Feb 052010
 

Source: “Authentic Happiness,” Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Chapter 6

Satisfaction with Life Scale

Are most people happy?

A large majority of people in the United States report themselves as being happy. This result is common to most populations around the world. Oddly, most people see themselves as happier than others especially the popular, powerful and educated.

Why be happy?

Happy people are healthier, live longer, work more productively and have higher incomes, are more tolerant, more creative, and make decisions more easily, select challenging goals, are more persistent, have greater empathy, more friends, and better marriages. Much of this reflects an improved ability to function in social situations. But

“There is no duty we sell underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.” Robert Louis Stevenson

Who is happy?

Men and women report roughly equal levels of happiness and satisfaction. The same equality holds true across the age spectrum. Factors including formal education, IQ, and race also fail to affect happiness. Married people report more happiness than single who, in turn report more happiness than divorced or separated. Spiritual practice tends to increase happiness and tend to experience fewer negative life circumstances. It seems important that basic needs be met, but material abundance above those basic needs does not increase happiness.

“The happiest people all seem to have good friends.” Psychologist Ed Diener

The happiest people tend to be highly social, and spend the most time in the company of others. They tend to be extroverts and have the desire and ability to build strong social relationships. In one study, conscientiousness, with goal setting, personal control, and purposeful achievement, strongly correlated with life satisfaction. Happy people tend to experience high intrinsic self-esteem; they’re optimistic about themselves and their circumstances.

Pursuing Happiness
  • Do not interpret material achievement as happiness and success in life.
  • Compare yourself, and set your expectations, relative to those who have less.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and review it to remember the things you appreciate.
  • Discover the activities that allow you to experience a sense of flow and learn to reproduce those circumstances.
  • Commit to your goals, finish what you start, and experience your effort with quiet mindfulness.
  • Have and enjoy the hobby. Prefer engagement with life too sedentary activities.
  • Build and maintain satisfying family and social relationships.
  • Volunteer your attention, creativity, and efforts in service to others.
  • Sustain a satisfying spiritual practice that builds hope.
    Jan 122010
     

    Source: “Pursuing Human Strengths,” Martin Bolt, Introduction

    “Change” reflects our ability to adjust typical patterns of behavior. The way we think about the ability of ourselves and others to change affects how we think about and judge behavior. Entity theorists believe that our characteristics change very little. They are more willing to make generalized character judgments based on fewer observed behaviors. Incremental theorists believe that we are more able to make desired changes. They are more willing to seek opportunities for and apply themselves toward personal development. An incrementalist would certainly be more likely to make an effort to change.

    One’s attitude toward the human potential for change is reflected in the relative importance of ability vs. effort in achieving success or demonstrating intelligence. Albert Einstein sounds like an incrementalist when he is quoted as saying “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” If one believes that their characteristics are fixed, they may interpret poor performance on a task means that they are stupid, worthless, or a complete loser. Others are able to interpret failure as the mark of effort and see the need to intensify or redirect their efforts. One path leads to pessimism, learned helplessness, and self-reinforcing failure. The other path leads to optimism, sustained effort, preparation to seize opportunities, and self-reinforcing experience with success.

    While positive attitudes and hard work do not guarantee success, they clearly promote it. Lucky breaks , social support, health, and even genetic gifts are important facilitators for many people who are admired as “successful.” The book “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell makes a fascinating study of opportunistic success. Nonetheless, cultivated attitudes and habits about the potential for change creates an environment that rewards effort toward desired change.

    “Parents and teachers can also teach students to relish a challenge. Doing easy tasks is often a waste of time. The fun comes in confronting something difficult and finding strategies that work. Finally, adults should help children value learning more than grades. Too often kids rely on grades to prove their worth. Sure, grades are important. But they are not as significant as learning.” (p. 10)

    Jan 112010
     

    Source: “Pursuing Human Strengths,” Martin Bolt, Preface

    The weakness of psychology, during its short history as a science, has been its primary focus on human weaknesses rather than on human strengths. That began to change dramatically when Martin Seligman was elected president of the American Psychological Association. Seligman leveraged his research on learned helplessness and hopelessness into a new focus on learned optimism and happiness.

