Is There More to Life than Happiness?
Since the rise of the positive psychology movement a decade ago, happiness has been all the rage. But is it something more than having a cheerful personality? And how do we get happiness?
What's the Latest Development?
Though University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Martin Seligman began the positive psychology movement a decade ago, he is still modifying which elements he believes constitute happiness. The latest to be added to the list is 'accomplishment', which occurs when people try to master a skill for their own sake. Seligman calls the first element of happiness 'positive emotion', which has created something of a reaction from those who have watched self-help merchants sell an unattainable, or unhealthy vision of self-aware bliss.
What's the Big Idea?
Other essential elements to Seligman's definition of happiness include 'engagement', which entails being in a state of flow, enjoying one's activities such that a loss of self-awareness occurs. Engaged people, therefore, are aware they were happy only after the fact. 'Meaning' entails belonging to a project or organization that is larger than one's self, submitting the ego to collaborative achievement. Lastly, but not least, is 'positive relationships'. Other people are the strongest antidote to life's downs and the most reliable up.
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Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.