For some time now, psychology has begun to accept subjective well-being as a relevant object of study and to face directly, as an academic programmatic duty, the exploration of human strengths and the factors that contribute to the happiness of human beings.
According to Seligman (2002), three paths to a fulfilled life can be recognized. The first of them is related to positive emotions, such as joy, hope, illusion, etc. It consists of increasing the quantity of these emotions as much as possible in order to reach a state of happiness. This pillar is purely hedonistic.
The second pillar is linked to commitment and positive traits. It is thought that in order to achieve a satisfying life it is necessary to be aware of one’s personal strengths, since it is a combination of one’s personal abilities and the characteristics of the task.
Finally, the third pillar differs from the previous two in that it is a global context where the environment is taken into account. The pursuit of happiness is associated with a meaningful life and positive institutions. This would indicate that, in order to achieve a meaningful life, it would be necessary to apply personal strengths with the aim of developing something that goes beyond the individual universe, that helps others so that they can develop their potential.
In turn, Seligman and Csiksentmihalyi (2000) state that psychology is not only the study of illness, weakness, and harm, but also the study and promotion of people’s strengths and virtues. As a result of this, they state that they have discovered that there are human strengths that act as buffers against mental illness: courage, optimism, faith, hope, etc.; and that it is necessary for psychologists to dedicate themselves to the study of these human strengths and virtues and to promote climates that develop these strengths.
I invite everyone to read Matias’ post with the topic of the day