Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. (Free Press, 2002)
Reviewed by Steve Gladis, Ph.D. (December 2010)
If you think money, attractiveness, a buff body, education, or even a sunny climate make you happy—think again. You’re statistically much better off being married, having a rich social network, living in an economically strong democracy (and not an impoverished dictatorship), and having religion. When Martin Seligman was elected president of the American Psychological Association, he embarked on the pursuit of positive psychology as a counter to the way we had always looked at psychology—through the lens of negative aberrations from the norm. We study what’s wrong with people, rather than how they can be right—more positive. In his landmark book, Authentic Happiness, Seligman not only points out some fascinating, often humorous revelations that take the reader on a journey from polite skepticism to positive awareness. I think everyone should read this book and then reread it every January when starting a new year.
So, best wishes for a joyous holiday and a very happy new year from Survival Leadership. This week I’ll be reviewing sections of the book that I think might make all of us more positive in the year ahead.