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
About two-thirds of this book is a psychological discussion of pessimism, optimism, learned helplessness (giving up because you feel unable to change things), explanatory style (how you habitually explain to yourself why events happen), and depression, and how these affect success, health, and quality of life. Seligman supports his points with animal research and human cases. He includes tests for you and your child--whose achievement may be related more to his or her level of optimism/pessimism than ability. The final chapters teach the skills of changing from pessimism to optimism, with worksheet pages to guide you and your child. --Joan Price