Martin Seligman quotes

  • In a society in which individualism is becoming rampant, people more and more believe that they are the center of the world. Such a belief system makes individual failure almost inconsolable.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Believe #People #World

  • The good life consists in deriving happiness by using your signature strengths every day in the main realms of living. The meaningful life adds one more component: using these same strengths to forward knowledge, power, or goodness. A life that does this is pregnant with meaning, and if God comes at the end, such a life is sacred.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Meaningful #Good Life #Signatures

  • Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimist as on the pessimist, but the optimist weathers them better.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Weather #Tragedy #Pessimist

  • Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience the setbacks that life deals all of us is the central skill of optimism.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Skills #Optimism #Deals

  • People who believe they cause good things tend to like themselves better than people who believe good things come from other people or circumstances.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Believe #People #Causes

  • Reaching beyond where you are is really important.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Important #Where You Are #Reaching

  • Well-being cannot exist just in your own head. Well-being is a combination of feeling good as well as actually having meaning, good relationships and accomplishment.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Good Relationship #Accomplishment #Feel Good

  • In your own life, you should take particular care with endings, for their color will forever tinge your memory of the entire relationship and your willingness to reenter it.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Life #Memories #Color

  • Success requires persistence, the ability to not give up in the face of failure. I believe that optimistic explanatory style is the key to persistence.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Giving Up #Believe #Optimistic

  • When well-being comes from engaging our strengths and virtues, our lives are imbued with authenticity.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Authenticity #Virtue #Well Being

  • Curing the negatives does not produce the positives.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Doe #Produce

  • The aim of Positive Psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Psychology #Quality #Building

  • So Positive Psychology takes seriously the bright hope that if you find yourself stuck in the parking lot of life, with few and only ephemeral pleasures, with minimal gratifications, and without meaning, there is a road out. This road takes you through the countryside of pleasure and gratification, up into the high country of strength and virtue, and finally to the peaks of lasting fulfillment: meaning and purpose
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Country #Psychology #Finding Yourself

  • We deprive our children, our charges, of persistence. What I am trying to say is that we need to fail, children need to fail, we need to feel sad, anxious and anguished. If we impulsively protect ourselves and our children, as the feel-good movement suggests, we deprive them of learning-persistence skills.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Children #Persistence #Skills

  • When it comes to our health, there are essentially four things under our control: the decision not to smoke, a commitment to exercise, the quality of our diet, and our level of optimism. And optimism is at least as beneficial as the others.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Commitment #Exercise #Optimism

  • Ten years ago, when I was on an airplane and I introduced myself to my seatmate, and told them [I was a psychologist], they'd move away from me. ... And now when I tell people what I do, they move toward me.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Motivation #Moving #Inspiration

  • The optimistic style of explaining good events is the opposite of that used for bad events: It's internal rather than external.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Optimistic #Opposites #Style

  • When we take time to notice the things that go right - it means we're getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Mean #Rewards #Littles

  • The good life is using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Happiness #Good Life #Signatures

  • I believe that traditional wisdom is incomplete. A composer can have all the talent of Mozart and a passionate desire to succeed, but if he believes he cannot compose music, he will come to nothing. He will not try hard enough. He will give up too soon when the elusive right melody takes too long to materialize.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Giving Up #Believe #Long

  • Optimism is invaluable for the meaningful life.  With a firm belief in a positive future, you can throw yourself into the service of that which is larger than you are.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Meaningful #Optimism #Belief

  • Finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope: Temporary causes limit helplessness in time, and specific causes limit helplessness to the original situation.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Hope #Art #Limits

  • On the relationship side, if you teach people to respond actively and constructively when someone they care about has a victory, it increases love and friendship and decreases the probability of depression.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #People #Victory #Love And Friendship

  • Optimism is a tool with a certain clear set of benefits: it fights depression, it promotes achievement and produces better health.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Fighting #Optimism #Achievement

  • Positive, optimistic sales people sell more than pessimistic sales people.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Optimistic #People #Being Positive

  • The clearer the rules and the limits enforced by parents, the higher the child's self-esteem. The more freedom the child had, the lower his self-esteem.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Children #Self Esteem #Parent

  • Positive emotion can be about the past, the present, or the future. The positive emotions about the future include optimism, hope, faith, and trust. Those about the present include joy, ecstasy, calm, zest, ebullience, pleasure, and (most importantly) flow; these emotions are what most people usually mean when they casually-but much too narrowly-talk about "happiness." The positive emotions about the past include satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, pride, and serenity.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Happiness #Mean #Pride

  • Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals choose the way they think.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Spiritual #Thinking #Years

  • Once a depressed person becomes active and hopeful, self-esteem always improves. Bolstering self-esteem without changing hopelessness, without changing passivity, accomplishes nothing.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Depression #Self Esteem #Hopeful

