Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being Paperback – February 7, 2012
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"Repaves the path to true happiness. A relentlessly optimistic guidebook on finding and securing individual happiness." –Kirkus
"Important" --Publishers Weekly
"I was immediately charmed... Seligman's intentions are admirable and exciting. He is consumed by his mission, which is to take psychology on from its traditional role in alleviating misery, and broaden it into positive psychology -- the entirely different art of teaching us how to be wiser, stronger, more generous to others, more self-disciplined, and more capable of dealing with difficulty and rejection... The book is full of nuggets about why positive approaches work."
The Sunday Times
About the Author
Martin E. P. Seligman is the Robert A. Fox Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. His visionary work in Positive Psychology has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
That comment is quite an oversell and is disingenuous at best.
I've genuinely been trying to give this book a fair chance, but so far fail to be sufficiently impressed. The content of the book argues for why "well being" is a better descriptor and goal than happiness in various settings and context, yet the author never seems to get around to the nuts and bolts of how that is accomplished. Rather, the book serves as more of a biographical memoir highlighting the events that brought forth the idea of "flourishing" and "well being," particularly in academic circles. With that, it also acts as a bit of a marketing-type grab for folks to toggle over to the UPenn website with the intent of having more participants fill out questionnaires that add to the database for research, all without any real benefit/feedback for the persons going through the effort of completing the material.
Seligman's general concept is well received, and he goes to great lengths to sell the idea, but it's an idea that is not well expounded by his writing here. I'd recommend folks wait until something more substantive is released with coherent details, and which holds merit beyond being a book length version of something that could have been covered via a quick magazine article.
The field of positive psychology's main idea is that the focus of mental health has been for so long the elimination of psychological disorders and not much on the cultivation of living a richer life through a person's expression of her strengths and virtues. Positive psychology, then, is supposed to complement the traditional understanding of treating disorders with the additional goal of cultivating virtues and helping a person live a more flourishing life.
The theory of human nature that underlies positive psychology holds that people are forward- or goal-seeking individuals capable of dealing with stressors and disasters in life and concerned with increasing their well-being. And people are able to increase their well-being through positive emotion, engagement with the activities they do, positive relationships they have, and the achievements that result from the activities people engage in. These four components Seligman labels with the acronym PERMA. I'll break down PERMA to explain what each component is and how Seligman thinks you can better nourish these aspects of a life well lived.
1. Positive emotion. Positive emotion is just the set of happy feelings you have in any given day. And as we all know, these happy feelings can be produced by almost anything: eating a good meal, watching a good movie, having a good conversation with a friend, making love, and so on. For the record, though, the best research shows that nobody can much change their predisposition to conceive of events positively; it can only change by about 20 per cent, and this is because the predisposition is largely heritable. Suggestions. Seligman does make suggestions for increasing positive emotion, though, if only a little. And they are several. One is keeping a journal and writing in at night before you go to bed three good things you did that day and why you feel like they were good things. They can be the simplest things too. Another thing you can do is practice the A, B, C, D, E method with your negative thinking. How you do this is by writing down an action (A) that bothered you that day, the negative beliefs (B) you had about the situation, the feelings you have/had as a consequence (C), a demonstration, (D) of alternative ways to conceive of the event, and then an evaluation (E) of your thoughts and feelings afterward. The list goes on in terms of how you can improve your positive emotion, and you can read the book for the others.
2. Engagement. Engagement is the degree to which the activities you engage in are flowing, when time seems to pass and you're completely unaware, because you're so enthralled in the work you're doing. You can increase this sense of engagement by using your signature strengths during the things that you do. (If you're at all curious, what strengths you have, you can go to authentichappiness.org, sign up, and take the VIA test.)
3. Relationships. A basic way of improving relationships, Seligman reccommends, is by positively and constructively communicating with someone. If someone tells you something they did positive, for example, you can compliment that person and then ask more specific questions to find out about what it is they did. Something as simple as this increases relationships.
4. Achievement. What Seligman has to say about achievement is this. What a person really needs to do to perform well is the gumption to get up and do it and push away adversity. Seligman, somewhat commically, writes that if you want to be good at something, do it about 60 hours every week for 10 years.
All that I wrote here is just scanning the surface. There are a lot of good ideas in here.