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The art of hope

May 5, 2011

A Great Idea …

“Finding permanent and universal causes of good events along with temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope.” (Psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman in his book, Authentic Happiness, p. 92)

In Other Words …

When we find reasons for the good things that happen in our lives that are long lasting, such as “They gave me the responsibility because I do a good job,” and temporary reasons for bad events “I was having an off day that day,” we will be much happier.

How this Applies to You …

When something negative happens in our lives and you are tempted to assign permanent causes for them, stop and reconsider. Find temporary causes for them instead. Maybe the cashier was rude because he had a bad day or the waitress took so long with your order because they were shorthanded that day. The more often you do this the more reasons you find to hope.

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 or Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman or The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.

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