From Parade magazine:
In his new book, Flourish, positive-psychology guru Martin Seligman looks beyond happiness and asks: How can we create a rich, fulfilling, meaningful life? We spoke with him about what it means to flourish.
What’s the difference between flourishing and simply being happy?
To have a good life—to flourish—it’s not enough to just be happy.
My research has found that there are four other factors that foster well-being: having good relationships with others, being engaged in what you’re doing, having a sense of meaning or larger purpose in your life, and feeling that you are achieving your goals.
And these aren’t just traits or skills we’re born with?
Absolutely not. For example, a very easy way to improve your relationships is to use the Losada ratio with people you care about: That’s making five positive statements for every negative statement.
I used to be terrible at this, especially with my grad students. I’d cover their term papers in red ink, but I rarely said things like, “That’s a beautiful sentence.”
Once I started making an effort to change my ratio, my students not only liked me better, they were more responsive to my critiques and their writing improved.
You have seven children. How can parents raise their kids to flourish?
One of the best ways to ensure well-being is to develop and use your “signature strengths”—things that you’re good at and that you enjoy doing.
Every kid is better than 10,000 other kids at at least one thing. Instead of focusing on our kids’ misbehaviors, we as teachers and parents need to find that one thing, and then encourage them to lead their lives around that strength.
> Source: The Good Life, Parade.com
Book: Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, by Martin Seligman.