The Optimistic Child

By teaching children skills of optimism, it is possible to “immunize” or safeguard them against episodes of depression. This concept is at the core of The Optimistic Child. The Big Ideas! Pessimistic children are at a much higher risk of becoming depressed than optimistic children. In numerous long-term studies, Seligman and colleagues discovered a link between pessimism or dwelling on the … Read more


Roy Baumeister is a psychologist and an expert in the field of self-regulation, also known as willpower. Ray Tierney is a science writer for the New York Times. Together they published Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. This book examines a number of recent research-based discoveries about willpower and details concrete steps to boost this strength. … Read more

The Five Things We Cannot Change

The Big Ideas There are five inescapable “givens” of human experience: things change; chaos happens; things aren’t always fair; life can be painful; and people behave badly. Struggling against the givens leads to disappointment, frustration, and sadness. Embrace the givens with an unconditional “yes,” and the givens become life lessons. For every given—which appears negative—there … Read more


The Big Ideas We all mess up; we’re all imperfect; and yet we all deserve compassion from others and from ourselves. Self-compassion can reduce stress, increase productivity, and boost overall happiness. Until one can be truly self-compassionate, it is difficult to be truly compassionate toward others. Neutrino’s Nutshell The first step to becoming happier is … Read more

Toward a Psychology of Awakening

The Big Ideas True psychological and spiritual progress can occur only when we form a genuine relationship with painful experiences. Meditation and other spiritual practices send us continually back into the unknown. The unknown allows us to embrace a broader perspective, saving us from endless preoccupation with our own narrow point of view. Self-reflection is … Read more