Happiness = Virtues in Action

Quick fact: In the 20th century, for every one hundred articles psychologists published on *negative* aspects of human behavior (stuff like depression, schizophrenia, etc.) there was only one article published on the positive stuff.

Basically, we got really good at figuring out how to take someone from -10 to -5 to 0 through therapy and psycho-pharmacology, but we were pretty much in the dark on how to (scientifically) help someone go from 0 to +5 to +10 and beyond.

To address this issue, in the year 2000, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi created a new movement called “Positive Psychology” that promised to identify the scientific underpinnings of how we can live with more happiness, meaning and all that good stuff.

Guess where they started.

They went Old School—sifting through all the classic wisdom texts where they saw the same ideas repeated again and again. Although they differ on the details, these classics (from the Bible to the Bhagavad-Gita to the Bushido samurai code) say the same thing: live with virtue.

In fact, the researchers identified a constellation of six core virtues: wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance, and spirituality and they set out to *scientifically* establish the fact that, when we put these virtues in action, we’ll live with more happiness, meaning and mojo.

The equation is simple: Happiness = Virtues in Action.

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