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Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment [Paperback]

Martin E. P. Seligman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.00
Price: 10.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Mar 2003
In this important, entertaining book, one of the world's most celebrated psychologists, Martin Seligman, asserts that happiness can be learned and cultivated, and that everyone has the power to inject real joy into their lives. In "Authentic Happiness", he describes the 24 strengths and virtues unique to the human psyche. Each of us, it seems, has at least five of these attributes, and can build on them to identify and develop to our maximum potential. By incorporating these strengths - which include kindness, originality, humour, optimism, curiosity, enthusiasm and generosity - into our everyday lives, he tells us, we can reach new levels of optimism, happiness and productivity. "Authentic Happiness" provides a variety of tests and unique assessment tools to enable readers to discover and deploy those strengths at work, in love and in raising children. By accessing the very best in ourselves, we can improve the world around us and achieve new and lasting levels of authentic contentment and joy.

Frequently Bought Together

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment + Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life + Flourish: A New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being - and How To Achieve Them
Price For All Three: 30.59

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (6 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857883292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857883299
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Absolutely full of practical wisdom and its authentic sources. What depth and width of understanding! Seligman affirms our power of choice with a perspective on old and new psychology I found compelling and fascinating" -- Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

"At last, psychology gets serious about glee, fun and happiness. Martin Seligman has given us a gift -a practical map for the perennial quest for a flourishing life." -- Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

From the Publisher

This book offers a powerful message of hope for millions who long for a deeply satisfying life. It is filled with practical advice, discover your strengths applied to love, friendship, work and parenting.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology is taking a positive turn 11 Sep 2002
= POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY =
Until recently psychology has mainly been working within a disease model: a strong emphasis has been placed on discovering deficits in human behavior and finding ways to repair this damage. Psychologist hardly focused on in doing studies acquiring knowledge about healthy functioning and building strengths. In other words: they have focused solely on taking away something negative (the disfunctioning) instead of adding something positive (increasing mental and behavioral health). The result: psychologist know little about healthy and happy functioning. This situation has been changing now since the rise of positive psychology a few years ago. What is Positive Psychology? It is a new movement in psychology, originated by Martin Seligman and a few other prominent psychologists among whom Mihali Csikszentmihalyi (author of FLOW). It aims to be a psychological science about the best things in life. Main topics of study are: positive emotions, positive traits and positive institutions. This book, Authentic Happiness, is the first book on positive psychology. Seligman is its main spokesperson.
= HAPPINESS =
This book mainly deals with the phenomenon of happiness. According to Seligman your enduring level op happiness results from three factors: 1) your SET RANGE ( the basic biologically determined range within which your happiness normally will be), 2) the CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR LIFE (some conditions - like being married and living in a democratic country- somehow seem to contribute to happiness, and 3) your VOLUNTARY CONTROL ( the things you can do to get your happiness to the upper part of your set range. Ok, then how to get this done?
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279 of 291 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology is taking a positive turn 20 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
= POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY =
Until recently psychology has mainly been working within a disease model: a strong emphasis has been placed on discovering deficits in human behavior and finding ways to repair this damage. Psychologist hardly focused on in doing studies acquiring knowledge about healthy functioning and building strengths. In other words: they have focused solely on taking away something negative (the disfunctioning) instead of adding something positive (increasing mental and behavioral health). The result: psychologist know little about healthy and happy functioning. This situation has been changing now since the rise of positive psychology a few years ago. What is Positive Psychology? It is a new movement in psychology, originated by Martin Seligman and a few other prominent psychologists among whom Mihali Csikszentmihalyi (author of FLOW). It aims to be a psychological science about the best things in life. Main topics of study are: positive emotions, positive traits and positive institutions. This book, Authentic Happiness, is the first book on positive psychology. Seligman is its main spokesperson.
= HAPPINESS =
This book mainly deals with the phenomenon of happiness. According to Seligman your enduring level op happiness results from three factors: 1) your SET RANGE ( the basic biologically determined range within which your happiness normally will be), 2) the CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR LIFE (some conditions - like being married and living in a democratic country- somehow seem to contribute to happiness, and 3) your VOLUNTARY CONTROL ( the things you can do to get your happiness to the upper part of your set range. Ok, then how to get this done?
Read more ›
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151 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Wave of Humanistic Psychology 23 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The author, American psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman, is famous for his book Learned Optimism. And his new book, Authentic Happiness, is a useful addition with an especially good web site presenting personality tests. Not all psychologists, however, have agreed with, or found research support for, Dr. Seligman's theory of optimism. Some parts of this "Positive Psychology Movement" have been found to be too one-sided and unrealistic about optimism. The academic book about that more balanced research and theory is Optimism and Pessimism edited by Dr. Chang. That book has a chapter about constructive pessimism by Dr. Norem, the author of the Positive Power of Negative Thinking. Some psychologists say Dr. Seligman's theory of Positive Psychology is too much a 'one size fits all' model of healthy personality. Individual and cultural differences seem to be more important than Dr. Seligman implies -- his approach may be a bit too "American" and optimistic for some readers. The recent surge of research on Resiliency in psychology indicates that individual differences in personality are fundamental -- what helps me won't necessarily help you. Keeping an open mind while exploring psychological health seems to be the key. In any case, Dr. Seligman does present some of the answers for some of the people, and that alone is a very worthwhile contribution.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Happiness 19 Dec 2008
By Beth
Format:Paperback
Written by the former president of the American Psychological Association, and author of over a dozen books including the popular Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, this title is one of the better selling happiness books out there.

