Science of Happiness
Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA
you completely happy with your practice? With your academic
career? With you leadership role? If not, there
is an emerging science, the Science of Happiness, and a new
approach, the Positive Psychology movement, that is here to
help you figure out how you can change things and get happy!
Seligman, PhD, professor of Psychology at U Penn, and
the "father" of the Positive Psychology movement,
happiness results from three factors:
"set range" - your "biological"
capacity for happiness
circumstances and environment of your life, such as
whether you live in a stable country at peace, have a
job, a loving spouse, good partners.
factors and attitudes that are completely under your
voluntary control to change.
his book, Authentic Happiness,
Seligman outlines a compelling prescription for creating
more fulfillment and happiness in your life---your WHOLE
life: work, home, play, relationships.
are a few of Seligman's Authentic Happiness principles:
go of the false belief that your past negative
experiences determine your present and future
your gratitude about the good things in your past
how to forgive past wrongs
between pleasures and gratifications: Pleasures
are sensory experiences with a strong emotional
component, but which don't require a lot of thinking. By
contrast, gratifications come from applying your
unique strengths and virtues (hence
"authentic") and have a longer lasting
quality. Therefore, spend more energy creating gratifying
to achieving "authentic happiness" is uncovering
your natural strengths---what Seligman calls "signature
all have our own "top 4 or 5" strengths. The
key is to learn what they are and do everything we can to
express them, particularly in our work!
working with my own clients, I frequently have them complete
Seligman's "Values in Action" assessment, a
240-quesion survey that provides a means to gaining greater
understanding of their underlying drivers and motivators.
The survey computes their "top 5" signature
and his team describe 24 strengths and virtues in terms of
"values in action," and group them into these 6
You have the opportunity to learn more about Authentic
Happiness, to complete a Values in Action Assessment and get
a complimentary debrief on your results. See Tele-class
purpose of delving more deeply into your personal strengths
and virtues is to identify and create more opportunities
whereby you use and express them. From Seligman's
perspective, it is the difference between living a good
life, versus living a meaningful life.
you are interested learning more about the Positive
Psychology movement and how to apply this new thinking to
your own life, I encourage you to attend the Tele-class on
May 16. Or contact our office directly to arrange for
you to complete the "Values in Action" survey and
debrief the results.
R. Gaillour, MD, President of
The Gaillour Group, and Director of Creative Strategies in
Physician Leadership, is
an Executive and Business Coach who helps her clients express their full potential.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (206) 686-4205