Book Review: “Flourish” by Martin Seligman


Image result for flourish martin seligman

Recommended by my friend who is a social worker, this self-help book about Flourish is an extension of Seligman’s bestseller “Authentic Happiness”.  Gone were the days when Psychology was merely established to heal succumbed mental illness and sufferings.  In this recent decade, with the advent of “Positive Psychology” introduced by Seligman, living a satisfactory life is also equally advocated. Five crucial pillars (PERMA) are at the top of the agenda when accounting for one’s overall well-being and life fulfillment:

  1. Positive emotion (= happiness & life satisfaction)
  2. Engagement (= much time concentrated on that activity)
  3. Positive Relationships
  4. Meaning (= serving something you believe is bigger than yourself)
  5. Accomplishment ( = people pursue success and achievement free of coerce)

For happiness and flourish to be fostered, a blessing diary comprising 3 good things can be written each day and a gratitude visit to our friends be tried, so that we can learn how to express our gratitude and maintain a more cordial relationship with others.  Apart from enhancing individual’s spiritual health, it is suggested that, to inspire future pillars and the American soldiers with positive optimism and emotional resilience respectively, Positive Psychology can also be applied in action in wide variety of fields in education, public health, economics and politics etc.

Regardless of some unfamiliar psychology terms and references, what I appreciate this non-fiction most are myriads of in-depth interviews and discussions from schools, post-traumatic patients and government departments written for each topic.  Plus, the attachment of personality test in the Appendix aims to enable us to get known with our personal merits and unique character strengths.  Last but by no means least, hope everyone, after reading this book, also have a comprehensive grasp of the true meaning of happiness and live a flourish life to the fullest! ♦


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