Mercer Free School Open Forum (March 20, 2012)
Optimism, Mindfulness, and Well-Being
Web page: http://mfs.insi2.org/activities/forum.php (or Google search "Mercer Free School")
This series is an opportunity for the community to share and discuss ideas on various topics. Each session will have a specific topic. You are welcome to just come and listen, ask questions, or actively participate in the discussion. If you want to propose a topic and/or are interested in facilitating a session, please contact the school (firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-403-2383).
#1: Is optimism essential for our lives, individually and societally?
Positive psychology has been pioneered by Martin Seligman (2002). A more recent discussion is put forward by Tali Sharot (2011).
#2: Is optimism being abused, by some people and organizations?
Relevant points are discussed by Barbara Ehrenreich (2009) and Robert Trivers (2011).
#3: Is optimism a form of self-deception and thus illusion?
Relevant points are discussed by Tali Sharot (2011) and Robert Trivers (2011).
#4: What would be the impact of mindfulness (to see things as they are)?
The connection beween self-deception and mindfulness is suggested by Arbinger Institute (2010). Recent introductions to mindfulness include a book by Ronald Siegel (2010).
#5: For our well-being, where should we stand with respect to optimism and mindfulness?
Selected Reading (all available through the Mercer County Library System)
Seligman, Martin E. P. 2002. Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.
Sharot, Tali. 2011. The optimism bias: a tour of the irrationally positive brain. New York: Pantheon Books.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. 2009. Bright-sided: how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America. New York: Metropolitan Books.
Trivers, Robert. 2011. The folly of fools: the logic of deceit and self-deception in human life. New York: Basic Books.
Arbinger Institute. 2010. Leadership and self-deception: getting out of the box, Expanded 2nd ed. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Siegel, Ronald D. 2010. The mindfulness solution: everyday practices for everyday problems. New York: Guilford Press.
Next session: Business, Ethics, and Success, Tuesday, April 17, 7pm, Ewing Library