Monday, July 21, 2008

Learning Optimism

Tonight as I perused the latest Reader's Digest, this quote grabbed my attention, "jamming, like life itself, isn't about perfection but about playing through your mistakes and trusting that you'll get back on track if you just keep up the rythm." So said David Hochman in, "Music Man" on learning to play the mandolin.

It echos something I wrote in my journal this morning. "I can choose to be positive and keep trying and learning--something good is bound to happen if I do." I had been journaling my thoughts about my job. Up till then my musings had been quite pessimistic. But when I wrote this it felt like a breakthrough, because I actually believed it!

I felt energized and hopeful after that and was able to start working on a particularly difficult report that I didn't think I could do. I kept going on it and am nearly done now.

Last year I found a book called “Learned Optimism, How to Change Your Mind and Your Life” by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D. Since then I’ve tried to put his ideas into practice to help me learn to become more optimistic. Pessimism has been such a habit for so long, that sometimes it feels like uphill work. But this was an encouragement. I am learning.

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