Breaking Murphy's Law: How Optimists Get What They Want from Life - and Pessimists Can Too

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Guilford Press, Mar 18, 2011 - Psychology - 232 pages
2 Reviews

Pollyannas take heart, pessimists take note: Recent studies on achievement and well-being show that optimistic behavior contributes to better physical health, greater resilience in the face of life’s twists and turns, and more satisfying relationships. As psychologists Suzanne Segerstrom reveals, optimists lay groundwork for the success they envision. While the rest of us worry whether our goals are attainable, those who practice optimism try to achieve theirs. Breaking Murphy’s Law shows you simple ways to develop the skills that natural-born optimists use to get what they want from life. Dr. Segerstrom helps you break free from the inertia of cynicism and self-doubt and encourages you to engage the world around you. “Doing optimism”--by getting involved, working hard, and enjoying your achievements--establishes a positive feedback loop that’s both personally transformative and self-perpetuating. This practical book imparts the lesson with a mix of humor and intelligence that will convince even the most hardened cynics that Murphy got it wrong.


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User Review  - DaveShearon - LibraryThing

Dr. Segerstrom focuses on future-oriented optimism --thinking more good things than bad things will happen to you in the future. This is the Carver & Scheier model of optimism. "The first rule of doing optimism is pursuing goals." Read full review

Fun to read & generates optimism!

User Review  - sullivanj11 -

Makes the case for actionbehavior characteristic of someone who is optimistic rather than focusing merely on thoughts and affirmations. Shows how optimists have goals and work longer and more ... Read full review


The Optimistic Character
Optimists and Their Goals
Optimists and Their Resources
Optimists and Their Relationships
The Optimistic Character Revisited
Optimists Pessimists and Their Potential for Change
Confessions of a Reluctant Optimist

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About the author (2011)

Suzanne C. Segerstrom, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. She has conducted extensive research on the relationship between optimism and well-being. Dr. Segerstrom's work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Norman Cousins Program, and the Dana Foundation. She is also a winner of the prestigious Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, awarded in recognition of her work on optimism. She lives near Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband and their dogs.

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