Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology

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9780199916351: Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology

When we think of psychology, we think of a field dedicated to understanding and curing the dark side of life--addictions, phobias, compulsions, anxieties, and on and on. But there is a field of psychology that looks at the bright side, that considers seriously these questions: What makes life most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? That field is called, not surprisingly, positive psychology.

In Pursuing the Good Life, one of the founders of positive psychology, Christopher Peterson, offers one hundred bite-sized reflections exploring the many sides of this exciting new field. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that has made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson takes readers on a lively tour of the sunny side of the psychological street. What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? With titles such as "You May Now Kiss the Bride--And Would You Like Fries With That?" and "How Can You Tell If Someone from France is Happy?" Peterson good-humoredly explores these questions and many others, including such diverse topics as the difference between employment and work, the value of doing the right thing, and why books matter, among other subjects.

Throughout, Peterson shows that happiness is not simply the result of a fortunate spin of the genetic wheel. There are things that people can learn to do to lead happier lives. Pursuing the Good Life is both an enjoyable read and an invaluable guide to making the good life part of your everyday existence.

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Review:

Featured Blog Post by Christopher Peterson (Featured in Psychology Today)

Days are Long-Life is Short By Christopher Peterson, Ph.D. Created Dec 28 2009-4:10pm

I hope that no one thinks that a writer of blog entries about "the good life" (i.e., me) has it all together. Competitive soul that I am, I bet I could trounce most of you who read my entries on formal measures of neuroticism and rumination. As a writer, I try to convey a public persona of being somewhat evolved and somewhat wise. Believe me, it ain't so. As much as anyone and maybe more than most, I get mired down in the minutiae and hassles of everyday life. I fret about the ever-growing number of e-mail messages that inhabit my inbox. I worry that people may not like me, even and especially people I don't like myself. I putter way too much, sometimes spending as much time formatting a scholarly paper as I do researching and writing it. I fill up many of my days doing small things that do not matter. I know it, but sometimes I can't help myself.

A common inside joke among research psychologists is that we study those topics that we simply do not get. In some cases, this is obvious. Myopic psychologists seem more likely to study vision than their 20-20 colleagues. Out-of-shape psychologists seem more likely to study physical fitness, and unmarried psychologists seem more likely to study marriage.

Following this line of reasoning, are positive psychologists less than positive? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I could characterize the major academic players in positive psychology as walking the walk versus talking the talk, but they are my friends and my colleagues, happy or not, and I will respect their privacy. It's probably enough that I have just outed myself as needing further work. Indeed, gossip is not my point, Rather, my point is to discuss an enemy of the good life, one that is my particular demon but also one that may plague others: getting mired down in the unpleasant details and demands of everyday life. Sometimes people are urged to live in the moment. I think this advice needs to be qualified by understanding what the moment entails. To paraphrase Albert Ellis, if the moment in which we live is draped in ought's and should's, it is probably better not to live in it.

Everyday life of course poses demands, and I am not saying that we should ignore those we do not like. I am simply saying - to myself, if no one else - to keep the bigger picture in mind. Things not worth doing are not worth doing obsessively. There must be an ancient Buddhist aphorism that makes my point profoundly, but I'll just say it bluntly, in plain 21st century Americanese: Don't sweat the small stuff; and most of it is small stuff. Days are long. Life is short. Live it well.

About the Author:


Christopher Peterson was Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. One of the world's most highly cited research psychologists and a founder of the field of positive psychology, Peterson was best-known for his studies of optimism and character strengths and their relationship to psychological and physical well-being. He was a frequent blogger for Psychology Today, where many of these short essays first appeared.

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What makes life most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? The new perspective of positive psychology takes these questions seriously and provides some useful answers. In Pursuing the Good Life, Christopher Peterson, one of the founders and leaders of positive psychology, compiles for the first time a collection of his reflections on what positive psychologists have learned about the good life, with meditations on how to make it part of everyday life. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that have made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson explores a range of concerns on the groundswell of positive psychology and the lessons it embraces. What are the potential pitfalls and problems of this perspective? What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? There is no one correct form of the good life, but the masterful insight collected here offers the mindfulness to chase it. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780199916351

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. What makes life most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? The new perspective of positive psychology takes these questions seriously and provides some useful answers. In Pursuing the Good Life, Christopher Peterson, one of the founders and leaders of positive psychology, compiles for the first time a collection of his reflections on what positive psychologists have learned about the good life, with meditations on how to make it part of everyday life. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that have made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson explores a range of concerns on the groundswell of positive psychology and the lessons it embraces. What are the potential pitfalls and problems of this perspective? What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? There is no one correct form of the good life, but the masterful insight collected here offers the mindfulness to chase it. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780199916351

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. What makes life most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? The new perspective of positive psychology takes these questions seriously and provides some useful answers. In Pursuing the Good Life, Christopher Peterson, one of the founders and leaders of positive psychology, compiles for the first time a collection of his reflections on what positive psychologists have learned about the good life, with meditations on how to make it part of everyday life. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that have made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson explores a range of concerns on the groundswell of positive psychology and the lessons it embraces. What are the potential pitfalls and problems of this perspective? What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? There is no one correct form of the good life, but the masterful insight collected here offers the mindfulness to chase it. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780199916351

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