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Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

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by Martin E. P. Seligman, Martin Seligman (Read by)

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Dr. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in cognitive psychology and motivational research, tells you how to identify your own self-defeating thought patterns -- and how to harness the powers of your conscious mind to break those patterns.


Without knowing it, most of us impose limits on our achievement and our happiness by approaching

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Learned Optimism 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend books often, and this book is the one I recommend most. It is practical information everyone should know about. No matter how optimistic you are already, if you became even more optimistic, you would feel better, you'd be healthier, and your ability to succeed would improve. These statements sound like hype, but there is plenty of scientific evidence to verify them, and quite a bit of that evidence can be found in this book. Early in the book, you'll find a questionnaire so you can discover not only how optimistic you are but in which of the six areas you are the LEAST optimistic, and Seligman tells you what you can do to change. It is not hard. It takes some diligence, but the principles are simple, and they work very well. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on self-help material. Seligman's book is at the top of my list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Roughly 80% of this book is dedicated to rehashing 20 years of clinical research proving the proposition that pessimists are more likely to be depressed and underachieve. Gee, do ya think??!! The title promises life changing advice that can be summed up as: when you think something negative, stop, realize this and try to disprove the negative thought. After wading through a couple of hundred pages, this pessimist felt duly brow-beaten. Upon finally reaching the sections suggesting how to change that thinking, I found them perfunctory and wholly without any of the scientific and statistical proof that filled the first 80% of the book. The title oversells the book and I can't for the life of me figure out how the other reviewers could laud this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the cornerstones of my Emotional Intelligence (EQ) coaching. Optimism is, in fact, the facilitator of all the Emotional Intelligence competencies, and what allows us to fulfill our potential, and -- according to Seligman's research -- live longer, healthier, happier lives. Dr. Seligman gives clear, plain English instructions. He presents his theory and all his many years of research, builds the case, marshals his argument, and will leave you not only convinced that optimists have better lives and that you can learn it, but eager to begin the process. And he tells you exactly what to do! I've seen it change the life of a many a coaching client. 'Great book' is an understatement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This reprint edition of the original book is still good. It is based on research and theory by Dr. Seligman and other psychologists during the 1980s and earlier decades. So of course it is not up to date about the 1990s research findings limiting the benefits of optimism and demonstrating (for some people) the adaptive value of constructive pessimism. And the original optimistic bias of the American 'positive psychology' movement is now recognized by scholars such as Ed Chang to have been an overly one-sided, and thus unbalanced, theory. A good, very recent book with the new research and theory is "The Positive Power of Negative Thinking" by Julie Norem. Optimism is 51% effective, but for at least 33% of people it is a less adaptive strategy than constructive pessimism. No one-size-fits-all theory of psychological health works for human beings because individual and cultural differences are the real key. Everyone can benefit from looking at both sides of the optimism--pessimism dynamic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is probably the first 'self-improvement' book that I've devoured from cover to cover; I couldn't wait to read more. Seligman's book makes complete sense. It's all so logical and easy to understand. This is also the first book that's made me want to do the exercises in it. Previous books, I'd skim the exercises and not really participate. This one compelled me to try out the examples. Not only that, but I'm already putting the ideas to work in my real life. I highly suggest this book - for pessimists and optimists alike!