Improve Your Well-being

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

I am not one to read self-improvement books. Since Learned Optimism, by Martin E.P. Seligman, considers itself to be a psychological study it seemed fair to give it a shot. The author spends three-quarters of the book defending his view about the reasons optimistic people are more successful compared to pessimistic people. The last part of the book is explaining how to change one’s mind to be more optimistic.  He does have interesting data, and my time working in retail saw how great optimists are at working in sales.

Though the author spends most of the book discussing his research and proof and concept, he does not spend many pages about why it might not be good to be an optimist. He briefly discusses the careers necessary to have people who live with realistic expectations. He also mentions how it is quite possible to be too optimistic and live in a land of rainbows and unicorns.  Other than that, it was a pleasure to read his anecdotes and discussions about the way we view the world and how it may affects a person’s well-being.

Other books on similar topics available at the library include:

Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, by Martin E.P. Seligman

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck.

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, by Tom Rath, Jim Harter

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