A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being

Book - 2011
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Explains the four pillars of well-being--meaning and purpose, positive emotions, relationships, and accomplishment--placing emphasis on meaning and purpose as the most important for achieving a life of fulfillment.
Publisher: New York, NY : Free Press, c2011
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781439190753
Branch Call Number: 150.1988 SELIGMAN
Characteristics: xii, 349 p. ; 24 cm

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JCS3F Feb 09, 2014

'This book will help you flourish. There I have finally said it.' So Seligman begins his extemporaneous exploration of emotional and psychological growth. With such a self-imposed standard to achieve, 'Flourish' needed to be methodically constructed to provide a treasure trove practical advice to readers in admirable search of contentment. Instead, Seligman sprinkles a few moderately useful exercises throughout the book (write a nice letter to someone!) and profiles several exemplary individuals whose ability to frame a circumstance allowed them to transcend it. Unfortunately, Seligman also uses 'Flourish' as a public platform to parry his many adversaries. During his exploration of resiliency in the military, Seligman detours to defend himself against accusations that his work enabled the 'enhanced interrogations' that were later properly reclassified as torture. Toward the end of the book, he is inexplicably, distractingly diverted by a diatribe against Barbara Ehrenreich, a vocal skeptic of positive psychology. As Seligman himself points out in the first sentence of the preface, his grand, all-consuming goal was to be the enrichment of his fellow man. If so, wouldn't it have been nice to have given his fellow man more than a minor, supporting role?


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