Many people think that having lots of money will give them happiness and they are out to make money when in reality when it comes to happiness the facts are very different. It has been found that although purchasing power alone can give happiness, it is a momentary state. True happiness according to psychologist and bestselling author Dr. Martin Seligman is not the result of a lot of money, luck or good genes. True happiness is achieved when we focus on our strengths rather than our weaknesses and work with these to improve all aspects of our lives.
The new science of positive psychology presided by Dr. Seligman is dedicated to discovering the character strengths and virtues of people and then creating a plan with them for a life worth living. Meanwhile conventional psychology is to dedicated to discovering what is wrong with people. ¨ The time has arrived for a science that seeks to understand positive emotion, build endurance ,virtues and also provide guidance for finding what Aristotle called the "good life ," writes Seligman . In his book Authentic Happiness, Seligman talks about three ways to achieve happiness and refers to studies that have found that the more people are able to combine and balance the pleasant life , the good life and the meaningful life…the happier and more satisfied they are with their life.
The pleasant life is the first and less durable. This is a life where you learn to find, duplicate, and extend positive emotions. For example, a person who likes to buy or eat, when they want to feel happy they look to duplicate what they already know will affect their emotions in a positive way. It is less durable because positive emotions are habitable and eventually there comes a point where the action will no longer gives you the positive emotion that the person is looking for. It's like eating an cream that you love, if you have to eat a whole jar, the last spoonful will not have the same taste of the first because you have become accustomed to it.
THE GOOD LIFE
The good life is lived when you find your “flow” . Your "flow” is where you manage intense concentration , you feel nothing , you are one with the music or like a fish in the water and it is as if time stops . The “flow" is found when we know what is our greatest strength are and we use them in what we are doing.
THE SIGNIFICANT LIFE
This is the most venerable of the three. The significant life is lived when you find your greatest strengths and put them at the service of something that is larger than you.
THE HAPPINESS FORMULA
In studies conducted by Dr. Seligman it has been proven that if you can combine the good life and the meaningful life your life will be more satisfying and on the contrary pursuing pleasures and the pleasant life lead to a empty life. The perfect formula for a satisfying or full life would be to combine aspects of the good life and the meaningful life with a dab of pleasure. This would be like your ice cream with the cherry on top.
A full life is the sum of: significant life + good life + life pleasant (in this exact order). By contrast, the absence of these is the equivalent to an empty life.
To find your strengths and start the path to true happiness you can visit Dr. Seligman’s site at www.authentichappiness.com. This site is full of tools that will help you know yourself better and thus help to accomplish the ultimate goal of true happiness.