In 1990, Martin Seligman released his groundbreaking book, Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. I have occasionally been accused of behaving Pollyannaish or overly optimistic, his work is of interest to me. If you have ever wondered if you lean towards optimism, which in itself is a great way to relieve stress; or if you lean towards pessimism, which is an effective way to increase stress, I encourage you to read on. [Read more…]
Last November I attended a pricey, Rah! Rah! event led by well-known motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. I had long admired his writing such as Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within. I imagined the experience might deepen my work in strengthening emotional resilience. And after all, Oprah had attended one of his seminars. Just to clarify, the event I attended did not include his famous fire-walk.
Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, studied how pessimists tend to internalize responsibility when circumstances are negative. They tend to think they are worthless, talentless, and unlovable. They say things like, “I’m stupid. It’s all my fault.” They tend to blame others or circumstances outside themselves thinking, “They are so stupid; they don’t know a good thing when they see it.” In contrast, the danger of extreme optimism is the tendency to avoid responsibility for one’s part in an unsuccessful event. However, pessimists’ tendency to regularly and inappropriately accept responsibility is a sure formula for depression.