i finished flourish last night.
it took me quite some time. this was because i was reading never let me go at the same time [sometimes i like having a fiction + non-fiction option to choose from!] and also because . . . well, somewhere in the middle of its 350 pages, i stopped loving it so much.
◼ what is well-being? martin seligman begins innocently enough, telling the story of how positive psychology was born, and then comparing his 2002 theory of authentic happiness to his current theory of well-being. this is where his powerful PERMA acronym is introduced. i still think the concept is a good one, and appreciated the detailed description of each element as seligman sees it.
◼ creating your happiness: positive happiness exercises that work the next section introduces several briefly outlined strategies that have been rigorously shown to raise well-being and/or lower depression. they include:
the gratitude visit — writing a letter of gratitude to an individual who did something positive for you in your life, and bring it to them [and read it!] in person
what went well — at the end of the day, write down three things that went well in addiiton to the reasons why they did. [example: i successfully made cDNA from my RNA yesterday because i am a
awesome competent scientist!]
take the signature strengths test — [available on his website if you create a login] and create a specific opportunity [each week, for example] of using one or more of these identified strengths.
i think all of these ideas are valuable, and i would not hesitate to try them. however, the points above are pretty much ALL you will get in terms of practical application of seligman’s well-being theory. the rest of the volume [to me] reads as a commercial for how amazing positive psychology is and the benefits it it likely to provide, but i KNOW there has to be more to his theory than the above three exercises.
and that is why i did not truly love this book.
the other chapters:
◼ the secret of drugs and therapy not to ruin it for you, but apparently the secret is that antidepressants don’t work all that well.
◼ teaching in the MAPP program i still find the master of applied positive psychology program intriguing — don’t get me wrong! but this chapter was mostly just raves about the brilliance of former MAPP students, and an emphasis on how exclusive this program is. i didn’t get a great sense of what was taught and what is special about it.
◼ positive education this section is about bringing positive psychology into schools, which is think is a fantastic idea! there is a lot of emphasis on the excellent responses in the school systems; however, again, i felt the section was lacking in actual information about the programming these students are being exposed to.
◼ grit, character, and achievement i did enjoy this chapter, particularly with its discussion of grit/self-discipline and rates of learning [perhaps more on this in another post!].
◼ the last several chapters all focus on the application of positive psychology in several areas: the army; after trauma [including PTSD]; in promoting better health [in seligman’s defense, there is some intriguing evidence for a positive impact on health outcomes in this section], and finally economics.
all in all, i am not saying this volume isn’t worth a quick read. but i wanted a more in-depth description of PERMA-inducing methods, not just evidence that it [whatever IT is] works.
has anyone read this book? if so, what did you think? i’d love to see others’ opinions.
♥ small notebook‘s take on achieving the uncluttered look without going bare or minimal
♥ recent NYT piece on paper planners [thanks renagh for sending that to me!]
♥ invite.L: a way to get korean stationery without resorting to ebay!! [i’m sold.]
workout: nada. the pull of the couch was too strong . . .
walking distance restaurant #7: mt. fuji
distance: a whopping 0.2 miles
cost: $40 [including tip] for 2
atmosphere: quite nice without being overly fancy; relaxed; decent service
food: we ordered summer rolls to start with. even though they’re not exactly japanese, i love them [and we were starving!]
assortment of rolls — we went with 4 to share since it was buy one, get one free!
i would put their sushi on par with sushi love [near duke], which i like — and mt. fuji is definitely super convenient. we will be back!