Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seligman: talk about PERMA, not "happiness"

Martin Seligman is partially responsible for everyone talking about "happiness" today. But he's also sick of people just hand-waving about it. From the article:

"He has also created his own acronym, Perma, for what he defines as the five crucial elements of well-being, each pursued for its own sake: positive emotion, engagement (the feeling of being lost in a task), relationships, meaning and accomplishment."

This feels more meaningful. Did he forget anything? It's worthwhile to note that there's nothing that explicitly says "meditation", which might be a problem if you're, say, interested in meditating. I think the meditator's response is that meditation increases all of these. Mindfulness can increase positive emotion, concentration leads to engagement, meditators are good with people, maybe they find some big ultimate meaning, and maybe less of accomplishment but purifying your mind is good for something.

At any rate, I like this article.

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