Monday, July 28, 2008

TED: Martin Seligman on Authentic Happiness

One of the best TED presentations I've seen to date - at least one that I think could potentially be most useful. Martin Seligman reframes and considers what happiness is. It's about 20 minutes long but it's 20 minutes well spent.

One of the interesting points he makes is that being able to be lost in the moment / losing track of time is indicative of finding what you love to do and being truly happy. A parallel, in that sense, would be to David Allen's Getting Things Done where Allen makes a convincing argument that if you can get all the other thoughts/worrying about other tasks you haven't done, you can more easily achieve this state. Seligman has a number of other tools at his website From a managerial perspective, I think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to also realize that happy employees, in the sense that they can see meaning from their work and life, can be more productive employees.

What makes Seligman's presentation unique is that he approaches happiness, generally an abstract idea, with a rigorous approach. Anyway, watch it, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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