Tag Archives: Martin Seligman

Got time off? Relax and re-energize with free books, magazines & podcasts!


Got workaholic tendencies? Then maybe it’s time to take a break! Whether you’re vacationing or simply enjoying a day at the beach, these link-filled articles can help you connect with some great tools & media that will help you shift gears, http://www.cheapambienpriceonline.com re-energize and maybe even reclaim that long-lost enthusiasm.


Free Mental & Spiritual Makeover, Part 2: Inspired Project Teams Podcasts

Topic: Team building, managing project teams, personal growth, philosophy
Podcasts & matching blog posts
Reviewer/email: Mike G – greers_pm@yahoo.com

[Disclaimer: I write & maintain the Inspired Project Teams website & podcasts. – MG]

My last post focused on some free tools to help with your mental and spiritual makeover as an individual. In this post, we highlight some free podcasts and blog posts that provide “enduring wisdom & guided challenges to help project teams achieve their best.”

Note: These podcasts aren’t only useful for project teams. You can use them to help with a mental and spiritual makeover within your family, your PTA, your soccer team, or simply that group of friends that has become a bit dysfunctional! Here’s how: As you listen to the podcasts and review the suggested team Challenges, whenever you hear the phrase “project team” or “team member,” just mentally replace it with “family” or “family member.” After all, people are people, whether they are working together  on the job or simply trying to get things done together by working on a home or civic project!

Inspired Project Teams Podcasts

(Read more below about specific Challenges & my favorite Inspired Project Teams podcasts.)

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My Gift to You: Free Tools & Training to Help You and Your Family Become Happier

Let’s face it: The holidays can be a real test of our mental health and well-being. For a few days (or if you’re “lucky,” a couple of weeks), we find ourselves outside our comfortable work routines and spending time with family members and friends we might see only once a year. If your family is like most, there are all sorts of emotional undercurrents running through these reunions.  Ancient roles, inescapable expectations, historic feuds, and long-running issues pollute what could be a fairly happy time — if only we could figure out how to connect to our own (and subsequently others’) happiness.

In the last couple of years I’ve spent a fair chunk of time exploring the topic of happiness. And here’s the great news: I am absolutely certain that you can (if you spend a little effort trying) teach yourself and your family group to be happier and to interact more positively. In this post, I share some of my recent podcasts that can get you started. I hope you find them valuable. And… HAPPY (Yes, Happy!) HOLIDAYS!!

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Free to Get & Free to Give: Wisdom & Inspiration (25 PhilosophersNotes, 8 Hours of MP3/iPod Downloads, 150 PDF pages)

Topic: Distilled notes on 25 great philosophers and teachers
Format: Each of the 25 PhilosophersNotes contains: one (approx.) 20-minute MP3 audio and one 6-page (approx.) PDF summary
Reviewer/email: Mike G – greers_pm@yahoo.com

Now this is very cool, indeed! Just in time for your holiday giving: A free gift subscription for you to Brian Johnson’s amazing PhilosophersNotes collection. And better yet: For everyone on your holiday list — When you sign up, you also get an unlimited number of free gift subscription’s to give.

PhilosophersNotes Listings

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Brian Johnson, “head philosopher” at PhilosophersNotes.com. Philosophers are supposed to quote great thinkers. In this collection Brian Johnson does this and brings you insights from: Stephen Covey, Ghandi, Emerson, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Viktor Frankl, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Martin Seligman, Rumi, Marcus Aurelius, and many more. But Philosophers are not supposed to make this Homer Simpson noise: “Whoo Hooo!” Nor are philosophers supposed to repeatedly exclaim, “How cool is that!?” But Brian persists in making such proclamations as he joyfully shares his enthusiasm for the works of 25 great philosophers and teachers. In this collection , you’ll get over 8 hours of MP3 downloads (about 20-minutes each) and around 150 pages of companion PDF files.

Get (& give!) your free subscriptions at: http://philosophersnotes.com/bestfreetraining

Zaadz Notes: Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman

Topic: How you can (and why you should) train yourself to be more optimistic
Format: 16 minute MP3 download
Reviewer/email: Mike G – greers_pm@yahoo.com

This is a nice, tight little summary of Martin Seligman’s book Learned Optimism. Written and narrated by Brian Johnson, this audio distills Seligman’s work and provides specific examples of how you can apply Seligman’s techniques to your own life in order to become more optimistic and, in turn, happier and more successful. If you’re a pessimist… and tired of the pessimistic world-view… this free audio could begin to change your life in 16 minutes!

