THE POWER OF OPTIMISM by Alan Loy McGinnis

THE POWER OF OPTIMISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here, McGinnis (The Romance Factor, 1982) examines the ways in which an optimistic attitude enhances life, fosters success, and attracts other people. Drawing on the research of cognitive therapists, the writings of St. Paul and teachings of Jesus, and biographies of successful people (he claims to have read 1,000 in planning this book), McGinnis describes 12 characteristics of optimists. They include the willingness to look for the good in bad situations, the ability to interrupt negative trains of thought, the courage to accept what can't be changed, and the determination to be cheerful even if happiness is out of reach. It's all very Norman Vincent Peale-like, and, as in Peale's work, optimists' attributes are modeled through inspirational anecdotes. Optimism, says McGinnis, is not an innate propensity, but an attitude that we can choose; however, his discussion of how to actually cultivate a sunny attitude is thin, and readers looking for practical advice will be better served by consulting David Burns's The Feeling Good Workbook (1989). In short: a pleasant, undemanding disquisition on appreciating life, likely to appeal to already-confirmed optimists.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Harper San Francisco