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Home » Virtual Book Group » Sept Book: Authentic Happiness, by Martin Seligman

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9/23/2010 7:02:41 AM

Bonnie Hovel
Bonnie Hovel
Posts: 9
Has anyone read this yet? I read it several months ago and it has caused me to take a closer look at my life, my activities and priorities. I loved getting my results of the online assessments available on the author's website, especially the Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire – here’s a link: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/questionnaires.aspx (no charge for using the website but it does require registration). The report describes your three to five top strengths, and I was surprised to see among mine – an appreciation and love of beauty. It had not occurred to me that this trait does not belong to everyone. To me, it confirms the theory that we sometimes downplay the importance of that which comes naturally to us. This book helped me reaffirm a direction for my life based on my own strengths and the things that are meaningful to me.
edited by bonnieh on 9/23/2010
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10/5/2010 1:53:58 PM

Caryl Cockshott
Caryl Cockshott
Posts: 5
Though I confess to having fallen behind in my reading, I'm just about to begin the "Your Signature Strengths" chapter 9 and am really looking forward to it. This is, I feel, a very valuable book in that it does allow you to chart your progress from a set point and to focus on actually building happiness and purpose in your life. I like the idea of the January Resolution. I'm so glad to see that psychology has progressed since I took my Psych I class in University, and is finally focusing on the positive. I believe that it was William Blake who said something to the effect of: "The eye altering, alters all". It can absolutely be the case that you haven't changed from one day to the next but your perceptions may have. I realized the power of catastrophizing when a girlfriend (now deceased) would try to fight her own such thoughts in her then young life. Also very powerful to hear a psychologist (the author) recognize his own low set-point for happiness and that he can self-nurture the traits that he already possesses. Contentment, gratification and meaning are achievable for everyone with the aid of Seligman's questionnaires and advice.

I missed a really informative TV series recently which was entitled "The Nature of Things" as broadcast on CBC TV by Dr. David Suzuki. The topic related to neuroplasticity of the brain and basically re-programming the thought processes of individuals suffering from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and perhaps two other mental health issues. They were stating that this work could replace medications and be very effective. I hope to catch it online, if I can. It seems that progress is not very far away from treating mental health issues more scientifically and less pharmacologically. Thank goodness for all of this wonderful research.
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