Monday, December 04, 2006

Manipulating the Conditioned Response

A fellow by the name of Martin Seligman did some groundbreaking research into behavioural patterns of animals and then carried that research into human behaviour. What he came up with was the theory of "learned helplessness". In a nutshell this means that when a person/animal feels like they cannot control the outcome of one area of their life, they give up trying in all areas. The results of his studies are pretty amazing.

The flip side to this is that the feeling of having control over simple things also breaks through the paralysis of not being able to control bigger things. Breaking through lethargy, depression, anxiety and stress is essential for growth and I think that Martin hit the nail on the head with his research.

"Learned Optimism" (ISBN: 1400078393 ) is Seligman's book that really opened my eyes to how easy it is to recondition my sub-conscious and manipulate what I assumed to be my conditioned responses to adversity. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to break through and step outside of their comfort zone.

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