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The Three Ways To Live A Happy Life

Posted by Sampaul, 28 February 2019 · 38 views

An emerging field of psychology, known as positive psychology, directs its focus on the question, “what is right with people?”
According to Martin Seligman, the pioneer of this field, the field of psychology lost its roots after the world war two. At that stage, psychologists diverted from the initial goals of psychology to mental illnesses diagnosis along with their treatment. Despite the elevated advancement that took place in this aspect, the element of assisting fully functioning individuals and allowing them to augment their happiness, was disregarded.
As a result, Martin Seligman along with Csikszentmihalyi and Christopher Peterson dedicated their work in the direction that emphasized the strengths of fully functioning or normal individuals and directed those strengths to increase their happiness levels. In their research, they identified three variations of lifestyles that can allow individuals to lead a happy and fulfilling life:
  • The pleasant life: As the name suggests, the pleasant life means experiencing as many pleasures as you possibly can and making the most out of positive emotions by learning the techniques that make one happy and utilizing them in various situations of life. Consequently, the pleasure life can be lived by performing activities that make the individual happy. For instance, one can eat their favourite food, listen to the song they love or place an order at essay writing service uk to submit professionally written dissertation projects. However, the drawback of this approach is that positive emotion is 50% hereditable and not modifiable. Furthermore, as the universe is governed on the principles of contrasts, experiencing positive emotion over and over again can lose its initial touch.
  • The good life: The next type of life discussed by Mr Seligman is a good life. This concept is homogenous to Aristotle’s concept of eudemonia. This approach suggests that individuals should find their character strengths (which can be discovered by introspection or by taking a test on Martin Seligman’s official website) such as love, fairness, bravery, creativity or love for knowledge, and use it in their day to day life as much as they can.
  • The meaningful life: The concept of a meaningful life is similar to that of a good life. However, in this kind of life, individuals utilize their signature strengths to serve something that is bigger than themselves. Consequently, people engaging in a meaningful life can be philanthropists, charity workers or people working to save the environment.
Upon the conduction of various scientific procedures to view the results of individuals engaging the lives above, it was found that the pleasant life yielded the lowest form of life satisfaction whereas the meaningful life contributed to the largest value of life satisfaction. Thus, when individuals practiced the contribution of their signature strengths to assist others, they were found to be comparatively happier. As a consequence of this, Martin Seligman drew an equation for life satisfaction which is the sum of the three lives combined. Hence, individuals should find pleasure in all things while using their character strengths to engage in activities they love along with activities that allow them to give back to society.

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