Learned Optimism: Change your Mind, and Your Life by Martin Seligman

You always have a choice to be pessimistic or optimistic.

In this episode, I am going to talk about a book called “Learned Optimism”, by Michael Seligman, one of the founders of the positive psychology revolution which aims to help people become better through psychology as opposed to just fixing problems.

The book talks about the difference between optimistic and pessimistic people including the problems and health issues they face.

The author talks about how we can learn to be more optimistic in our everyday lives through the ABC technique and the Explanatory Styles theory.

YOU can take these concepts and apply them to YOUR business, career, life, and even English learning. Listen and learn how to become more optimistic in life!

The Main Points

  • The Explanatory Styles theory is how we explain negative or difficult situations to ourselves, the way we do this causes us to become either optimistic or pessimistic and both have many consequences.
  • You can use the ABC technique (A: adversity, B: belief, C: consequence) if you find yourself being too negative or too pessimistic.
  • In order to use the ABC technique, we need to catch our thoughts, pay attention to how we feel, and look at past experiences to see how we reacted in certain situations.
  • Stop thinking that problems are going to last forever
  • Optimism can be learned
  • You need to be balanced in life, you cannot be unrealistic (e.g: being overly optimistic vice versa) and never see the reality of things.

The Vocab & Expressions

  • Optimism: a feeling or belief that good things will happen in the future : a feeling or belief that what you hope for will happen
  • Pessimism: a feeling or belief that bad things will happen in the future : a feeling or belief that what you hope for will not happen.
  • Learned Helplessness: a condition in which a person suffers from a sense of powerlessness, arising from a traumatic event or persistent failure to succeed. It is thought to be one of the underlying causes of depression.
  • To suck: to be bad at something, e.g: I suck at baseball or I suck at baking.
  • Cold calls: an unsolicited call (usually to someone) by means of telephone or in person in an attempt to sell goods and or services.
  • To bother: the worry, disturb or upset someone by means of negative news or events.
  • Adversity: difficulties, misfortune. A condition marked by misfortune, calamity or distress.
  • To slack off: the act of being slow, or not doing anything

Buy the digital book!

The Joke

What do you call a motorcycle that laughs a lot? You call it a … Yamahaha!
*YamaHAHA   We use “HAHA” to represent laughing, which is the last two letters of YamaHA.


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