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Extended Audio Sample Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life Audiobook, by Martin  E. P. Seligman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,769 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martin E. P. Seligman Narrator: Martin E. P. Seligman Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 1991 ISBN: 9780743519229
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Dr. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in cognitive psychology and motivational research, tells you how to identify your own self-defeating thought patterns -- and how to harness the powers of your conscious mind to break those patterns.

ARE YOU HOLDING YOURSELF BACK?

Without knowing it, most of us impose limits on our achievement and our happiness by approaching life's problems and challenges with unnecessary pessimism.

The Science of Personal Control

Based on years of rigorous research, Learned Optimism examines the importance of "explanatory style" -- the way in which we explain our problems and setbacks to ourselves -- and offers a series of exercises that will help you target unhealthy habits of pessimistic thinking and bring them under your control. More powerful and pragmatic than a simple program of positive thinking, Dr. Seligman's principles of reasoned, flexible optimism will help you:

* Attain maximum personal achievement

* Avoid feelings of helplessness and depression

* Develop a hopeful, healthy outlook


"A Marvelous Achievement!

Learned Optimism blends hard-edged science with practical advice to give us an understanding of how we hold ourselves back and how we can change for the better."

-- Dr. Wayne Dyer
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Quotes & Awards

  • “A marvelous achievement! Learned Optimism blends hard-edged science with practical advice to give us an understanding of how we hold ourselves back and how we can change for the better.”

    Dr. Wayne Dyer, New York Times bestselling author of Wishes Fulfilled

  • “An absolute must-read for all persons interested in genuinely understanding and helping our fellow human beings.”

    Dr. Robert H. Schuller, New York Times bestselling author of Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!

  • “Vaulted me out of my funk…so, fellow moderate pessimists, go buy this book.”

    New York Times

  • “A system for reforming the most entrenched pessimist.”

    Philadelphia Daily News

  • “A lively, very accessible book on the power of a positive outlook and how to develop it…Presented for lay readers, this book can be highly recommended to professionals as well for its lucid and informative introduction to cognitive therapy and its approach to issues of mood and depression.”

    Library Journal

  • “Offer[s] a program that anyone can use to conquer depression.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maile | 2/19/2014

    " I realyl wanted to like this one, but it just didn't connect for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Chernivsky | 2/17/2014

    " I think this book was written for me! I wish someone would have taught me about this when I was 10. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marge | 2/16/2014

    " Even though this book has been around several years and often heard it referreed to, I never thought it was important enought to read. I knew I was a pessimist, but didn't realize how much that has impacted my life. There are many treasures in this book and whether you want to improve the way you react for work or just living or for helping your children be optimists, it is a must read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting and Practical book. I heard a motivational speaker use material from this book. It was a good review of the benefits from optimism and how to change pessimistic thoughts. Easy to skim through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika | 2/4/2014

    " Still doesn't make much sense to me to explain positive events in exactly the opposite way one explains negative events, (wouldn't it seem more rational to believe all events are transient, specific and largely externalized?) but there's some really useful stuff here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven Roosa | 2/4/2014

    " An engaging, evidence-based narrative explaining how pessimism and optimism shape peoples' lives in unexpected and profound ways. The book explains the mechanisms at work and offers proven strategies for the adventurous reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kimberly | 1/25/2014

    " I enjoy reading books by Dr Seligman but I think this one was my favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Loyd | 1/24/2014

    " I read this book as it seemed overwhelming to process not-so-wonderful changes at NASA and within our own organization. As leaders we are obligated to at least paint an objective picture of change. What I found was some helpful advice, but ultimately not much that changed my outlook. It turns out that Seligman recommends retaining a certain amount of pessimism in occupations that must guard against the most consequential failures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 1/23/2014

    " I read this book as part of a work project to build a more positive team atmosphere. It didn't really fit for work, but it was a good personal growth book. I liked that the author explains the scientific aspect behind how he came up with his theory. And the answer to learning to be an optimist was incredibly simple, so it's applicable for everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Subashish Bose | 1/18/2014

