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.
    Feb 012010

    Source: “Authentic Happiness,” Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Chapter 5

    Martin Seligman proposes a formula for happiness: H=S+C+V.

    Enduring level of Happiness =
    Set range + life Circumstances + factors under Voluntary control

    H – Enduring level of Happiness

    Enduring happiness is not the same as momentary happiness, which can spring from a wide range of positive, but transient events. Increasing these momentary pleasures have no enduring effect on enduring happiness.

    In repeated studies of identical twins, fraternal twins, and adopted children, demonstrate that about half of all personality traits can be attributed to genetic inheritance. While some of these heritable traits are rather firmly fixed, some are remarkably malleable.

    S – Set range

    Traits which are inherited and more fixed establish a “set range” of what is normal or typical for each person. They define areas that may serve as barriers to increased happiness.

    Lottery winners study

    A study of major lottery winners found that most returned to their previous levels and styles of happiness within one year. On the other hand, the effect also works in reverse, with people usually recovering after adversity.

    Quadriplegia study

    Even people who become quadriplegics and experience a period of depression usually recover their more-positive mood within months.

    Hedonic Treadmill

    The concept of a hedonic treadmill describes people who, like lottery winners, begin to take good things for granted. They can begin seeking greater and greater stimulus events, trying to create the feel of an increased enduring happiness out of repeated transient experiences.

    In contrast, severe tragedies such as death of loved ones and produce long-term decreases in happiness.

    C – life Circumstances

    Changed circumstances can sometimes contribute to enduring happiness.

    Impacts of money, marriage, social life, negative emotion, health, education, climate, race, gender, religion.

    Intractable poverty and other enduring negative circumstances can directly produce higher levels of unhappiness and depression. However, once a certain level of perceived basic needs are met, improving circumstances no longer reliably produce emotional satisfaction. Security is important to happiness; wealth is not.

    Marital satisfaction is clearly related to happiness. However, unhappy people may be less likely to become married or stay married. Satisfying romantic and social relationships are also reliably related to reported happiness. It is still unclear that one causes the other.

    The mere existence of unhappy situations and negative emotions does not intrinsically deny a person joy. Women tend to experience greater levels of emotion, both positive and negative, than men. Although they experience twice as much depression as men, they also experience more frequent and more intense positive emotions.

    Younger people, evidently often report carefree and youthful “fun” as happiness. A close examination indicates that life satisfaction tends to increase with age while extremes of emotional intensity moderate.

    Factors such as education, climate, race, and gender do not directly and reliably correlate with sustained happiness.

    The exercise of religious faith, and the social support that it often provides, often removes adherents from certain negative life circumstances. This has a noticeable but not reliable protective effect on happiness. The element of increased hope maybe the most significant beneficial factor: increasing happiness and reducing despair.

    Increasing Happiness: The Bottom Line

    The most influential effects on long-term happiness include: living in a wealthy democracy; having a satisfying marriage; avoiding events that overtly produce negative emotions; developing a social network; embracing a hopeful spiritual path.

    Disappointingly ineffective effects on long-term happiness include: materialistic pursuits beyond basic needs; immoderate pursuit of health; pursuit of advanced education; cosmetic surgery; geographic moves.

    Dec 202009

    By: Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

    Source: Amazon.com

    From the author of the long-running # 1 bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0 comes a landmark study of great leaders, teams, and the reasons why people follow.

    Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several books on this topic, including the #1 international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0.

    In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.

    In Strengths Based Leadership, #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of this research. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.


    Shop at Amazon for:
    Strengths-Based Leadership
    by: Tom Rath

    As you read Strengths Based Leadership, you’ll hear firsthand accounts from some of the most successful organizational leaders in recent history, from the founder of Teach For America to the president of The Ritz-Carlton, as they discuss how their unique strengths have driven their success. Filled with novel research and actionable ideas, Strengths Based Leadership will give you a new road map for leading people toward a better future.

    Shop at Amazon for:
    StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths
    by: Tom Rath

    All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.
    To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you’ll use it as a reference for decades.
    Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself — and the world around you — forever.

    Nov 302009

    Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

    Gail Hochachka, MA, is a contributor to Integral International Development studies, where she works to advance the theory and practice of an Integral approach to international development. She is also researching, writing, and building capacity on integral praxis to global wellbeing as Director of the non-profit organization Drishti Centre for Integral Action based in British Columbia. Recently, she joined the core faculty of John F. Kennedy’s School for Holistic Studies to teach in the Integral Psychology Masters Program.

    Source: Integral Research Center

    Gail Hochachka, MA is Adjunct Faculty at John F. Kennedy University. As the Program Director of the non-profit organization Drishti – Centre for Integral Action based in British Columbia, she is researching, writing, and building capacity on the use of an Integral Approach to address global issues, with current projects in Peru and El Salvador. She leads the Integral Field Courses for JFKU. She is the author of Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International and Community Development.

    Source: Integral+Life

    image Gail is the founder and director of the non-profit organization Drishti Centre for Integral Action based in BC, Canada. Drishti is a learning community for dialoguing and deepening understanding about integral praxis and also a platform for working with an Integral approach to global wellbeing.

    Having lived and worked in many countries including El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Australia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, Gail recognizes that behind the enchanting diversity of this planet, there are also deeper patterns and processes that unite us. Her approach to working with the most material and physical of issues is not separated from the deeper, existential and developmental aspects of individuals and groups. It is in this profound union and integration that her intrigue in Integral Theory arises.

