Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman – Animation

Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman – Animation

Imagine you take two dogs
and put them in two different areas… You shock the first dog
and you give him an option to escape. He tries to escape, he’s successful,
and he gets away from the shocks. The second dog however,
you put in a place where no matter what he does,
he cannot escape the shocks. He soon figures out that there’s nothing he
can do, he gives up,
and he’ll just sit there and accept the shocks. Now you take these two dogs and put them in
two new areas again, but this time they can both escape.
The first dog, who had learned that he was able to escape,
will get out of there like usual. But the second dog will just lay there and
accept the shocks, even though in this new environment he could
just escape. This is what is known as learned helplessness,
and you probably know people who act like the helpless dog. The opposite of this is learned optimism.
Learned Optimism is basically the idea that you can learn to be optimistic, and positive,
and happy. You can cultivate these things.
And this is exactly what Seligman was trying to do,
by running a workshop. The results of the workshop were promising…
Thirty-two percent of the students in the control group
had a moderate to severe episode of depression in contrast to 22 percent of the group that
was in the workshop. Also… 15 percent of the controls
had an episode of generalized anxiety disorder versus only 7 percent of people who took the
workshop. They also found that it was the change from
pessimism to optimism that caused the prevention of depression and
anxiety. And these studies are great,
but even when I look at my own life, happiness, positivity, optimism…
These are the things that I’ve had to learn and that I have to keep cultivating.
When I was a kid, I hated my life.
I was constantly depressed and anxious. I had suicidal thoughts for the majority of
my childhood. But that’s all gone now and my life just keeps
getting better, but this is something that you need to put
effort into. This is something that can be learned. So now let’s look at the benefits of optimism…
Optimists on average achieve more, have better overall health,
and just lead a more enjoyable life. Pessimists, on the other hand, are more likely
to give up, are more likely to suffer from depression,
and just lead a not really enjoyable life. And the big difference between pessimists
and optimists comes from their explanatory styles about
whether things are permanent, pervasive, and personal… So let’s say you walk up to a girl,
and you just get humiliated and rejected… If you’re a pessimist you’ll think that it’s
permanent: “I’ll never be able to attract a girl.”
If you’re an optimist, you’ll think that it isn’t permanent:
“There are going to be plenty of girls who like me.”
If you’re a pessimist you’ll think that it’s pervasive:
“I’m just not an interesting person.” If you’re an optimist, you’ll think that it
isn’t pervasive: “It was just one isolated situation.
It doesn’t mean that I’m not interesting.” If you’re a pessimist you’ll think that it’s
personal: “I’m ugly. Of course she’s going to humiliate
me.” If you’re an optimist, you’ll think that it
isn’t personal: “Well, she might have been in a bad mood…” And I’ve seen this so many times.
If you have a pessimistic explanatory style, you’re going to have your soul crushed.
Every single friend I’ve had who was good with women
always had an optimistic explanatory style. So optimism is much more helpful to you
than pessimism but you also NEED BALANCE, Just like with everything else, YOU NEED BALANCE…
Otherwise, you can get really delusional and actually end up hurting yourself.
Imagine if you have a really bad business idea
and you’re just a naïve optimist… The business isn’t going anywhere and you
say, “Well, this isn’t permanent…”
And you keep wasting resources on a stupid idea.
You’ve put in six months already and it hasn’t gone anywhere and you say,
“Well, it’s just this part of the project that’s slow,
but the project as a whole is amazing.” Or you try to get support and no one wants
to go along with your terrible idea and you say,
“Well, they were probably just in a bad mood today.” I don’t know if I would call this person
an optimist or just an idiot. The biggest problem with optimism
is when it’s not balanced, because you might end up
not taking responsibility when you need to. So I would absolutely recommend being optimistic
but at the same time balancing it out with pessimism,
or not even pessimism in my opinion, but just simply realism.

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100 Replies to “Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman – Animation”

  1. hello, just wanted to let you know i found youre channel not too long ago, so far i really like it. wishing you all the best

  2. I really like your channel and the themes you're discussing on it, and the kind of presentation you choose is absolutely the best to pack the informations in such a concentrated frame! Keep going:) Looking forward to ur next video

  3. Go and sell posters! Posters of these drawings (the complete picture of a video). This way I can put the poster in my rooms wall and have ideas physically present. And please make sure I can get them outside of USA (I life in Germany).
    Thank you!