    " I am a big fan of Martin Seligman's works, and his way of going deep down into the minds of human to explain the basics. He has vast experience on this field and from that comes a deep insight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/5/2014

    " I thinking about optimism will help you to be optimistic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christina Hibbert | 1/3/2014

    " Excellent research and principles on the power of optimism. Encourages you to believe you too can learn to be an optimist! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tina Hatch | 11/12/2013

    " Fingers crossed... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah | 11/11/2013

    " For a book about optimism, this sure had a negative tone to it. What I got out of what I did read: optimism is vital for success and happiness. You can learn to be optimistic. The way to tell if you are optimistic is how you handle it when things go wrong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 10/12/2013

    " Interesting ways to have that little voice in your head tell you positive things, rather than negative things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Veiko Vettik | 9/25/2013

    " Quite deep study into optimism and pessimism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Axbey | 7/21/2013

    " I began to lose hope that there would be tools for learning optimism (see what I did there) about two thirds through. Can't fault the author for wanting to back up his findings and methods with research, but still, the "how-to" bit of the book takes maybe 50 pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merri Su | 6/14/2013

    " One big reason I liked this book was his extensive descriptions about the research he'd done on optimism, since I decided to do a project for my Kinesiology class on exercise and optimism. The "meat" of the book (the techniques to actually learn optimism) don't show up until the last four chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Smh624 | 4/10/2013

    " I very interesting book with very important information about dealing with depression. I highly recommend reading if you have ever battled dark thoughts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 10/23/2012

    " I like self-help books that have a scientific backing. This book really helped clarify for me what optimism is and why its valuable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 7/11/2012

    " very well written and interesting. though the middle chapters explaining optimism in different settings can be skimmed because they all say the same thing...positive people do better. his techniques do work well. as a therapist i have used them for several years with success. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Weidinger | 11/21/2011

    " habits of thinking, temporary, in canoe of life on stream, pessimist gives up quickly, recognize and observe mood and inclinations, hopeful, persistent, actionable, measurable outcomes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 10/31/2011

    " So far, LOVING this book - Marty Seligman just makes sense. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bailey Olfert | 9/21/2011

    " Much of this book is interesting, but it promises more than it delivers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joseph Wendel | 9/8/2011

    " had to read it for work. There were some interesting things in this book; it turned out to be a better read than the cover/genre would suggest. Still, to buy any of it you really have to be drinking the kool-aid. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 5/16/2011

    " I know it's pop psychology, but I find his concept of " explanatory style" applies very well to teaching. Scientific studies integrated with anecdotal examples. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janice | 5/12/2011

    " So far so good. I like it alot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mansour | 5/12/2011

    " Not as I expected, It's full of experiments rather than advices and techniques.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stasha | 5/5/2011

    " An interesting technique for releasing the negativity in your thoughts. I would like to have seen some data and study results to back up some of the statements they made. I can see where rumination on the negative makes people annoying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 1/1/2011

    " I wonderful, educational work about self-improvement in an epidemic of negativity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 11/14/2010

    " Pretty good little book, more concepts of positive change. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 9/13/2010

    " A bit repetitive at points, but still has very useful info on how to gauge your own optimism/pessimism level and why it is important. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 6/30/2010

    " amazing book - i highly recommed it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridgett | 6/25/2010

    " I learned about ways I can think through my negative thoughts and emotions and focus more on the positive and how I can control my life. I didn't agree with everything said about depression or individualism, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Xavier | 6/9/2010

    " I consider myself an optimist and didn't think I'd get much out of this book. While a lot of it was revision, it had a wealth of good techniques and codified a lot of things I only knew instinctively. Also contains some amazing research that has gone into explanatory style. "

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About the Author

Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD, the Robert A. Fox professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, works on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, ethnopolitical conflict, and optimism. His work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He is the director of the Positive Psychology Network and scientific director of Foresight, Inc., a testing company that predicts success in various walks of life. He was the director of the Clinical Training Program of the University of Pennsylvania for fourteen years and was named a distinguished practitioner by the National Academies of Practice. In 1995, he received the Pennsylvania Psychological Associations award for Distinguished Contributions to Science and Practice.