Zaadz Notes: Learned Optimism
(Continued in Comment.)

The Science of Happiness: Part 3, Train Yourself to Be Happier

“We found specific interventions [i.e., assignments or exercises] that make people lastingly happier, and we believe this study holds implications — small and large — for the future of positive interventions and perhaps for clinical interventions.” – from “Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions” a research paper published in American Psychologist by Martin Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, & Christopher Peterson

So here’s the deal: If you want to train yourself to be happier and you’re not sure where to start, here’s some very good news: You don’t need to spend a lot of energy analyzing and worrying about your weaknesses. Instead, you can simply identify some of your key strengths and build on them by performing some relatively simple exercises that have been proven to increase happiness.


This is Part 3 in a series of posts on the Science of Happiness. In Part 1, A Little Theory, we looked at the origins and roots of the Positive Psychology movement and the Science of Happiness. In Part 2, Some Fun Stuff, we examined some popular resources from the BBC that provided interesting background and, I hope, motivated you to take charge of your own happiness. In this Part (Train Yourself to Be Happier), we’ll look at some specific steps you can take to increase the happiness in your life.So let’s get to it!

Step 1 [highly recommended, but optional]: Become familiar with two books by Martin Seligman.

If you’ve looked through the links in Parts 1 & 2, you’ve undoubtedly come across the name of the man who is usually identified as the founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman. His book, Authentic Happiness, is filled with wisdom and specific tools and strategies that can help you create a happier life. Dr. Seligman also wrote another landmark text, Learned Optimism, which examines why you should and how you can learn to develop an optimistic perspective. Ideally, you would get both of these books and immerse yourself in their wisdom to develop a solid foundation for your happiness. However, since this blog is about free training resources (and the books must be purchased), I’ve made this Step “optional.” (But you could at least get them from the library, right?)

Step 2: Identify your “signature strengths” (and don’t worry about your weaknesses!)

“I do not believe that you should devote overly much effort to correcting your weaknesses. Rather, I believe that the highest success in living and the deepest emotional satisfaction comes from building and using your signature strengths.” – Dr. Martin Seligman in Authentic Happiness

So, how do you find your signature strengths? Easy! You go to Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness website ( http://www.authentichappiness.org ), sign up for your free membership (over 700,000 people have already done so!) and work through the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire. You’ll need a half hour or so, but this will measure your most important character strengths. According to the website: “The ranking of the strengths reflects your overall ratings of yourself on the 24 strengths in the survey, how much of each strength you possess. Your top five, especially those marked as Signature Strengths, are the ones to pay attention to and find ways to use more often.”

FYI: There are a whole bunch of other fascinating “scientifically tested” questionnaires, surveys, and scales at the Authentic Happiness website. You can use any of these to “Develop insights into yourself and the world around you…”

Step 3: Work through three key exercises which were used by the researchers (see intro quote from this Post) to help develop happiness in their research subjects.
* Gratitude visit. You have one week to write and then deliver a letter of gratitude in person to someone who had been especially kind to you but had never been properly thanked.
* Three good things in life. Every night for one week, write down three things that went well each day and provide a causal explanation for each good thing (i.e., describe why it happened).
* Using signature strengths in a new way. Take the inventory of character strengths online at http://www.authentichappiness.org and get individualized feedback about your top five (“signature”) strengths. Then use one of these top strengths in a new and different way every day for one week.

That’s it. And sure, they sound fairly simple. But remember, the researchers found empirical evidence that these exercises developed lasting happiness in the subjects who completed them! So, if you follow the steps above… if you really engage the exercises… you are likely to increase your happiness.

Further Information:

* To read a PDF version of the research report referred to above, “Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions” go to this URL:http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/ppprogressarticle.pdf

* To read a PDF version of Time Magazine’s “The New Science of Happiness” (including “Eight Steps Toward a More Satisfying Life” …some practical suggestions from University of California psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, based on research findings… Satisfaction (at least a temporary boost) guaranteed!”) go to:http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/images/TimeMagazine/Time-Happiness.pdf

[Thanks to Brian Johnson whose PhilosophersNotes on Martin Seligman’s books Authentic Happiness & Learned Optimism inspired my investigation of this topic.]