse at the specified hour, crows u-turn south and monkeys rut on schedule. But we, whom the cosmos shaped for a billion years to fit this place, we know it failed. For we can reshape, reach an arm through the bars and, Escher-like, pull ourselves out. And while whales feeding on mackerel are confined forever in the sea, we climb the waves, look down from clouds. —From Look Down from Clouds (Marvin Levine, 1997)”
Martin E.P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
“After a heated dispute, we each undertook an assignment for the next class: to engage in one pleasurable activity and one philanthropic activity, and write about both. The results were life-changing. The afterglow of the “pleasurable” activity (hanging out with friends, or watching a movie, or eating a hot fudge sundae) paled in comparison with the effects of the kind action. When our philanthropic acts were spontaneous and called upon personal strengths, the whole day went better. One junior told about her nephew phoning for help with his third-grade arithmetic. After an hour of tutoring him, she was astonished to discover that “for the rest of the day, I could listen better, I was mellower, and people liked me much more than usual.” The exercise of kindness is a gratification, in contrast to a pleasure. As a gratification, it calls on your strengths to rise to an occasion and meet a challenge. Kindness is not accompanied by a separable stream of positive emotion like joy; rather, it consists in total engagement and in the loss of self-consciousness. Time stops.”
Martin E.P. Seligman, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment