Synopses & Reviews
Over a decade ago, Martin Seligman charted a new approach to living with "flexible optimism." Now, in his most stimulating and persuasive book to date, the bestselling author of Learned Optimism
introduces the revolutionary, scientifically based idea of "Positive Psychology." Positive Psychology focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses, asserting that happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Seligman teaches readers that happiness can be cultivated by identifying and using many of the strengths and traits that they already possess -- including kindness, originality, humor, optimism, and generosity. By frequently calling upon their "signature strengths" in all the crucial realms of life, readers will not only develop natural buffers against misfortune and the experience of negative emotion, they will move their lives up to a new, more positive plane.
Drawing on groundbreaking psychological research, Seligman shows how Positive Psychology is shifting the profession's paradigm away from its narrow-minded focus on pathology, victimology, and mental illness to positive emotion, virtue and strength, and positive institutions. Our signature strengths can be nurtured throughout our lives, with benefits to our health, relationships, and careers.
Seligman provides the Signature Strengths Survey along with a variety of brief tests that can be used to measure how much positive emotion readers experience, in order to help determine what their highest strengths are. The life-changing lesson of Authentic Happiness is that by identifying the very best in ourselves, we can improve the world around us and achieve new and sustainable levels of authentic contentment, gratification, and meaning.
Kay Redfield Jamisonauthor of An Unquiet MindAuthentic Happiness is an excellent book about emotions that are vital, positive, and lend great strength to our lives. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of positive emotions, has written a book that will make a real difference to many people.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyiauthor of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceA revolutionary perspective on psychology, Seligman's Authentic Happiness is a beacon for human behavior in the new century. Laypersons and professionals alike will find this book enormously enriching. It summarizes a huge literature, it provides concrete self-assessment tools, and it speaks with a joyful voice about what it means to be fully alive.
Steven PinkerPeter de Florez Professor of Psychology, MIT, and author of The Language InstinctA highly insightful scientific and personal reflection on the nature of happiness, from one of the most creative and influential psychologists of our time.
Diane Ackermanauthor of A Natural History of the SensesThe Constitution may guarantee the right to pursue happiness, but it doesn't offer clear paths to follow through the wilderness. Seligman does. By turns smart, funny, irreverent, and insightful, he is the perfect guide, someone who can make such a difference in life, and lives. A world hungry for happiness will love his new book.
Mary Pipherauthor of Reviving OpheliaSeligman takes the best, most recent science in psychology and applies it to our oldest, most basic human questions -- how can we be happy? And how can we be good? His book is ground-breaking, heart-lifting and, most importantly, deeply useful. With pun intended, I'm optimistic about its success.
Dr. Stephen R. Coveyauthor of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleAn amazing book! Absolutely full of practical wisdom and its authentic sources. What depth of understanding! Seligman affirms our power of choice with a perspective on old and new psychology I found compelling and fascinating. This book will help restore the Character Ethic.
author of A Natural History of the Senses
The Constitution may guarantee the right to pursue happiness, but it doesn't offer clear paths to follow through the wilderness. Seligman does. By turns smart, funny, irreverent, and insightful, he is the perfect guide, someone who can make such a difference in life, and lives. A world hungry for happiness will love his new book.
Cheryl Richardsonauthor of Stand Up for Your LifeAuthentic Happiness is one of the most important books of our time. It offers a powerful message of hope for millions who long for a deeply satisfying life. Highly accessible and filled with practical advice, if you read it and use it, it will change your life.
In this landmark book, Seligman, author of the bestseller "Learned Optimism, " describes 24 ubiquitous strengths and virtues, with each person owning at least five of these "signature strengths, " which he or she can identify and develop to their maximum potential.
About the Author
Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.
, the Robert A. Fox Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, works on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, ethnopolitical conflict, and optimism. Dr. Seligman's work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He is the director of the Positive Psychology Network and scientific director of Foresight, Inc., a testing company that predicts success in various walks of life.
He was for fourteen years the Director of the Clinical Training Program of the University of Pennsylvania and was named a "Distinguished Practitioner" by the National Academies of Practice. In 1995, he received the Pennsylvania Psychological Association's award for "Distinguished Contributions to Science and Practice."