One of the most creative and influential psychologists of our time, Seligman, (2002, p.65) says that “thinking and emotions drives each other at times”. In his book “Authentic Happiness”, Seligman expresses a genuine interest in understanding the conditions that influence emotions driving thinking as well as thinking driving emotions. He challenges us to consider, discovery and implement “voluntary variables” that can lead us to create sustainable change within ourselves.
What does happiness mean to you?
Following his curiosity and instead of seeking for momentary pleasurable time, Seligman asked us “can you live in the uppermost reaches of your set range for happiness?”. Which might lead us to consider what is happiness for us? No what I was told, not what my dad, my mum, my sister or what the world believe, but What does it mean?
what does it mean to be happy according to you? There is not right or wrong question here I reassure you, as happiness differs from one mind to another mind.
Positive emotions through time
Seligman distinguish our positive emotions through time. In that way, we would have past, present and future experiences of positive emotions. Joy, ecstasy, calm, zest, ebullience, pleasure, and flow are positive emotions are about the present time. Satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, pride and serenity are the positive emotions about the past. Optimism, hope, faith and trust are positive emotions about the future.
Voluntary variables and sustainable change
Taking on board Seligman’s curiosity, we could ask ourselves: what way my past/present/future is influencing my thinking and my emotions? Is my thinking driving my emotions? Or is it my emotions driving my thinking? Contemplating this new information might prepare you with a strong solid foundation to consider, discovery and implement “voluntary variables” that can lead us to create sustainable change within ourselves.
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