It’s a matter of ABC: When we encounter ADVERSITY, we react by thinking about it. Our thoughts rapidly congeal into BELIEFS. These beliefs may become so habitual we don’t even realize we have them unless we stop to focus on them. And they don’t just sit there idly; they have CONSEQUENCES. The beliefs are the direct cause of what we feel and what we do next. They can spell the difference between dejection and giving up, on the one hand, and well-being and constructive action on the other. The first step is to see the connection between adversity, belief, and consequence. The second step is to see how the ABCs operate every day in your own life.
The drive to resist compulsion is more important in wild animals than sex, food, or water. He found that captive white-footed mice spent inordinate time and energy just resisting experimental manipulation. If the experimenters turned the lights up, the mouse spent his time turning them down. If the experimenter turned the lights down, the mouse turned them up. The drive for competence or to resist compulsion is a drive to avoid helplessness.
Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn’t matter.
Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.
Whether or not we have hope depends on two dimensions of our explanatory style; pervasiveness and permanence. Finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope: Temporary causes limit helplessness in time, and specific causes limit helplessness to the original situation. On the other hand, permanent causes produce helplessness far into the future, and universal causes spread helplessness through all your endeavors. Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair… The optimistic style of explaining good events is the opposite of that used for bad events: It’s internal rather than external. People who believe they cause good things tend to like themselves better than people who believe good things come from other people or circumstances.
Topics: People, Believe, Better, Future, Act, Practice, Good, Despair, Learn
Success requires persistence, the ability to not give up in the face of failure. I believe that optimistic explanatory style is the key to persistence.
Topics: Learn, Believe, Fail, Give, Failure, Persistence, Success
I believe that traditional wisdom is incomplete. A composer can have all the talent of Mozart and a passionate desire to succeed, but if he believes he cannot compose music, he will come to nothing. He will not try hard enough. He will give up too soon when the elusive right melody takes too long to materialize.
Topics: Believe, Music, Wisdom, Give, Desire, Talent, Passion, Learn, Try
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Timothy Leary American Psychologist
- B. F. Skinner American Psychologist
- Howard Gardner American Psychologist
- Abraham Maslow American Psychologist
- George W. Crane American Psychologist
- Carl Rogers American Psychologist
- Orval Hobart Mowrer American Psychologist
- Bruno Bettelheim Austrian-born Psychoanalyst
- Erich Fromm German Social Philosopher
- Erik Erikson German-born American Psychoanalyst