Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Book Review: Sunday, December 29, 2013: Learned Optimism

As Madame L mentioned when writing about the weird word "rumination," she has been reading "Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life," by Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.

BTW, Madame L is not as impressed with Dr. Seligman's doctorate as he apparently is. Madame L places exactly as much value on a book written by someone without the advanced degree as on one written by a doctor of philosophy. In fact, Madame L notes here that Dr. Seligman's Ph.D. seems to have made him think he has to write more and more words, include more and more details, fill up the pages with statistics and study results...

...when all he had to do was write, "Yes, it's true, optimistic people are happier and more successful in business, friendships, and life in general; and you, too, even if you've learned some pessimistic habits, can learn to be optimistic, happier, and more successful."

Madame L is really glad she didn't pay much for this book because that's really all there is to it. She got it used at a garage sale or thrift shop or some such place, and skimmed through it lickety-split.

And, because she thinks exactly that highly of the book, she hereby offers to give (not loan, but GIVE!) her copy of the book to any of her Dear Readers who would like to skim through it, too. Just write a comment below or send Madame L an email if you're interested.

In addition, Madame L would love to hear what any of her Dear Readers, or their dogs, cats, and/or parrots have to say about taking a happier and more optimistic approach to life. (Or their fish, if they have fish, and if said fish have learned the secret to fish happiness and have shared it with them.)

Here's Mada's three-step approach to a happy and successful life:

Mada could have a Ph.D. in happiness and human relations if he really wanted one.
1. Squawk every morning as soon as you wake up, and frequently throughout the day, so your humans will know you're there. (They need to know you're there so they'll feed you and give you clean water. And they'll forget about you unless you squawk.)

2. Make cute little clicking noises and let your humans scratch your head a couple of times each day, so they'll keep loving you, so they'll come and feed you when you squawk, instead of yelling back at you. (They need to be reminded constantly of how cute and cuddly you are because they're frankly not all that bright.)

3. When your humans offer you food that you don't particularly like, accept it graciously in your beak before dropping it on the floor. That way they'll think you're polite as well as cute. (They need to realize you're smart, too, but you don't need to let them know you're way smarter than they are.)

2 comments:

Jeff Wynn said...

Whatcha implyin' hear - dat a PhD DOAN mean I ain't iggerunt?

PS: Mada and Carly are smart enough to figure out not only how to be polite, and how to control their humans, but also how to let themselves out of their cages if they darn well feel like it...
~~~~~

Laura said...

Animals are the best examples I have for optimism, intelligence, forgiveness, charity, non-judgemental-ness, and overall humanity.