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A pessimist's view
am 31. Mai 2000
I tried to approach this book with an open mind. It is comprehensive, insightful, and well written, by one of the pioneers of the field. But essentially the message of the book is that optimists externalise failure, internalise success. If I fail, it is only a short term setback, caused by someone else; if I succeed, it is all due to my inherent, permanent qualities. Now I am sure that this is an effective strategy, and I have observed it with some envy and wonder in many "successful" people, but there is something deep within me that recoils from this mindset, that finds it dishonest, bordering on nauseating. But then I find many so-called "successful" people dishonest and nauseating. If you can stomach a strategy of self delusion, and buckpassing I would heartily recommend this book to you. It will surely aid your quest for "success", at least materially. It merely reaffirmed my position as an unreconstuctable pessimist, but then even Seligman acknowledges that pessimists are the only ones with real self knowledge.