Monday, June 14, 2010

Authentic Happiness 2: The Main Point

Positive Psychology has made an elaborate effort to identify the different strengths that people can have. They have set out to create a positive alternative to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the summary text of psychology. Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness makes an interesting claim: don't try to have all strengths possible to people, but concentrate on your signature strengths. The main point of the book, I believe, is this:

“the good life is using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification. This is something you can do in each of the main realms of your life: work, love, and raising children.”

This raises a further question for a sociologist: do groups of people have distinctive signature strengths?

And beyond that, what kind of society would emerge if each person pursued his or her signature strengths?


emily said...

this is a huge thing in higher education now--a push for strengths based advising, etc. have you done strengths finder? it's $12 or so for the book and the code to take the quiz online and it gives you your top 5 strengths. I did it for class and it has really changed my perspective on how I do my work and my focus.


Gruntled said...

I have done the online version of the strengths test, linked Authentic Happiness site.