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Get out of the parking lot of life

March 29, 2011

A Great Idea…

“If you find yourself stuck in the parking lot of life, with few and only ephemeral pleasures, with minimal gratifications, and without meaning, there is a road out. This road takes you through the countryside of pleasure and gratification, up into the high country of strength and virtue, and finally to the peaks of lasting fulfillment: meaning and purpose.”  (Psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman in his book, Authentic Happiness, p. xiv)

In Other Words…

No matter how unhappy our lives may seem to us right now, there are things we can do to make them better. The first step involves finding simple pleasures in our lives. The second is to find ways to use our strengths. The third is to find ways to serve. These simple actions can dramatically change the quality of our lives.

How This Applies to You…

You can increase your short-term happiness in any of several ways. Take a minute right now to appreciate something good about your life. Or stop and help someone on your way home from work today. You can build on this by incorporating your strengths, the things you do well, into your everyday life.

To Find Out More…

For an excellent (and free!) program on improving your personal well-being, check out The Personal Journey or Managing Stress at www.arfamilies.org.

For more in-depth reading we recommend Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman or Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson.

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