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Authentic Happiness

Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman

Author: Martin Seligman

Authentic Happiness


We recently reviewed ‘Character Strengths’ by Martin Seligman, the sourcebook for the new discipline of positive psychology.

Authentic Happiness is the friendly public face of positive psychology, an accessible and practical guide to integrating its principles into your life.

The fundamental difference between the positive psychological approach to happiness and that of more traditional self help is the focus on using strengths rather than filling in skills gaps, or analyzing weaknesses.

In this uplifting and exciting book, Seligman asks the question, “Can you make youself lastingly happier” and draws on research to show just which areas of life happiness can be improved, and what actually makes us happy. (Ths difference between what we think makes us happy and the reality is often quite a gulf - the climate for instance, has no lasting effect.)

True to form, Seligman provides lots of tools, such as the optimism test, the signature strengths test and the gratitude survey, making the book a useful as well as informative read. Many of these tests are available online at www.authentic happiness.org.

All in all, this is a book that translates life satisfaction research findings into everyday strategies. Personal satisfaction, love and raising kids all receive the authentic happiness treatment.

The whole process is kept skipping along with liberal doses of eye-opening statistics and surprising findings, making Authentic Happiness a highly enjoyable read.

Review by Roger Elliott

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Roger Elliott
Managing Director