The Psychology of Everyday Life: Motivation and the Search For Happiness

Positive Psychology

What does Seligman mean by the pleasant life?

This refers to the experience of high levels of positive emotion regarding our present, past, and future. Positive emotions about our past include feelings of contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, serenity, and pride. Positive emotions about our future include confidence, optimism, hope, faith, and trust. Positive emotions about our present include the ability to experience pleasure from immediate experience. This also involves the ability to attend to immediate experience and not be distracted by concerns about the future or past. Interestingly, this aspect of “the good life” appears to be the least important in that it has the lowest correlations with a person’s ratings of life satisfaction.


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