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Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being - Essay Example

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In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, Dr. Martin Seligman commences with reviews of why it is important to shift from authentic happiness to well-being. …
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Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being
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"Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being"

Download file to see previous pages Although the author does not compromise on authentic happiness, he has argued that while happiness is an important perception, thoughts of well-being involve a number of aspects other than happiness. He begins in saying that, "This book will help you flourish" (Seligman, 2011, p.1), and in supporting his viewpoint in the entire book, he uses "careful science: statistical tests, validated questionnaires, thoroughly research exercises, and large, representative samples" (Seligman, 2001, p.1). He continues in saying, "In contrast to pop psychology and the bulk of self-improvement, my writings are believable because of the underlying science" (Seligman, 2001, p.1). It is evident that the content of Seligman’s book comprises of happiness, flow, meaning, love, gratitude, accomplishment, growth and better relationships, which in itself comprises of human flourishing. It is thus important to learn how one can get more of these things in order to change life for the better. The very act of having a glimpse of a flourishing human nature has the potential to bring positive life changes in human beings.
Chapter 1 of the book deals with What is Wellbeing and the reader realizes that people often choose things that make them feel good but the author argues that choices are not made by people for the sake of what they will feel by making these choices. For instance, a father chooses to watch his little son play football not because it makes him feel good but for the reason that performing a father’s duty gives his life meaning. ...
The second perception pertains to engagement, which means the flow of life by way of losing self consciousness while absorbed in interesting activities. Seligman refers to such a life as the engaged life. He cautions that engagement is distinct from positive emotions because people involved in a flow will always say that they are thinking and feeling nothing. An individual engrossed in flow will become a part of the object. The concentration and attention required by flow exhausts all emotional and cognitive sources that comprise of feelings and thoughts. The reader understands that there are no short cuts to flow and that it is required to make use of one’s maximum strength and talent to cope with the world of flow. At the same time, there are short cuts to feel positive emotions without making much effort and this comprises of the disparity amongst positive emotions and engagement. In order to go into flow, it is important to identify one’s highest strengths and to use them frequently. The perception of happiness is relative to a one dimensional theory and is more about feeling good in terms of the claims that people choose their life course in attempts to maximize how they feel. On the other hand, wellbeing theory deals with the five pillars of positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose and accomplishments. Any of the above elements do not individually define wellbeing although each contributes to it. Meaning is the third element of happiness, which implies that, pursuing pleasure and engagement are often solitary efforts because humans inevitably seek purpose and meaning in life. A life full of meaning entails working towards something that is believed to be larger ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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