  4. I would add that there is probably a more severe root cause problem behind being pessimistic which should be addressed with the help of a psychotherapist. Reading self-help books is good for expanding general knowledge, but mental health will more likely be cured by a specialist.

  5. I thoroughly enjoy your channel probably because it talks about books and now I believe I have watched everything in two days. Thank you.

  6. Wow, I just realized I completely changed to being an optimist looking at this video. When I read this book about 8 years ago I was definitely a pessimist. Retrospectively I think this book has really helped me!

  7. very good insight. I've struggled with overly optimistic athletes. guys that haven't gotten the results but that are also not feeling the hunger that comes with underperforming. balancing with pessimism is a very interesting tool.

  8. I never comment, but I have the need to express my appreciation for the energy and time you put in making these valuable vids. Keep up the great work.

  9. Nice review bro, hope you can get round to reading/reviewing a book on mindfulness (meditation based book) would be awesome! Keep up the good content

  10. As far as experiences with girls goes, I think being aware of your negativity will gradually make space for new, more empowering mindsets to arise. I would advise against forcing yourself to think positively. Maybe it would be good to contemplate impermanence in general earnestly. If you can see with your own eyes that trends fluctuate (in this case your romantic or social stock), then you can make use of solitude when you're down and enjoy others when you're up.

  11. Optimism leads to understanding of God, and once you've come to that understanding, other things define things from there.Optimistic geniuses create artificial intelligence, and it just could be that artificial intelligence turns out to not be as good as you thought it would be ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I was suffering from depression and anxiety for the bigger part of my young adult life. Everyday was harder than the last and I had no idea that kicking my pessimistic attitude could help so much. I'm learning and growing slowly but surely and have felt a feeling of excitement for life that I haven't experienced since I was a young boy. Your videos have paved a path that I would like to follow and work towards to achieving.

  13. How does one determine if they are being optimistic or idiotic? The ability to think in abstract ways, depending on their reasoning power, is key. Some/Many abstract thinkers drove me nuts because they had no concrete basis behind their assertions, yet I was afraid to oppose due to cultural expectations. Others had great ideas yet I felt like they were jumping in blind like everyone else.

  14. Great review! I love how you break down the book in such a clear way. Never read it. Now I am adding it to my must read…. Thank you!

  15. Excellent, the only thing I would suggest is a more optimistic name for the channel, insted of mentioning 'fighting and mediocrity' maybe 'chasing and excellence' , same goal with a more exciting, inviting and optimistic association…

  16. sooo you enslave one set of people support another set of groups and what happens is everything you said

  17. Whenever you find yourself in trouble just remember: "This too shall pass." Internalize this quote and you will never worry again in your life.

  18. Lovely! I like how this video was balanced to the end and recognised the dangers of unregulated optimism. I have trouble with this too sometimes.

  19. awesome! this might help me to encourage myself behind the wheel. (I just got my drive licence 2 months ago and I am still struggling to motivate myself to take out the car from the garage) I'll buy the book! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I recommend taking screenshot for the abstract of this lesson after watching it at 4:25 for later quick review.

    Thanks alot sir for this great video.

  21. 4:10 So be optimistic, and you could end up looking like an idiot anyway.

    Oh well, I'll keep looking. Maybe there is a book or video out there that is designed to pull someone like me out of a hole, instead of hinting at the idea that I might very well be right in keeping myself in there. Best of luck.



  23. I'm an optimist in social interaction but I'm a pessimist in academia or career-related stuff ๐Ÿ™ help me switch it around

  24. A good alternative to balancing out optimism with pessimism is having optimism in the long term. I'm a serial charity entrepreneur, and while I don't have 100% confidence that the charity I'm currently working on will work, I have confidence that a number of charities over my life time will work. That way I can make rational decisions without losing hope and optimism. Basically, there's always a away to look at a situation optimistically and realistically, it's just a matter of thinking creatively.

  25. Hey great video. I also love Positive Psychology, which is why i am here:) I'm curious about the "writing" effects you used in this video, and the animation, is that created by some kind of software that would allow us to create something like this without professional skills, or is it something we have to learn from school? Thank you. I'm working on my first website and this may be useful to me.

  26. So…. how does this work with realisms like: sexism/racism and glass ceilings in the workplace? Both very real parts of life/society, and very real obstacles for some. Any ideas?

  27. hi I really need an answer this is for our thesis can we use learned helplessness in our theoretical framework about practicing gratitude resulting to an optimistic view?

  28. I love your channel, it's incredible. I must say though, the auto tune on your voice is quite unsettling; your voice doesn't need perfect pitch to do a book review.

  29. I enjoy your video. just question on the idiot guy optimise on his business project after 6 month. what about KFC? 1000 + tries before he got it right. what about Edison. I do agree in general but it's more complicated then just 6 month.

  30. I've watched almost all your videos for two days. What a great job you've done! Thank you! Where did you live before moving to USA?

  31. The problem is most pessimists are too scared of looking like the idiot to give optimism a try. They've also fooled themselves into thinking they're a "realist" rather than a pessimist.

  32. The last part has me extremely confused. Someone who falls into the overly optimistic category is an idiot and they need to find balance? But you didn't really give a clear way to steer clear of the overly optimistic trap. Just an example of one specific business scenario.

  33. this is the first review i disliked. this is what i believe: "Being realistic(realism) is the common path the Mediocrity".
    Question: when do give up? Ans: "NEVER !" because u will fail many times when u do something new. if someone has done it before u, then u can do it !

  34. I find it's mostly an attitude of choosing to be buoyant, light hearted…. so much of the media and our culture indeed is overly serious, dire, incendiary, virtue signaling etc etc. It's terrible vibes. It's much wiser and better to take a simple piece of advice like Pooh Bear, and just not take life too seriously, maintain a light heart.
    No matter what. This is real actual wisdom, I find… generally the negative person gets attention – but it's the wrong attention. People who choose to be lighthearted are not glamorous, but are liked more, get things done and are more practical.

  35. Forcing people against their will into prisons is the greatest form of learned helplessness forced upon another.
    Get over your fears: bomb all prisons & free all prisoners.

  36. A perfect example of a pessimist and an optimist is alan and charlie from two and a half men. Ideally it is best to see "reality" but always no matter what be optimistic. Optimistic people literally always win!

  37. I would use the word practicality over realism for those confused or offended. What is practical in your specific life

  38. Life is very short but our expectation is unlimited. My opinion is to be great. If you think so, you would have something a little bit than your expectation. Pessimism is the symbol of ignoring myself. We are supreme creature of God. In order that optimism is the theme song for any person.

  39. the problem in the west is that girls/women think they are all princesses, while they are ugly, rude, fat, manninsh… you could turn gay if you like to get f**d in the ass, or you go to thailand every year for a 2-week fuck all you can holliday and come back as a MAN that you know you are… overthere, you just pay for sex… those girls also don't confuse love & sex, but the lonelty white dude does not know this and sometimes marry a hooker, which a few months later, divorce him & take half of his EVERYTHING… and his balls are cut off by a woman after all… at least, he can learn from this and hopefully saved enough during the year, to have his annual 2 -week sex god (in his mind) trip and fuck all he can, he just pay for it

  40. It is a good book and offers substantive answers for many people who have faulty thinking patterns. If you know someone with depression I cannot recommend this book enough. Thanks


  42. I think you accidentally a description of the workshop. I'm left thinking that it involved shock collars.

  43. Summary for People in a Hurry:
    1. Optimists tend to achieve more, have better overall health, and lead a more enjoyable life.
    2. Pessimists are more likely to give up, suffer from depression, and do not lead a more enjoyable life.
    3. The big difference between Optimists and Pessimists are their Explanatory Styles: Pessimists explain failures, setbacks, and rejection as permanent, pervasive, and personal.
    4. Balance out Optimism with Realism.

  44. 'Learned' Optimism. Whilst you may lean to one or the other by nature, even the most hardcore pessimist (or poor life experienced) can change using, baby steps, quick wins and building challenge and competence. Carol Dweck's Mindset would be a good next step to read and some easy win challenges to begin developing your own self efficacy.

  45. The problem is that reality can frequently be really bleak, so realism can end up more or less the same as pessimism.


  47. I understand the 85% of the people in prison are optimists – they'll never get caught, next time will be different etc. etc. Great video!

  48. The dog experiment is unfair. Of course the dog who gets shocks will stay in the box. That was how he was taught. Un-teaching something you have learnt and is habitual is not as easy to just say, "change your life bro" just like showing the dog there is a door he can escape. Un-learning the bad stuff can be a very long process.

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