Give me a P. “P” Give me an E. “E”
Give me a R, M, A! “R, M, A!”
What does it spell? PERMA! Louder. PERMA???
Now that I have your attention, I would like to tell you about Dr. Martin Seligman’s acronym for what we need to flourish in our lives – PERMA. My explanation comes from the pages of his newest book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, which I have mentioned several times in recent posts.
The book is 300+ pages of:
- what’s working in positive psychology (lots)
- stories about how positive psychology got to where it is today (It’s growing by leaps and bounds and finding its way into schools, businesses, and the United State Army – more on that later.)
- a how-to manual for those interested in improving their lives (that’s us)
- and a guide for where Seligman thinks positive psychology, we, and the world should direct our attention next.
Ambitious? Yes. Interesting? Quite! Insightful? Undeniably. Helpful? Unbelievably. Readable? Well, yes, but my guess is not everyone will find it the page-turner that I did. (I say this only because I have learned from the kind and well-meaning feedback of friends and family throughout the years that one woman’s non-fiction dream, can be another person’s sleeping potion.) So just incase you don’t pick-up the book, I will keep sharing what’s inside it.
Which brings me back to PERMA, and how to create the life your really want from Seligman’s five pillars of well-being.
E – ENGAGEMENT (flow – losing ourselves or becoming so absorbed in our work, our hobbies, the moment)
R – RELATIONSHIPS (those that touch our hearts, our souls and our minds)
M – MEANING or a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives
A – ACCOMPLISHMENT (learning and moving forward with our endeavors big and small; knowing and using your strengths)
Put them all together and what do you have? PERMA and folks, who are flourishing by living happy, interesting, fulfilling lives that they created, embrace, value and appreciate.
I’ll be posting more info about Seligman’s 5 factor approach for flourishing. PERMA is much more than a to-do-list. It’s about creating the life you really want, and can help you focus your attention and efforts on what’s ahead for you, not the past. There’s a big difference and that difference can help you flourish – PERMAnently!
PERMA is definitely one of those Wishful Thinking kind-of things that work!
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