“We think too much about what goes wrong in our lives and not enough about what goes right.”

This goes for all of us. Nothing is more within our control and yet gets in our way more than this way of thinking.

Dr. Martin Seligman is one of the world’s foremost experts and influential “positive” psychologists on the study of happiness. And we are enjoying his book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, with its simple practices designed to make us happier.

We highly recommend you put aside any self-consciousness and aversion to self-helpy approaches long enough to try some of his acclaimed research-based exercises, a couple of which are described here

Equally interesting and complementary is Seligman’s challenge not to self-identify with being either an optimist or a pessimist, in his other book we’re reading, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life.

His heavily-researched findings are heartening:

“A pessimistic attitude may seem so deeply rooted as to be permanent. I have found, however, that pessimism is escapable. Pessimists can in fact learn to be optimists, and not through mindless devices like whistling a happy tune or mouthing platitudes…but by learning a new set of cognitive skills.”

And for more inspiration and tools, here are seven great reads on the science-art of happiness