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Learn the key ideas of the book by Martin E. P. Seligman

Learned Optimism

Improve your life through optimistic thinking

Optimism and pessimism are two opposite ways of looking at life. Pessimists are more inclined to become depressed and tend to have poorer physical health and less professional success than optimists. “Learning Optimism”, by Martin E.P. Seligman, allows us to understand whether we have any pessimistic tendencies and offers us some simple, tried and tested techniques to free ourselves from the grip of pessimism and avert the risk of sinking into a deep depression.

Learned Optimism
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Many useful tips to:

  • Learn to face adversity with optimism.
  • Find the strength to persevere instead of giving up when things get hard.
  • Reduce the risk of falling into depression.
  • Be more effective and accomplished at work.
  • Enjoy greater psychophysical well-being.

The author of the book:

Martin E. P. Seligman (New York, 1942) is a psychologist and essay writer, considered the founder of positive psychology, he is dedicated to the study of personal well-being linked to quality of life. He is a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and was director of the clinical training program in the university’s psychology department. He also held the position of President of the American Psychological Association (APA), in the Division of Clinical Psychology, having been elected in 1998 with the highest majority of votes in the history of the association. Seligman is the author of bestsellers including “How to Raise an Optimistic Child” and “Building Happiness”. He is an avid bridge player.


Optimism and pessimism: two opposite ways of looking at life

When faced with the adversities of life, pessimists tend to believe that negative events last a long time, destroy everything and are their own fault. Conversely, optimists think of misfortune as a temporary event caused by specific circumstances. For optimistic individuals, failure is not a consequence of their own mistakes, but of circumstances, of bad luck or of someone else’s actions. For this reason, unlike the pessimists, optimists are not discouraged after a loss or defeat and they see a negative situation as a challenge or an obstacle to be overcome. The good news is that pessimism can be avoided: pessimists can in fact learn to be optimists by learning a new set of cognitive skills. This book will help you discover your own pessimistic tendencies and present some tried and tested techniques from the field of cognitive psychology to help free you from the grip of pessimism and avert the risk of falling into depression.


The key ideas of "Learned Optimism"

Optimism and pessimism: two opposite ways of looking at life
Helplessness, the underlying psychological state of pessimism
The theory of personal control: learned helplessness and explanatory style
The three crucial dimensions of explanatory style: permanence, pervasiveness and personalisation
Pessimism and rumination: the formula for depression
The age of the self and the benefits of learned optimism for psychophysical well-being and job success
From pessimism to optimism with cognitive therapy
The role of pessimism: to bring us back to reality
Take-home message

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