Sunday, May 6, 2012


I'm reading this book right now called 'Flourish' by Martin E.P. Seligman. I bought it about a year ago and got half-way through before moving on. I pulled it back off the shelves a couple days ago.

I read a lot of books on psychology and particularly happiness. What I like about this book is that Mr. Seligman is interested in finding quantifiable measures of well-being so we can look at populations at large to measure the health of society. He pits this up against the GNP, and suggests that perhaps having a well-being index would more accurately help our governments direct public policy. I like this kind of thinking.

The backbone of 'Flourish' is the concept of PERMA; Positive emotions, Engagement (flow), Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments:

These 5 elements represent "the things that people do for their own sakes when they're not being oppressed or frog-marched," Seligman says. "PERMA constitutes what I think we should strive for in life," he says. "From my point of view, a flourishing person has those five things writ large."Whole Living

I recognize that in my own life the balance between the five elements is out of whack, with too much focus on accomplishment and hardly any on meaning. The simplest and most direct way to rectify this seems to be to just make sure I do something each week that checks off one of the PERMA five elements:

Monday: Accomplishments
Tuesday: Meaning
Wednesday: Flow
Thursday: Relationships
Friday: Positive Emotions

It's almost like eating your vegetables or going to the gym.

No comments:

Post a Comment