First off, this book was a little harder read for me than most happiness books- I have the paperback book which has small print, perhaps that was a factor. I'm also partial to shorter, just-give-me-the-facts happiness books, such as Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World- so that might also explain why I plodded my way through pages at times. But having said that, there's IS lot of gems in here for happiness searchers like myself.

While this is the kind of book I could write a really long review about, I think I'll just discuss what I consider to be the best bits for those looking for ways to become happier- which I think is why most people would buy this book. Soooo.....

1) the book provides the reader with a "happiness formula", which is H = S + C + V. This works out to happiness = your genetic Set point + intervening Circumstances + factors under you Voluntary control. So, since your can't do much about changing your genetics, when it comes to becoming happier, that leaves room for improvement in the areas of circumstances and voluntary activities.

2) the book suggests that if you want to lastingly raise your level of happiness by changing the external circumstances of your life, you should: live in a wealthy democracy, get married, avoid negative events and negative emotion, acquire a rich social network, and get religion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I love this book and it is one which I would recommend. The authors style is such that it is easy to follow and understand this reasonably complicated subject which seems quite... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mat
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is life changing
This book has completely altered the way I see myself. Its written in such a clear, intelligent, unsentimental fashion. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Andrew Orr
2.0 out of 5 stars Academic.
If you are a professional with an interest in this field you may find this very helpful but if like me you are just someone with a keen interest in positive psychology you may find... Read more
Published 9 months ago by philip
4.0 out of 5 stars The positive psychology classic
A wonderful volume of work that outlines the argument for positive psychology and summarises some of the most interesting and important work done in the area. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rod Matthews
3.0 out of 5 stars Serious flaws in basic premises and coverage of topics
While I understand Seligman's thesis in this book and find his analysis and argument interesting, I am left wondering if this thesis isn't just a more sophisticated version of the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Thoughtful reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly Accessible Account on Attainging Individual happiness
Very accessible book, deals with things that contribute to an individuals happiness.
It lucidly explores attitudes and practices that enhance the optential for being happy.
Published 17 months ago by sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired but not sure who it is pitched at
I honestly think this has changed my approach to life and I am much more relaxed and happier as a result. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Charlottie Marriottie
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story teller
Lovely stuff.

Seligman's a great writer - putting everything in very easy to understand terms, while telling a good yarn. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2011 by Pete Burden
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as helpful as I had hoped
As a psychologist, I understood this book myself but I think it would be confusing at times for the average reader. Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2011 by chet
4.0 out of 5 stars Exuberant, refreshing, stimulating , but not five stars
Seligman's mission seems to have been to write a self help manual that doesn't dwell too much on soul searching. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by anozama
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