Martin Seligman is an unusual psychologist.
He’s also a highly esteemed one.
What makes him pretty unique is that he was one of the first of his profession to conclude that there was a lot of sense in psychologists looking at ways in which people could be happier, rather than simply focusing (as had been the case for scores of years previously) on the psychology of ill-health and unhappiness.
Don’t just look at why things go wrong, he reasoned.
Let’s also examine why things go well for people, so you and I can learn from them.
Professor Seligman has identified three distinct components of happiness: The Pleasant Life (a glass of wine); The Good Life (work, romance, hobbies); and The Meaningful Life (using your personal strengths in the service of something bigger than you – in your community for example).
Of those three approaches, Martin Seligman suggests that it’s the third which gives us the most long-term joy.
Filling your life with more transitory pleasures means that, before long, you’ll be asking yourself ‘Is this all there is?’
We all want to feel we matter and that we can make a difference.
So which parts of your life fall into this meaningful category?
Is there a way in which you could do more?
It’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?