Thursday, October 06, 2005

So what do you have to do to find happiness? - Sunday Times - Times Online

Fantastic article pointed out by Skip Press. It's about the science of happiness. A lot to the article, so it's hard to sum up, but here's a very interesting snippet:

Now Seligman is famous again, this time for creating the field of positive psychology. In 1997 the professor was seeking a theme for his presidency of the American Psychological Association. The idea came while gardening with his daughter Nikki. She was throwing weeds around and he was shouting. She reminded him that she used to be a whiner but had stopped on her fifth birthday. "And if I can stop whining, you can stop being a grouch."

Seligman describes this as an "epiphany". He vowed to change his own outlook, but more importantly recognised a strength — social intelligence — in his daughter that could be nurtured to help her withstand the vicissitudes of life. Looking back on "learned helplessness", he reflected that one in three subjects — rats, dogs or people — never became "helpless", no matter how many shocks or problems beset them.


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