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Learned Optimism

Learned Optimism


Learned Optimism

ratings:
4/5 (171 ratings)
Length:
1 hour
Released:
Feb 1, 1991
ISBN:
9780743519229
Format:
Audiobook

Description

ARE YOU HOLDING YOURSELF BACK?
Without knowing it, most of us impose limits on our achievement and our happiness by approaching life's problems and challenges with unnecessary pessimism. Now, 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.
The Science of Personal Control
Based on years of rigorous research, Learned Optimism examines the importance of "explanatory style" -- the way in which we explain our problems and setbacks to ourselves -- and offers a series of exercises that will help you target unhealthy habits of pessimistic thinking and bring them under your control. More powerful and pragmatic than a simple program of positive thinking, Dr. Seligman's principles of reasoned, flexible optimism will help you:
* Attain maximum personal achievement
* Avoid feelings of helplessness and depression
* Develop a hopeful, healthy outlook

"A Marvelous Achievement!
Learned Optimism blends hard-edged science with practical advice to give us an understanding of how we hold ourselves back and how we can change for the better."
-- Dr. Wayne Dyer
Released:
Feb 1, 1991
ISBN:
9780743519229
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books, including Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness. He is past president of the American Psychological Association as well as the division of clinical psychology of the American Psychological Association, and former director of clinical training in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.


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What people think about Learned Optimism

4.1
171 ratings / 25 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    Is the glass half empty or half full? Seligman attempts to provide tools to help change the habitual pessimistic self talk to something that's more realistic and hopeful. I found the included test hard to follow as they asked us to analyze the answers.
  • (4/5)
    great audio book. recommend. may i be optimistic after this
  • (4/5)
    Definitely worth reading . doesn't hurt to get that reinforcement about the importance of being optimistic even under the worst of conditions and that makes a person do better all around.
  • (5/5)
    Un audiolibro muy útil con consejos prácticos y efectivos para combatir el pesimismo. Muy recomendable.
  • (5/5)
    Thought provoking.

    A useful acronym is: NVS

    N - permaNance. Optimistic people believe bad events to be more temporary than permanent and bounce back quickly from failure,

    V - perVasiveness. Optimistic people don’t assume that failure in one area of life means failure in life as a whole.

    S - personaliSation. Optimists blame bad events on causes outside of themselves rather than on themselves per se.
  • (3/5)
    point to an important mintal skill that is beneficial to acquire it.
  • (3/5)
    I expected much more. It is not the powerful lifting book I expected. Most books I feel the need to go back re listen hear again to re assess its impact on my perspective. But it didn't it was not motivational. I hope others find it in a different light than I did.
  • (4/5)
    Great listen, a lot of basic concepts but will work if you put it in practice
  • (4/5)
    I think this book can be very helpful if you put in the work required.

    How can I access the accompanying documents that are referred to in the audiobook?
  • (4/5)
    Excited to experiment with these techniques. This is worth a second listen
  • (4/5)
    I've been fascinated with happiness in the last five years, so it seems obvious that this book, now considered a classic in the field, would be a book I should read. And now that I have, I must say that I agree with the crown that has been placed upon this book's head; it's a worthy read for anyone interested in happiness. I took away from it a paradoxical and disquieting idea: the happiest people are the most optimistic, but fail again and again to see the dark truths in life, while the unhappiest people are able to see and act on the grimmer life truths yet suffer deeply from the sadnesses that looking at reality brings. What do you do with that?Seligman encourages us to use optimism in most everyday situations, to keep us buoyed up, to face the daily difficulties of life, but to weigh in with realism in situations that could endanger our physical existences.I have heard that Seligman has a new edition of this book (this is a library book, copyright 1991) which I probably need to seek out. I am also interested in reading his book entitled Flourish.
  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The book takes the listener through a process to enable one to become more positive .
    Part of the process i a questionnaire which should be given to the listener.
    Without this, nothing can be accomplished.
    Can you please provide this.
    Thank You
    Marlene

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Inadequate. Clearly there's aspects that are only in the print version, so this was a waste of my time.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    I learned, in reading this book, that I am a pessimist. This came as news to me, since I'd always thought of myself as an optimist. But optimism - at least not as Seligman defines it - is not a soft-focus view of the world, where you believe that if you just do the right thing, everything will work out in due time. (That's magical thinking - something Seligman addresses without naming it. I learned an expensive lesson in thinking this way in grad school.) I come from a family of pessimists, so I wasn't even aware I thought this way. It's amazing how unchallenged thoughts can guide a person's life.

    But this book hit so many points for me: the churning, negative thoughts that never let me alone, the failures that haunt me at four o'clock in the morning, the way I can blow minor issues completely out of proportion, the way I can make the fear of failure a self-fulfilling prophesy, the way I can give up or collapse internally when things go wrong. Oh, and the way I internalize criticism and make it permanent inside me, like a stone. Oh, I've done all these things, and more, which makes me realize I'm a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist. (I'm now wincing at the amount of time I spent on a barstool in my twenties, regaling my problems to friends and anyone else who would listen. But it's nice to finally put a name to the feeling.)

    These things are universal. Every adult goes through them. I've had to learn the hard way that a big factor in deciding whether you fail or succeed is how you talk to yourself, especially when things go wrong. This is a good book to read if you're one of those people who frequently needs friends and relatives to "talk you down from the ledge." You can build the skill of thinking optimistically yourself, without putting that burden on other people - AND without discounting some of the very real benefits of pessimism.