  • You go into flow when your highest strengths are deployed to meet the highest challenges that come your way.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Challenges #Flow #Way

  • The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe that bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback or a challenge, that its causes are just confined to this one case.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Believe #Thinking #Opposites

  • What determines how much time and deliberate practice a child is willing to devote to achievement? Nothing less than her character.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Children #Character #Practice

  • The Fundamentalist Religions simply seem to offer more hope for a brighter future than do the more liberal, humanistic ones.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Psychology #Brighter Future #Humanistic

  • By activating an expansive, tolerant, and creative mindset, positive feelings maximize the social, intellectual, and physical benefits that will accrue.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Creative #Feelings #Psychology

  • Some find that very optimistic people have benign illusions about themselves. These people may think they have more control, or more skill, than they actually do. Others have found that optimistic people have a good handle on reality. The jury is still out.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Optimistic #Reality #Thinking

  • The belief that we can rely on shortcuts to happiness, joy, rapture, comfort, and ecstasy, rather than be entitled to these feelings by the exercise of personal strengths and virtues, leads to legions of people who, in the middle of great wealth, are starving spiritually.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Exercise #People #Joy

  • Whether or not we have hope depends on two dimensions of our explanatory style; pervasiveness and permanence.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Hope #Two #Style

  • Just as the good life is something beyond the pleasant life, the meaningful life is beyond the good life.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Meaningful #Good Life #Life Is

  • Money, amazingly, is losing its power... Our economy is rapidly changing from a money economy to a satisfaction economy.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Satisfaction #Losing #Economy

  • Psychology is much bigger than just medicine, or fixing unhealthy things. Its about education, work, marriage - its even about sports. What I want to do is see psychologists working to help people build strengths in all these domains.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Sports #Medicine #People

  • There are physical characteristics which are inherited. These include things like good looks, high intelligence, physical coordination. These attributes contribute to success in life, and success in life is a determinant of optimism.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Optimism #Looks #Life Is

  • What are the enabling conditions that make human beings flourish? How do we get from zero to plus five?
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Zero #Enabling #Plus

  • Positive thinking is the notion that if you think good thoughts, things will work out well. Optimism is the feeling of thinking things will be well and be hopeful.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Positive Thinking #Work Out #Optimism

  • I believe that traditional wisdom is incomplete.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Wisdom #Believe #I Believe

  • To the scientists of the Renaissance, your critic was really your ally, helping you advance upon reality. Critics in science are not like drama critics, determining flops and successes. Criticism to scientists is just another means of finding out whether they're wrong, like running another experiment to see if it confirms or refutes a theory. Along with the advocacy principle of the courtroom, it is one of the best ways human beings have evolved to get closer to the truth.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Running #Drama #Mean

  • Pleasure is the least consequential... engagement and meaning are much more important.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Important #Engagement #Pleasure

  • There is one aspect of happiness that's been well studied, and it's the notion of flow. Ask yourselves, when for you does time stop? When are you truly at home, wanting to be no place else?
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Home #Flow #Doe

  • Psychology should be just as concerned with building strength as with repairing damage
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Psychology #Damage #Building

  • Habits of pessimism lead to depression, wither achievement, and undermine physical health. The good news is that pessimism can be unlearned, and that with its removal depression, underachievement, and poor health can be alleviated.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Depression #Achievement #News

  • I'm trying to broaden the scope of positive psychology well beyond the smiley face. Happiness is just one-fifth of what human beings choose to do.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Psychology #Trying #Faces

  • The drive to resist compulsion is more important in wild animals than sex, food, or water... The drive for competence or to resist compulsion is a drive to avoid helplessness.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Sex #Animal #Water

  • Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair...
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Practice #Despair #Causes

  • We're not prisoners of the past.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Past #Prisoner

  • On the other hand, permanent causes produce helplessness far into the future, and universal causes spread helplessness through all your endeavors.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Future #Hands #Causes

  • Not only do happy people endure pain better and take more health and safety precautions when threatened, but positive emotions undo negative emotions.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Happiness #Pain #Safety

  • Self-esteem cannot be directly injected. It needs to result from doing well, from being warranted.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Self Esteem #Needs #Results

  • One of the things psychologists used to say was that if you are depressed, anxious or angry, you couldn't be happy. Those were at opposite ends of a continuum. I believe that you can be suffering or have a mental illness and be happy - just not in the same moment that you're sad.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Believe #Opposites #Suffering

  • If we just wanted positive emotions, our species would have died out a long time ago.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Long #Emotion #Wanted

  • Flow occurs in your life when your highest skills are matched to challenges that quite exactly meet them.
    -- Martin Seligman

    #Skills #Challenges #Flow