    As Co-Director of Integral International Development Centre (IIDC), she is exploring the theory and practice of an Integral Approach to international development through research, training, networking, and projects. Her research focuses on how practitioners are engaging interior human development as an interwoven and essential aspect of sustainable development, and how Integral Theory can complement and deepen this existing work. This includes both integrally-informed organizations and practitioners, as well as "folk integral" approaches, which are not informed by Integral Theory per se, but include many of its elements in practice.

    Gail is the founder and director of the non-profit organization Drishti Centre for Integral Action based in BC, Canada. Drishti is a learning community for dialoguing and deepening understanding about integral praxis and also a platform for working with an Integral approach to global wellbeing. Its team carries out research, writing, workshops, presentations, consulting, and capacity building on an Integral approach to community development, sustainability, international development, ecology, and leadership. One recent project included working with organizations in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

    Gail is also a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga and student of Advaita Vedanta, which provide a transformative process for self-development and a source of inspiration for her work.

    See also: Drishti – Centre for Integral Action


    This book explores an Integral Approach to community and international development, integrating previous practices to move into new arenas of action and inquiry. It suggests that development involves personal, collective and systemic transformation, and to work in these three areas effectively requires a broader and deeper approach to developmentbroader in terms of including interior and exterior needs of humans, and deeper to more fully engage individual and collective transformation. The underlying premise is that all previous and current practices in development have important insights to offer the field. The task for today’s development practitioner is to honor these multiple truths, integrating their methodologies for a comprehensive, dynamic approach to addressing global issues.

    The book is written for anyone involved in international development, community development, and/or social change in general. Included is an introduction to Integral Theory applied to the field of international development. The last half of the booklet provides an example of an Integral Approach in practice in El Salvador.

    This is based on MA thesis fieldwork in San Juan del Gozo, El Salvador in collaboration with CESTA, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, and Drishti-Centre for Integral Action, with financial support from Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

    Nov 302009
    More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer: Redefining Risk and Reward for a Life of Purpose

    Can MBAs, often cast as risk-averse conflicted achievers caught in the MBA trap of "I’ll make money now and then…", find their true happiness and achieve their destiny in the midst of societal and peer pressures?

    Absolutely–if you recognize that what you thought were your safest career choices actually may be your riskiest. How so? Your safest choices keep you on your destiny path; your riskiest ones take you away from it.

    How do you know? More Than Money offers four questions and twelve principles to keep you on your path and tools to help you measure where you are and what you need to do to fulfill your destiny.

    Nov 262009

    Mark Albion is a social entrepreneur. He has cofounded six start-ups, including Net Impact (formerly called Students for Responsible Business), is the creator of the Making a Life Worldwide newsletter, and wrote the New York Times bestseller Making a Life, Making a Living. In his former life, Albion taught marketing at Harvard Business School and consulted to Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, and other major corporations.

    Source: Amazon Author Page

    As I’ve pursued a career these last 30 years, the essential question for me has been: "How can I be a Marxist and still own a Jacuzzi?" My dream has been that I and the next generation of business leaders ‘ the generation our planet has been waiting for ‘ would find a way to have a significant impact on making the world a better place for all.

    You see, I never really lost the ideals of the ’60s. I just wanted material comforts, too. While I detested Western capitalism ‘ witnessed by my 15-month backpack around the world after college ‘ I returned to the West Point of Capitalism and even became a marketing professor there.

    I spent nearly 20 years at Harvard Business School. A seven-time social entrepreneur, I left Harvard to develop a community of service-minded MBAs, co-founding Net Impact in 1993. I’ve made 600+ visits to speak at business schools on five continents, for which Business Week magazine dubbed me ‘ seriously ‘ — ‘the savior of B-school souls." I’ve written seven books, most recently More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer, with the animated movie, "The Good Life Parable: An MBA Meets a Fisherman.

    I have two daughters, Amanda (1987) and Nicolette (1991), with my wife, since 1981, Joy. They are happy when I’m happy ("What does Daddy do?"… "I think he types."). I’ve had some business successes, some failures; we bought a big house, almost lost the big house, but somehow I just kept climbing that ladder of success, wrong by wrong.

    In ’97 I began the book I first tried to write while backpacking around the world, "Making a Life, Making a Living’," which became a New York Times Business Best Seller in January 2000. The morning I learned of the honor, I told my wife, who responded as any good wife would, "Congratulations, honey. Can you pick Amanda up after ballet today?" Or as Amanda said to me at a 2006 family dinner, "If you won the Nobel prize, daddy, I wouldn’t love you any more than I already do."

    My Favorite "Accomplishments":
        1. Skied from base camp at Mount Everest.
        2. Snuck into Pele’s beach house when he wasn’t there.
        3. Viewed the Full Moon inside the Taj Mahal at night.
        4. Rode a horse across Afghanistan.
        5. Met Jacqueline Kennedy while wearing only a Speedo bathing suit.
        6. Dove eye to eye alone with a humpback whale at 120 feet.
        7. Hugged by Mother Teresa and Ronald Reagan’not at the same time.

    Today, the answer to my 30 year-old question is clear: "We are all angels with one wing, able to fly only when we embrace each other." How do I hope to be remembered? I hope as, "He loved." And my generation remembered? As one that was a leaver not a taker, citizens more than consumers.