Continuously Improving You

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What is Happiness

HappinessThe goal of Continuously Improving You is to provide a resource for readers  that will help continuously improve their lives in all areas.

WHY? Why would we want to improve our lives in all areas?

One of the answers to that question, maybe even the only answer, is so that we can be happy.  So what does it take to be happy? I was always puzzled by the fact that just about every, if not all, self-improvement book I ever read had a section on finding your life’s purpose. I kept thinking “Man, what is it with this whole ‘life purpose’ thing that all these people feel have to be part of a book on personal and professional development?”

I’m currently listening to Brian Tracy’s “The Luck Factor” and there’s a section where he’s talking about “Mental Fitness” and he mentions Dr. Martin Seligman’s work.  Ironically, this part of Brian Tracy’s program isn’t focused on finding your meaning. As you are already aware from my previous posts I like to follow up on what I hear or read to both validate what is being said, and to further my understanding of the subject at hand. Even though I’ve heard of Martin Seligman, I wanted to review his stuff and see how it could build upon what I was currently listening to with “The Luck Factor”. It turns that all of Martin Seligman’s current work is focused on the field of Positive Psychology which he founded in 2000.

Martin Seligman is one of the leading experts on what factors come into play in creating a “happy life”. In his writings and in seminars he states there are three forms of happiness; positive emotion, engagement, and meaning. What Dr. Seligman has found is that when people are doing something that is meaningful in their lives they are the most happy. Out of all three forms of happiness, doing something meaningful leads to the greatest happiness. Following that, doing something that is engaging where you get into the “flow” is the next best way of being happy in life. He states that doing something that simply creates positive emotion or pleasure is “like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae”. It adds a little bit to the total happiness of a person, but not much.  Martin Seligman’s suggestion is to work at all three forms of happiness in order to achieve the greatest amount of happiness.

Finally, I get the WHY so many books on personal and professional development encourage people to find their meaning in life. It just clicked for me. If you are wondering the same thing, hopefully this post helped you and will motivate you to at least be open to the idea and be on the lookout for what it is that is the meaning of your life. When we discover what the meaning of our life is and work on our life’s purpose we’ll be tapping into that source that will bring the most happiness to our lives.

I think I’ve found mine, but I’m not going to bore you with all of the details. My goal is to write posts that will help you and that you will find interesting. I’d be happy to share if you are interested. Just leave a comment. If I read that someone would like to know about how I’ve come across my “life’s purpose and the meaning of my life” I’ll be glad to share.

If you would like to learn more about Martin Seligman’s work I encourage you to visit his website, www.authentichappiness.org. He created this site to gather research for his book “Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment.” It’s a great resource for learning about all of Martin Seligman’s work, and to find ways that have been scientifically proven through Dr. Seligman’s research to increase happiness. If you want to take any of the many surveys in the “Authentic Happiness Testing Center” you’ll have to register, but it’s free and it will be beneficial to you. I encourage you to check it out.

Go be successful in all areas of your life!!



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