    A primary focus of positive psychology is on human strengths, a core set of virtues. The intent is to study, measure, and understand these strengths so that they can be purposefully developed, increasing both subjective and objective psychological well-being.

    Responsibility – Both researchers and individuals have a responsibility to understand the factors that influence thinking and behavior, and to use this knowledge to increase the healthful development of individuals and societies. Responsibility is vital for the development of other strengths.

    Love – Hereditary nature and environmental nurture both contribute to human development. Attachment styles, developed in early life, have a powerful impact on adult relationships.

    Empathy – The ability to recognize and consider the feelings of others is a vital step in psychological development. Empathy is necessary for forgiveness and altruism.

    Self-control – the ability to accept delayed gratification, instead of only immediate rewards, is also vital to psychological maturity. Purposeful achievement requires a persistent cycle of goal setting, reflection, and self regulation.

    Wisdom – intelligence involves a great deal more than the ability to acquire rote knowledge. Wisdom is associated with reasoning ability and the productive application of knowledge in a complex social environment.

    Commitment – our goals must have meaning and reflect a satisfying purpose if we are to pursue them with persistence. But there are important differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.

    Happiness – positive emotions such as happiness were required for salutogenesis. It is irresponsible for psychology to focus on pathology.

    Self-respect – while self-esteem serves to artificially heighten a sense of entitlement, self-respect involves a realistic valuation of one’s potential within society.

    Hope – learned optimism can be an effective therapy for the hopelessness of depression. Hopefulness helps us to sustain effort through difficult times. Community support is vital for individual and collective well-being.

    Friendship – individual support is also effective in promoting personal and collective well-being. Shared responsibility also helps to sustain persistent effort to achieve goals.

    Dec 022009
     

    Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

    image Rev. Gregory Johanson, PhD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Central Connecticut State University where he teaches Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), and Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Counseling at Drew University. He served as an ordained United Methodist Clergyperson and a Certified Therapist and Founding Trainer of the Hakomi Institute with over 25 years of clinical, teaching, and training experience in mental health clinic, parish, college, and hospital settings.

    Also see: Hakomi Educational Resources and the Hakomi Institute

    Source:

     
  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr (March 1984)
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  • Paperback
  • Publisher: C S S Publishing Company (June 1984)
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  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony/Bell Tower (February 15, 1994)
  • Grace Unfolding: Psychotherapy in the Spirit of Tao-te ching

    ”A sensible and compassionate book that will help those involved in any form of therapy make the best possible use of their time, effort, and money. "A fascinating blend of Eastern spirituality, Western psychotherapy, feminist consciousness, and real caring."–Riane Eisler

    Nov 292009
     

    Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

    Thomas G. Goddard, JD, PhD, is Senior Associate on the Organizational Change Team at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., one of the world’s largest management consulting firms. He is a founding member of Integral Institute and a contributor to Integral Healthcare studies.

    Source: Integral Health Care Solutions

    Thomas G. Goddard, PhD, JD, CEO of Integral Healthcare SolutionsThomas G. Goddard, PhD, JD, CEO of Integral Healthcare Solutions, has over 25 years of experience in law, health and insurance policy research, and management consulting. His consulting practice focuses on providing management consulting and research services to public and private organizations regarding health network management and quality improvement, healthcare and insurance compliance, litigation support, healthcare policy analysis, managed care program evaluation, organizational development, and provider contracting. Before going into health care consulting, Dr. Goddard was Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of URAC. While at URAC and more recently as a consultant to URAC, he served on accreditation review teams of more than 175 HMOs, PPOs, and health Web sites.  In addition, Dr. Goddard served as the Project Manager in URAC’s successful effort to obtain deemed status as an accreditation organization (AO) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

    See also LinkedIn profile