Wednesday, August 03, 2011

flourish: review

i finished flourish last night.
it took me quite some time. this was because i was reading never let me go at the same time [sometimes i like having a fiction + non-fiction option to choose from!] and also because . . . well, somewhere in the middle of its 350 pages, i stopped loving it so much.


here's a run-down, section by section:

what is well-being? martin seligman begins innocently enough, telling the story of how positive psychology was born, and then comparing his 2002 theory of authentic happiness to his current theory of well-being. this is where his powerful PERMA acronym is introduced. i still think the concept is a good one, and appreciated the detailed description of each element as seligman sees it.

creating your happiness: positive happiness exercises that work the next section introduces several briefly outlined strategies that have been rigorously shown to raise well-being and/or lower depression. they include:

the gratitude visit -- writing a letter of gratitude to an individual who did something positive for you in your life, and bring it to them [and read it!] in person

what went well -- at the end of the day, write down three things that went well in addiiton to the reasons why they did. [example: i successfully made cDNA from my RNA yesterday because i am a awesome competent scientist!]

take the signature strengths test -- [available on his website if you create a login] and create a specific opportunity [each week, for example] of using one or more of these identified strengths.

i think all of these ideas are valuable, and i would not hesitate to try them. however, the points above are pretty much ALL you will get in terms of practical application of seligman's well-being theory. the rest of the volume [to me] reads as a commercial for how amazing positive psychology is and the benefits it it likely to provide, but i KNOW there has to be more to his theory than the above three exercises.

and that is why i did not truly love this book.

the other chapters:

the secret of drugs and therapy not to ruin it for you, but apparently the secret is that antidepressants don't work all that well.

teaching in the MAPP program i still find the master of applied positive psychology program intriguing -- don't get me wrong! but this chapter was mostly just raves about the brilliance of former MAPP students, and an emphasis on how exclusive this program is. i didn't get a great sense of what was taught and what is special about it.

positive education this section is about bringing positive psychology into schools, which is think is a fantastic idea! there is a lot of emphasis on the excellent responses in the school systems; however, again, i felt the section was lacking in actual information about the programming these students are being exposed to.

grit, character, and achievement i did enjoy this chapter, particularly with its discussion of grit/self-discipline and rates of learning [perhaps more on this in another post!].

the last several chapters all focus on the application of positive psychology in several areas: the army; after trauma [including PTSD]; in promoting better health [in seligman's defense, there is some intriguing evidence for a positive impact on health outcomes in this section], and finally economics.

all in all, i am not saying this volume isn't worth a quick read. but i wanted a more in-depth description of PERMA-inducing methods, not just evidence that it [whatever IT is] works.

has anyone read this book? if so, what did you think? i'd love to see others' opinions.

link luv
small notebook's take on achieving the uncluttered look without going bare or minimal

recent NYT piece on paper planners [thanks renagh for sending that to me!]

invite.L: a way to get korean stationery without resorting to ebay!! [i'm sold.]

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8.2.11

workout: nada. the pull of the couch was too strong . . .

walking distance restaurant #7: mt. fuji

distance: a whopping 0.2 miles

cost: $40 [including tip] for 2

atmosphere: quite nice without being overly fancy; relaxed; decent service

food: we ordered summer rolls to start with. even though they're not exactly japanese, i love them [and we were starving!]


tasty, but i definitely prefer the rolls/sauce more at thai café or kim son

sushi!

assortment of rolls -- we went with 4 to share since it was buy one, get one free!

i would put their sushi on par with sushi love [near duke], which i like -- and mt. fuji is definitely super convenient. we will be back!