Mind map of “Authentic Happiness” book

Have you ever asked yourself what it means to be happy? Here is one possible answer.

“Authentic Happiness” was written by Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology in 1999. Most of conventional psychology was focused on the negative – helping people overcome their problems. Seligman wanted more focus on the other half of the equation, which is to help people become better: more optimistic, more productive, happier.

I first read this book as part of a positive psychology course conducted by University of Pennsylvania. I was part of the inaugural batch of students in 2009. Since then, the interest in this genre has exploded.

“Authentic Happiness” remains a core text of positive psychology, and I highly recommend it. Here are some links you can check out:

  1. Official “Authentic Happiness” web site
  2. University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Centre

Recommendation (Rated 9/10)

getAbstract.com highly recommends this work by Martin E. P. Seligman, the founder of “positive psychology” and the author of Learned Optimism. This book combines the erudition of psychological research with the accessibility of a self-help text. The author explains why happiness matters. He recapitulates and takes issue with the flawed deterministic assumptions that guided much of twentieth century psychology. He is careful to emphasize the importance of your individual control over your feelings and thoughts. The idea that people actually are in control of their fate marks a departure from Freudianism and behaviorism. Seligman argues, instead, for an understanding of character and virtue rooted in early Greek philosophy. However, his book is not merely theoretical or descriptive. He offers guidance on how you can change your way of thinking to change how you feel – and, thereby, get on the road to achieving long-term happiness for yourself and for others, especially your children.

I did a mind map of “Authentic Happiness”:

Mind Map of "Authentic Happiness" book

If you have a minute, click on image for full-sized mind map.

If you have 10 minutes, check out the quick 5-page abstract.

If you have 10 hours, read the book.

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About Hun Boon

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.
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