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Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman

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Written by a psychologist that promotes Positive Psychology. Explains the difference between happiness and well-being, the goal of happiness is to increase life satisifaction. This differs slightly from the goal of well-being which is to flourishing in the five elements that it is made up of:

1. Positive emotion
2. Engagement (flow state, note feelings reduced during this)
3. Meaning (belong to and serve something bigger than yourself)
4. Accomplishment (dedicated to accomplishment for the sake of accomplishment)
5. Positive Relationships

Each of these elements is made up of:

1. Contributes to well-being (not surprising given it is an element of well-being)
2. Many people pursue it for its own sake, not merely to get any of the other elements.
3. It is defined and measured independently of the other elements (exclusivity).

Mentions several studies, which show that by practicing gratitude people’s moods can improve.

One of these study is that every night, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep, write down three things that went well today and why they went well. Although smaller number of participants it did show to have a greatly positive impact on mood.

To forgive, basic motivations or actions regarding the transgressor become more positive (for example, benevolent, kind, generous) and less negative (vengeful, avoidant). Note this differs from forgivingness which is a tenancy to forgive.

Includes a test to find your own strengths or you can do these online and take numerous tests to aid your understanding of yourself and help the author with ongoing research.

“Time on task acts in two ways to increase achievement: it multiplies existing skill and knowledge, and it
also directly increases skill and knowledge. The best news is that effort is very malleable. How much time you devote to a task comes from the exercise of conscious choice—from free will. Choosing to devote time to an endeavor comes from at least two aspects of positive character: self-control and GRIT.”

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