Your s̶u̶r̶v̶i̶v̶a̶l̶ thriving kit for the U.N. Happiness Day

Not quite sure how to celebrate the second annual UN Happiness Day? (No, not the unhappiness day.) We’ve got your back. Assuming that FREE goodies somewhat contribute to your experienced well-being (when they are actually useful), here are two magnificent little gifts to help you on your pursuit for happiness. Whoever said that anything worth having doesn’t come easy (or that there are no free lunches or whatever) didn’t know that when you shop with people from the UPenn MAPP Alumini, they often indeed are. Check this out:

1. Book giveaway: Positive Psychologists on Positive Psychology (vol. 2.)
Positive psychologists on positive psychology Emilia Lahti

We have decided to give our newest book out for free distribution just in time for the International UN Day of Happiness. Folks, here you go: Positive Psychologists on Positive Psychology. This stuff is mental dynamite!

Dr. Aaron Jarden, Maria Ovejero Bruna, Yukun Zhao and I interviewed 14 eminent positive psychologists around the world about their thoughts on the field, as well as its present state and future directions. Some of the phenomenal people whose brilliance is captured within these pages include Adam Grant, James Pawelski, Tayyab Rashid, Angela Duckworth, Esa Saarinen, Ken Sheldon, Robert Biswas-Diener, Dianne Vella-Brodrick – the magnificent list just goes on and on. It is a great intro for anyone new to the field or just interested to learn more.

NOTE for sisu enthusiasts: especially the interview of Dr. Angela Duckworth may be of great interest to you because she speaks about grit and self-control (and what may be the best way to harness these capacities).

2. International Day of Happiness with Masters of Applied Positive Psychology Alumni Association – Free virtual conference

UN Happiness Day 2014 virtual conference with MAPP Alumni
I’ll tell you a secret: there is a whole lot of compassion, love and post-traumatic growth behind these smiles. Love this group of trailblazers.

Learn Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania Master of Applied Positive Psychology Alumni in this FREE online conference from from the comfort of your home, car, motorcycle, hot-air balloon – you get the point. Watch or listen to the talks anywhere (but I think they are free only on the 20th). The conference includes 18 short lectures on various topics relating to well-being, happiness and resilience. See the experts and get your free entry here.

We have already over 2,200 people worldwide signed up!

NOTE for sisu enthusiasts: Since hardships are a u̶n̶a̶v̶o̶i̶d̶a̶b̶l̶e̶  natural part of the human experience (just like positive emotions and flourishing are), and because how we respond to adversities has a great impact on our experienced well-being, SISU is also one of the conference topics. I’ll be giving a quick intro to sisu and discuss what hardships have to do with happiness. The blurb regarding the sisu presentation is here.

3. The ‘MUST’ BONUS track (even if you skip the other two – make sure you follow this one)

Volunteeing in India, Tamil Nadu 2007
Volunteering in India, Tamil Nadu 2007

Honestly, and in all fairness toward the very useful inner tinkering we can do, the best way to impact one’s own well-being is to actually focus on others. If you feel helpless – help someone. If you are anxious – go volunteer (no, you don’t have to go to India) or perform a random act of kindness toward a complete stranger or someone who you know. Research shows that the easiest, quickest and most ‘no-brainer’ way to give yourself a boost is to do something for other people.

The best part of this, of course, is that by doing so you are adding value to the world and creating positive ripples.

In this self-absorbed world, where people are often more concerned about feeling good than doing good, striving solely for more individual well-being might just end up feeding the wrong wolf (as the old Cherokee wisdom goes). My personal opinion is that instead of pursuing subjective well-being, the passion for leading a virtuous life (striving to cultivate good moral judgment and character for its own sake) could well be something that enables a broader systemic change for the better.

When we must focus on ourselves, let’s make it about reaching for excellence in being a human, and acknowledging our role, responsibility (and power) as part of a larger system. 

Virtues (kindness, compassion, integrity, courage and the like) can be learned, and are not rigid features inherent in one’s character. Plutarch once said, `Character is simply habit long enough continued.´ Practically speaking, virtues are attitudes, dispositions and character traits which capacitate us to act according to the ideals we have adopted. Being virtuous is a state in which our emotions are guided by reason.

By cultivating virtuous and ethical actions, we begin to enjoy making ethical evaluations, and perhaps be more inclined to place emphasis on those things which enable a more flourishing future – for the whole of humanity

This is where the responsibility and power of each individual lies, and this is how we can create a more positive future for the world at large.

I would love to hear what you have in store for the Happiness Day BONUS track!: )

Yours in Sisu,

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