This book is certainly one of the most important ones among all those I have read up to now. Based on a solid scientific research work, it shows that our future is not conditioned by our past and it clearly explains how to take control over one's life. This book helps me play a more positive role in my job and in my family.
Martin Seligman livre ici une bible de la psychologie positive. Il cherche à accompagner le lecteur en le faisant se découvrir mieux lui même et lui enseignant des techniques permettant d'accéder à une vie + heureuse.
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161 internautes sur 166 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Extremely valuable book, but needs to be read more than once29 octobre 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I quickly read this book a couple of years ago and thought it was very good, but I got little benefit. Then, called to jury duty, I grabbed it going out the door. Sitting a room in LA with 200 people and after reading 4 newspapers, I reread the first 100 pages of this book. But I read it the way I did textbooks, pen in hand, underlining, diagraming, analyzing and synthesizing. I digested the book. I did the forgiveness exercise. I took the surveys and I added up my scores. Then I did the appreciation exercise. I was struck that several of the people I decided I needed to forgive also turned up as people who did things for me that I greatly appreciated. I have moved work and wealth into a lower priority and moved my subjective health, fitness and nutrition into a higher priority. Now, I try to be mindful and savory the experiences of today. I am still struggling with other exercises and methods, but I am grateful to one more person, Dr. Seligman who wrote a great book. My family and coworders enjoy me more. I have ordered the audiobook, too. If you are chronically unhappy, irritable, often angry, this book may be life changing for you. But don't just breeze throught like I did the first time, read carefully and more than once.
110 internautes sur 115 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
The Real McCoy2 novembre 2009
- Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
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. Conversely, you needn't bother to do the following: make more money, stay healthy, get as much education as possible, or try to change your race or move to a sunnier climate. However even if you could alter all of these things, it would not do much for you as this stuff accounts for only a small part of your happiness. On to Voluntary efforts...
3) This is where most of the book spends a substantial part of its efforts showing you how to be happier, and there's a lot of "meat" to sink your teeth into, with sections on how to obtain more satisfaction with your past, what consitutes happiness about the future, and happiness in the present. Also, the book spend much time talking about how happiness can be cultivated by identifying and nurturing our traits, such as humor, optimism, generosity or kindness.
Readers who have read other happiness books will already be well familiar with the idea that the best way to increase your happiness is through intentional or voluntary activities. It makes a lot of sense, as you can't change your genetics, and circumstances are either out of your control, or make very little contributions to your happiness. Like this book, I agree that using intentional activities is the route to go when it comes to raising lasting happiness levels- and this book will help you out with that a lot. Readers might also be interested in The Prayer Project: How Each One of Us Can Make The World a Better Place to Live - In a Few Minutes a Day.
280 internautes sur 306 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
An extremely worthwhile book5 mars 2003
- Publié sur Amazon.com
As a psychologist, I completely understand Martin Seligman's drive to free psychology from its obsession with negativity. Freud, he writes, made many people "unduly embittered about their past and unduly passive about their future," while clinical psychology focussed on diagnosing and treating mental disorders. In his new book, Authentic Happiness, Seligman goes a long way towards breaking psychology free from its love affair with pathology and replacing it with a far more positive approach. I don't know of anyone with better credentials to guide readers through what psychology has discovered about happiness. Seligman's own research has contributed greatly to our understanding of the entire range of human experience from profound depression to "abundant gratification." His early, groundbreaking studies of learned helplessness provided great insight into inescapable trauma as a major source of helplessness and depression. He went on to study "learned optimism" as a powerful antidote to depression--his earlier book by that name is invaluable. Now, Seligman sets out to provide readers with the insights and tools from the relatively new field of positive psychology. He does this with a rich mixture of anecdotes, personal revelations and research. In addition, he provides frequent self-assessments and exercises. I think that almost anyone who takes the time to read what Seligman has to say, who takes and thinks about the self assessments, and who does the exercises, will start thinking and acting in ways that lead to