Wandering Into Wisdom

This blog chronicles the knowledge, insight and wisdom I encounter every day as a leadership consultant, executive coach, educator, father, friend and citizen. This site is dedicated to my father, Louis (Jack) Laughlin, who passed on to me an appreciation for wisdom. A special thanks to my friend Isaac Cheifetz, a businessman and journalist, who helped me understand the value of blogs and encouraged me to write one.

Personality or Prison*

Experts disagree on how much of personality is genetic but they all acknowledge that a significant portion is formed by our environment and under our control. Our personality is certainly not a prison. Martin Seligman did research comparing optimistic and pessimistic personalities and discovered three areas where optimists perceive things differently than pessimists.

Permanence, see negative situations as temporary
Personalization, focus on outside forces that contribute to failures
Pervasiveness, narrowly view a problem’s impact on the rest of life

Seligman proposes that an individual can become more optimistic by choosing to look at their situation like an optimist. His research also correlates an optimistic orientation to higher levels of success in performance based activities. It certainly couldn't hurt.

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