Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., 5/5
Life-changing, thought-provoking, fascinating, insightful, convicting–it’s hard to write a review of this book that doesn’t sound super clichéd. Starting with a chillingly relatable description of “learned helplessness,” Seligman then explores the characteristics of pessimistic vs optimistic interpretations of events, makes a compelling (but not naive or condescending) case for optimism and provides a simple approach for changing pessimistic thinking patterns.
Usually, I would try to summarize an impactful point or two for future recollection, but it’s difficult, in this case, because there was so much helpful info that I feel like it would be more useful to simply re-read the book if my memory fades. Also, I don’t want my own summary of the concepts to taint their potential novelty for other readers.
Now, for the answer to the million-dollar question: yes, I am a moderate pessimist (but also, triumphantly, more of a realist than optimists are).
Why I read it: I was intrigued by Stephen Kotler’s mention of it in his book The Art of Impossible.