Easily the best book I’ve read on this subject is Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman (former President of the American Psychological Association). This book is the culmination of extensive research and study of the impact of what he calls Positive Psychology.
One of his foundational principles (which seems to be quite overlooked by this list) is the powerful and enduring positive effect of selfless service of others.
It seems, based on his studies, that if we seek our own happiness, we will not find it. Stating that we deserve it will only frustrate us more.
Only if we habitually seek the genuine happiness of others will we find “authentic” and lasting happiness (as opposed to synthetic and short-lived happiness, something most of us are familiar with).
I can vouch for the practical truth of his ideas as I’ve found them to be quite accurate in my own life.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Adam, commenting on happiness over at Lifehack: