My Review of “Learned Optimism”: 5 Stars
Really interesting! I read this in installments over months because I lent it out when I wasn’t finished with it, but Seligman makes the simple but profound point that a lot of “depression” is borne out of our individualistic culture. Real “purpose” is found in living for something bigger than ourselves. Assuming depression is not physiologic (and most of it isn’t), his prescription is to 1) change the way you’re thinking, and 2) go out and do something for someone else. Give money away. Volunteer. He calls it “moral exercise” — in the same way that jogging isn’t fun for someone who’s out of shape, but he knows he needs to do it for his own good, selflessness isn’t fun either… but it’s just as necessary for long-term health and joy.