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Positive Psychology

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Alain de Botton on making the humanities useful, studying ads, and the need for a "wisdom industry" — Quartz. Best known for his writing and his TV series Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness, Alain de Botton is one of the world’s foremost public intellectuals.

Alain de Botton on making the humanities useful, studying ads, and the need for a "wisdom industry" — Quartz

His books include Status Anxiety, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, and Religion for Atheists. A popularizer of philosophy, he’s convinced that modern economies fail to adequately provide for human flourishing. He also runs the School of Life, an educational institution that seeks to apply wisdom from a range of academic disciplines to everyday life. Quartz asked him via email about the future of work and his vision of a “wisdom industry.” QZ: You’ve written on the need for a “wisdom industry” to help us meet our “flourishing needs.” De Botton: Roughly we can be said to have material needs and psychological needs. 'Design Thinking' for a Better You. How to Be Happy: The Fine Print. Most of us want to be happy and stay that way, and research from positive psychology has shown that making a habit of certain day-to-day activities—like expressing gratitude, exercising, or performing acts of kindness—can help us get there.

How to Be Happy: The Fine Print

But few researchers have considered how to identify an activity that’s best suited to your particular personality and lifestyle. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, started to explore these questions in her 2007 book, The How of Happiness. Now, Lyubomirsky and a graduate student of hers, Kristin Layous, are zeroing in on why some activities may “fit” for some people and not others (summarized in a chapter for a forthcoming book, The Dark and Light Side of Happiness). Let’s call it “the fine print” of how to be happy, the little details you should consider before undertaking happiness activities. Who gets happy?

Motivation and beliefs. The importance of fit.


Happiness. Flow. Present Awareness. Meditation. Purpose. Gratitude.

Resilience. Forgiveness. Phil Stutz and Barry Michels Teach the Tools. An Interview With Adam Phillips.   The Featured Five. The Tool for when you need to take action on what you have been avoiding.

  The Featured Five

We avoid doing the things that are most painful for us but the more you act and face the pain, the more options come your way. The Tool for when you are so enraged with a person that the anger traps you in a maze. Martin Seligman on positive psychology. Authentic Happiness. The Neuroscience of Reframing & How to Do It by Anette Prehn. I am a social scientist (M.A.), leadership trainer, thinker, poet, motivational speaker, and professional certified coach (PCC), helping bright, enthusiastic people excel.

The Neuroscience of Reframing & How to Do It by Anette Prehn

Having specialised in turning the insights of neuroscience into down-to-earth tools, I help of executives, managers and teams boost their change processes, relational power and results. The author of Play Your Brain (August 2011) and with First Framestorm and Broccoli for Breakfast on their way, my ambition is to reach young and old with powerful and fun brain-based tools. I believe in art and science united. I believe in making difficult things really easy. I believe in the power of the tiny tweaks: boosting strategies and results by changing approaches slightly and brightly.

Read more and connect: Check out my You Tube Videos on the brain: Testimonials.

  1. walliser_groupe2_psy Apr 7 2015
    Thanks a lot for our comment. "There is nothing unreal about the online world" : I find your idea very interesting. People remind real even though they are not physically there in front of you. When I say "virtual" I think contact can not be defined in the same way as a contact face to face. Emotions for examples can not be seen and felt in the same way.
  2. tor.nelson Apr 7 2015
    Sorry, I don't speak French, so I used Google translate, which may not capture the full meaning of your comments. By virtual identity I suppose you mean the identity that people assume online, as distinct from a real identity. However, there is nothing unreal about the online world; it is a real environment with different norms than what we tend to call the real world. That we play different characters in different spaces suggest that we may not have a distinct real identity. We may conjure an identity to suit the environment and the role we are given and/or desire to assume.
  3. walliser_groupe2_psy Apr 6 2015
    La perle Present Awareness, notamment la page "4 studies on the surprising science of mind-wandering", a attiré toute mon attention. La thématique abordée, autour de la mémoire, rejoint la mienne, sur l'identité virtuelle en construction. Prendre le temps d'être présent, gage d'une solide identité virtuelle!
  4. walliser_groupe2_psy Apr 6 2015
    Intéressée par la question de la construction de l'identité virtuelle, je me suis abonnée à votre collection, car une de vos perles (Martin Seligman on positive psychology) vient enrichir ma réflexion, ainsi que ma "boîte à outils". C'est notamment un article sur la page Web de, traitant de la création d'un système de cryptage des mails par Andy Yen, qui a attiré mon attention.