Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Happy Book

On my way to check out children books at the library I grabbed, Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most out of Life, by Ian K. Smith, MD. it was on display.  It had some good advice but it was a typical Positive Psychology book.  Since positive psychology is a new-ish field, I guess there is only so many sources quote, because I had read most of the quotes in other positive psychology books.
This blog post is very fragmented and reads like notes in a spiral.

I liked chapter 2 the best, "Play to Your Strengths" Do you know the difference between strengths and talents? Strengths are moral traits, and talents are natural abilities.  The people that are reported to be the happiest, know the their strengths, and try to improve them.  Or something to all this, I'm might have paraphrased wrong.
There are six universal virtues: wisdom, courage, humanity (love), justice, temperance (moderation in action, thought, or feeling) and transcendence.
So feel free to skip the rest, I'm now going to identified my virtues.
Love of learning, (B) "your learning is not incentivize by any external reward it will bring, rather, you enjoy learning for the sake of learning
Judgement/critical thinking/open-mindedness (b)
Deliberate thinker, doesn't run into judgement.  Take your time to think things through.  Examine issues from all sides, weight being you make decisions.  You do not lock into a unchangeable position.
Ingenuity/originality, you rarely settle for doing things the conventional way
Perspective, (b) You are sought after by other who want your experience to help them solve problems and gain perspective
social intelligence/emotional intelligence, you possess a good understanding of yourself and others
good at judging moods, temperament and intentions appropriately.  you are in touch with you feelings and can find others.

Perseverance, you finish what you start, you do what you say you're going to do. You are determined to reach your goals, but you're reasonable and don't let them turn into blinding obsessions.  You are flexible, realistic, and ambitious

humanity and love
kindness and generosity, you are kind an generous, giving you good deeds give you pleasure and joy.  You realizes others need respect, you believe others have worth
loving and allowing oneself to be loved,
high value on close relationships

you are a reliable teammate, who functions very well in a group.  You carry your own load.

you are a good organizer, make sure plans are carried out, you keep good rlations being members while being a leader

you look before you leap (you avoid saying or doing things that you might regret)  You carefully consider before taking actions, you are able to look ahead by risiting impulses for the sake of longer term success
humility and modesty
you don't seek or want the spotlight.  you don't see yourself as special

hope, you have a positive outlook, and expect good things to happen, you think the best is yet to come, and work towards it.  You lead a goal directed life with focus on the future
appreciation of beauty and excellence, you take time to appreciate and enjoy the good things in life, you appreciate beauty and skill in various spheres in life whether spots
playfulness humor you enjoy a good laugh, you don't take yourself or life too seriously.
energetic, spirited, and passionate,
sense of purpose/faith
You strongly believe in higher purpose, you are aware of your position in the world and in the larger scheme of things.

identify five greatest strengths

"Unfortunately, many people misunderstand optimism.  The think that someone who is optimistic is always happy and never discourage.  That is simply not the case. ... Optimists tend to explain positive events as having happened because of them, not because of some random outside force. ... Conversely, optimists don't see negative events as being due to their own behavior or decision make.  In fact, they see negative events as not being their fault and as isolated occurrence. (61)"

Optimist- "Describe good events as permanent, they are responsible and predictors of more good events.  Bad events are temporary, outside their control and unlike to happen again."

Pessimists describe good events as temporary out their control, etc, bad events are permanent and predictors of more, etc. p76

What I found interesting is as humans we are hard wired to be optimists, we have an optimism bias, we think are going to live longer than life expectancy, not get divorce, win the lottery, etc.

"The happiest people are fearless dreamers" 125 That explains why Brent is rarely sad or depressed. I am not a fearless dreamer.

"Americans live to work, while we work to live" 142

Concept of "flow", " as a the mental state of operations achieved when a person is fully engaged in what he or she is doing; it is a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity that is being undertaken.  Flow is the "optimal experience" 162

"Flow is all about surrendering to the moment. It is the opposite of multitasking, where you efforts and concentration are divided. The single-tasking during flow increases your level of productivity and allows you to reach your goals.  Flow feels so good that it becomes addictive." 169
The times I really love being a mom to my kids and running my household (as Austen movies say) is when I experience flow through out the day.

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