lasting happiness. It's important to realize that Seligman is not a self-help guru by any stretch of the imagination. He is a leading research psychologist who builds on solid experimental findings. (Although the book is vividly written for the most part, at times Seligman's reliance on research findings slows things down.) Still, he is also devoted to the idea of making those often dry experiments as meaningful and useful as possible. He doesn't promise limitless bliss, but what he does offer may actually be reachable by ordinary, unenlightened people like us. Early in the book Seligman makes the point that pleasure in itself is not the road to happiness. As we all know, pleasure is fleeting, and pursuing it can easily turn into addiction or futility. Instead Seligman identifies and values a set of nearly universal virtues which he believes lead to deep and lasting gratification. These include wisdom and knowledge, courage, love and humanity, justice, temperance, spirituality and transcendance. "The good life," he writes, "is using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification." What I liked most about this book is that it made me feel good about myself, other people, and the "simple" virtues that make up much of the fabric of life, but which are often ignored and devalued. Kindness, tolerance, competence, interpersonal skills, a work ethic, and faith emerge as vital ingredients of a good, gratifying, happy life. Authentic Happiness is not a miracle cure for all unhappiness. It is, however, a wise, well-informed, and extremely valuable guide to a more grounded, heartfelt and gratifying life. Robert Adler, Author of _Sharing the Children: How to Resolve Custody Problems and Get on With Your Life_(1988, 2nd. Ed. 2001), and _Science Firsts: From the Creation of Science to the Science of Creation_ (2002).
90 internautes sur 95 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Seligman's Online Site Beats the Book7 février 2004
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I heard about this book on NPR a few months ago and checked out the companion website (authentichappiness.org) before buying the book. The site has 17 questionnaires on happiness, optimism, relationships, emotion, and Seligman's trademark Values in Action Signature Strengths. You can take these tests days or weeks apart and track your progress. It's an excellent site and does the job of prompting you to buy the book. The book just isn't as strong as the site. As noted it other reviews it's part autobiography, part research report and part self-help book. You'll get formulas like H = S + C + V (H is enduring level of happiness, S is your set range, C is the circumstances of your life, v is voluntary variables) and lots of self-congratulatory stories about Seligman's friends, colleagues, wife and kids. Not that any of that's bad, but I have to wonder if his editor didn't ask him "Are you sure you want to include this?" Single greatest reminder of something I knew but had forgotten: "You can't change your past, but you can change your perception of it."
66 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Not that Helpful or Scientific28 juin 2009
Jeffery A. Lewis
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I really enjoyed "Learned Optimism" by the same author. It opened a world for me of how rumination can lead to depressing thoughts and how cognitive therapy can be used to change those thought patterns. Unfortunately I did not enjoy "Authentic Happiness". "Authentic Happiness" did not have the same purposeful focus as "Learned Optimism." I applaud Seligman's position on the needed direction of psychology. Psychology has been used to treat the mentally ill. This helps a small percentage of the population. Seligman argues psychology should be used to help mentally healthy people become happier. This will help many more people.
When I read the survey used to measure happiness on page 15, I started to question Seligman's scientific authority. This survey is basically a scale from 0 to 10 that you rate yourself on how happy or unhappy you usually feel. Then you provide the percentage of time you feel happy, unhappy, or neutral. That is it! This is about as scientific a way to measure happiness as you would get from a fashion magazine. If this is the best tool Seligman has to measure happiness, you have to question his conclusions about how to achieve happiness.
The second part of "Authentic Happiness" is about strength and virtue. Seligman argues that when you use your strengths to do virtuous acts, you will be on the road to authentic happiness. Sounds good, but once again, the survey provided to discover your signature strengths is pretty lame. Twenty-four strengths are identified (which are things like curiosity, valor and bravery, etc.) and then you rate yourself if the strength on a scale of 1 to 5 is "very much like me" or "very much unlike me." This seriously has very little depth.
The third part of the book is more a philosophical discussion about happiness in different aspects of life. It is more the author's subjective opinions.
All in all, "Authentic Happiness" does not really help you get closer to authentic happiness. It does not give you clear steps of how to change yourself to routinely exercise your signature strengths. And how you end up identifying your signature strengths is not all that enlightening.