Learned Optimism

Reginald Braithwaite talked about a book called “Learned Optimism,” by Dr. Martin Seligman. Sounds interesting.

When we explain something that happened to us, it’s usually in terms of
– Personal vs. Impersonal
– Specific vs. General
– Temporary vs. Permanent

Pessimists tend to explain bad things as being personal, general, and permanent, while explain away the good things as being impersonal, specific, and temporary.

I am always bad at doing just about everything.
That project for team A is just a one-time win.

Optimists tend to explain in the opposite ways: explain good things as being personal, general, and permanent, while explain away the bad things as being impersonal, specific, and temporary.

I am always good at solving puzzles.
That bug for project A will be fixed in a day or two.

Reginald concluded: Changing your explanations through repetition and consistency, changes your life: You become happier and more productive.

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