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Friday, May 16, 2008

Happiness degree

May15-653, total push ups and chins 98,343
weight 195.5, bf 21%
calories left to burn 37096

Ella Williams:
Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.

Apparently you can take a Master's degree in happiness now. Well specifically it is a program founded by Dr Martin Seligiman at the University of Pennsylvania and it is a Master of Applied Positive Psychology. When I think back to my University days I remember Seligiman as the guy who brought us the theory of Learned Helplessness. Wikipedia defines Learned helplessness as : is a psychological condition in which a human being or an animal has learned to believe that it is helpless in a particular situation. It has come to believe that it has no control over its situation and that whatever it does is futile. As a result, the human being or the animal will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when it does actually have the power to change its circumstances.

I am trying to decide if it is ironic or inevitable that the guy who came up with this theory is now starting the first masters degree program in happiness -I guess it makes sense. Any way some interesting articles on the University of Penn website:
Apparently some of the early research in the are suggested that there was a set point for happiness, and there was little you could do to change your basic level of happiness. Changing your happiness level was like trying to change your height -the researcher suggested. Recent research has indicated that this was an absurd claim and there are many ways you can alter your own happiness. Anyway interesting stuff. There is a pdf of the article Seligman did with Time Magazine-worth a read.

Not on the level of life changing events- but still happiness worthy in a small way-I am back down another half pound. Not profound change -but change nonetheless.

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