    In other words, Seligman doesn't define optimism as high self-esteem, or the power of positive thinking, or any nonsense. It's really just correcting a disordered way of thinking - all of the negative beliefs a person can hold without challenging them. If it came from you, it must be true, right? WRONG. So wrong. Say you want to write a novel. If writing a novel seems shrouded in mystery, if you have a deep pessimism that you can never hold back the curtain in writing it, you'll fulfill that prophesy. You'll get the same results as if you really didn't have the ability. Either you'll give up somewhere along the way, or you'll write a crappy book.

    Optimism is endurance. That's all. This book can give you some tools for retraining.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Published in 1990, Learned Optimism warned of an epidemic increase in depressive mental illness. A quick Google search suggests that this epidemic increase continues, at least in western industrialised cultures. Seligman provides a half-baked evolutionary explanation for the modern epidemic. Depression in those who suffer from the condition, correlates with pessimism. When human existence was nasty brutal and short, pessimism served us well. Pessimists, to give them their due, usually have a more secure hold on reality than optimists. Seligman speculates that our ancestors, who ‘survived the Pleistocene may have done so because they had the capacity to worry incessantly about the future’. Now it is different. The enormous expansion of human freedoms and choices encourages a deleterious tendency to inward reflection on our extended sense of ourselves, the ‘maximal self’ in Seligman’s terminology. Pessimism, allied with a ‘ruminant’ style of thinking can quickly lead to depressive mental illness. Women, who are far more likely to explore their feelings, are in consequence far more likely than men to suffer depression. This is crude and brutal theorisation but perhaps one should not expect more of a self help manual. Fortunately there are two cures for the debilitating scourge of pessimism and its depressive sequel. The first is the cultivation of habits of thought that Seligman calls ‘learned optimism’. Surveys suggest that optimists live longer, happier, healthier and more successful lives than pessimists. It is quite possible that Seligman is correct in his prescription, though more recent research does not seem to support his hopes that optimism cures cancer. Learned Optimism concludes with a more visionary alternative. Reduce the preoccupation with the maximal self and learn altruism instead. Seligman calls it ‘moral jogging’, the triteness of the slogan grates, but it masks an inspiring programme of self transformation. (To be continues)
  • (1/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    This audiobook is heavily dependent on a written test included on a card, in the box that comes with a cassette version of this product. Of course there is no card.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    3 people found this helpful

    Short but super practical. When it says to do the quiz, you can easily Google it.

    3 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This seems great, and has a few good exercises right in the first couple chapters. But unless I'm mistaken it's only two chapters? I was under the impression this was a full audiobook, so like 10 hours long. Apparently not.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    "What is crucial is what you think when you fail, using the power of 'non-negative thinking.' Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience the setbacks that life deals all of us is the central skill of optimism."

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    An approach to living your life, particularly when faced with adversity. Presented in a lucid, well balanced way with examples that provide clarity to using this concept.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    A bit repetitive at points, but still has very useful info on how to gauge your own optimism/pessimism level and why it is important.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    A good book that highlights the roles optimism/pessimism play in people's lives. It has some techniques to change from pessimism to optimism none of them earth shattering - just common sense basically arguing with yourself in favor of yourself. Some interesting studies are quoted and also a few references to psycho-history from the Asimov Foundation series which I thought was great as this is a favorite of mine. Worth a read.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Be an optimist and you can outperform pessimists. More money, more success, better health; just blame others for your failures and perservere. Science proves it. A much better writer than Beck, Seligman is also more moral than Zimbardo, but Seligman is one of the reasons that we have institutional review boards. But then, what would you expect from a Phillies fan.
  • (5/5)
    Some people wear a lot of their emotions on their sleeve; so transparent that it can be funny. Some people are like a bank vault, buried deep and difficult to break without a magic key. Rose, the narrator, of this amazing book, has a gift – the ability to discern feelings from food. The idea is simple, the person making the food cannot help but fill their emotion into what they are cooking and Rose cannot help but taste it. She can taste it in her mother’s lemon cake, the school cafeteria’s pizza, factory made bread, and in virtually everything that is made by a person. She can tell where a tomato is grown, the care put in to the harvesting, how the workers are treated. She can taste pain, grief, longing, and happiness.To add to the mix of this “gift”, Rose is often the forgotten child: a difficult, but smart, older brother, an absent mother, and a father that tries to show love, but often forgets how. Rose is brave, ingenious, and one of my favorite characters of all time. I truly loved this story. I don't think I'd agree with the other reviews, in adding the "bizarre" label to this book, I thought it was thoughtful and creative. Beautiful!
  • (5/5)
    Seligman's lifelong professional interest has focused on helplessness and its relationship to pessimism, depression, anxiety and self-esteem After many studies and controlled experiments, he designed a "system" which he calls learned optimism, which basically provides a structure so that one can actually assess the reality of one's situation, be it a seething anger regarding a co-worker, or an overall sense of failure. Two chapters of the book are devoted to this system which is easy to learn, to use and consistently helps one through internal and external tangled webs of sticky negativism. I first used the "system" 15 years ago, and since then it has been a tonic for me whenever I slip into muddled thinking. I highly recommend this book.