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Flourish by Seligman

flourish_martin_seligman_visionary_new_understanding_of_happiness_well_being

I just finished reading Seligman’s Flourish. As usual, he provides a great book with helpful information. The book provides well documented information and valuable insight into Positive Psychology. In this book he encourages the move toward well-being which he describes as more than happiness for positive psychology. He provides the PERMA model as his theory of well-being which adds to the happiness theory he provided in Authentic Happiness.

PERMA: P-ositve emotion; E-ngagement; R-positive Relationships; M-eaningful life; A-chievement

The book however left me wanting more. It reminded me of the conversation I had with him at his presentation about a Positive Psychology strategies to treat depression he made at APA conference I attended. In his presentation he reported that using these strategies were more effective and people who received these treatments were less depressed.

My question , how is that positive? Being less depressed is wonderful, of course, however that does not mean they are achieving positive health, it just means they have less negative health. I have adopted his idea of categorizing health on a number scale, that is 0 is neither positive or negative, negative means there problems and positive numbers are better than just not bad or the absence of problems. I refer this to as exceed expectations (see video here) and also can be thought of as Flourishing, Thriving or Excelling.

With this in mind, I believe for us to truly achieve positive health we must start by aiming for an idealized outcome, something that would represent +3 and could not happen as things are now. To achieve true Positive health, we must make it happen. Using the idea of paneugenesis (linked to video) we also must think how our +3 also benefits others because benefitting others benefits us. In other words, to achieve true +3 we must create interactions so everyone and everyTHING benefits.

To me, if we are to Flourish, we must practice paneugenesis which is selfish, selfless, synergy so everything benefits.

Make it a Great Day!

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