what you can and can't change by martin seligman book summary and review

What You Can Change and What You Can’t by Martin Seligman Book Summary

When it comes to living a life free of unnecessary stress and anxiety that hold you back, you can’t dwell on what you can’t change. If you don’t have the ability to change something, then worrying about it will only make you more sad and limit your potential.

For example, if a man can’t change his height but can improve his work ethic, feeling sad about his height and dwelling about that all the time as the reason you can’t get girls will only make you enjoy life less and make you suffer more.

However, he can focus on learning how to work harder, which can improve his wealth, fashion, appearance, physique, social intelligence, and empathy — all areas that improve his attraction to get him girls.

But what can we change and what can we not change? Nowadays, there are a lot of different opinions on where to draw the line from gurus on social media and blogs.

Let’s turn to the most credible sources in science. Martin Seligman is one of the most famous and respected scientists in the self help movement for pioneering the field of positive psychology. His short book, What You Can and Cannot Change, exposes the truth behind the myths out there.

I learned some incredible stuff about what you can and cannot change, as well as some credible truth about basic psychology from the book:

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How To stop being a perfectionist

How To Stop Being A Perfectionist

Most overachievers have point struggled with how to stop being a perfectionist. They’re ambitious but they fall under the trap that you have to be perfect before you can deliver anything.

But deep down, we all know that being a perfectionist isn’t a good thing. It leads to analysis paralysis. It leads to situations where your performance suffers because you procrastinate and miss deadlines.

Or you could be too focused on perfecting something to ever execute and achieve your dreams because you or your creation is still “not good enough.”
Here are some steps that might help you defeat procrastination.
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How to Save, Invest, and Grow Your Money as a Young Millennial

You asked. I delivered.

Many of my young email subscribers have asked about how they can learn more about how to save and invest money. Well, it just so happens that I’ve been an undercover fanboy of personal finance. In fact, it’s one of the ways I got into my love of Warren Buffett and self development.

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The Five Why’s Analysis Method: The Key to Happiness

I used to think I was smarter than others.

I was learning about personal finance and saving money while others were splurging so I could become rich.

I was asking for books and courses for Christmases and birthdays while others were asking for clothes and shoes so that the money invested would grow rather than decay through what was purchased.

I was working out every day while others watched Netflix.

In theory, this would make me happier. But it didn’t work out that way.

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Why procrastinators procrastinate

The blog, Wait But Why, has a popular article on why procrastinators procrastinate. The summary of it is that people procrastinate because the long-term thinking part of your brain gets overtaken by the “Instant gratification monkey.”

This monkey plays in the “Dark playground” of unproductive activities, like watching pranks on YouTube, until you’re up against a deadline. Then, the “Panic Monster” arrives, which forces you to get back on track.

I loved the fun characters used to illustrate this, but I think it misses the mark on the core of why we procrastinate. The playful story may even be diverting your attention from the main cause of procrastination.

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debunking myths about meditation

12 Myths Debunked About Meditation from New Neuroscience Research

In the online self help and entrepreneurship communities, meditation and mindfulness have started to be worshiped as magic pills for success with wealth, happiness, focus, health, and more.

One of the drivers of this idea are podcast interview shows, like The Tim Ferriss Show and Eventual Millionaire. These shows interview tons of successful people and claim most interviewees practice some form of meditation practice.

But is it true? Can it solve every problem under the sun, from anxiety to procrastination? Or it is confirmation and fallacy of correlation proving causation? Maybe only 5% of them actually meditate, but they over-inflated how frequently it showed up based on their estimates.

One of the most respected scientists of our time, Daniel Goleman, author of books like Emotional Intelligence, stepped up to find out the truth by writing a whole book proving and debunking meditation myths based on hard, empirical research. The book is called Altered Traits. Here’s what he found.

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Jason Schreiber – On Kettlebell & Weightlifting Worldclass Competition to Anorexia & Drug Addiction

Jason Schreiber won regional powerlifting competitions, qualified for CrossFit regionals his first attempt, placed 3rd in the World kettlebell competition, and is now going to Nationals for Olympic weightlifting. He’s a holistic health coach and he’s a huge fan of the science of kettlebell training. In this interview, we talk everything from physical fitness to kettlebell training to sports competition to overcoming anorexia and drug addiction to internal personal development to identifying bad advice online.
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Nutrition Secrets of the world's longest living people

30 Nutrition Secrets of the World’s Longest Living People

If you want to maximize the return of money and happiness over your lifetime, a core part of that is increase how long you live. 

It’s simple enough: the longer you live, the more life you have to enjoy and the longer your money can grow.

People easily sacrifice 20 to 30 years of life span by destroying their diet, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle. But this is a massive opportunity for someone like you, who cares enough to read this article, because you can get that life back and live better than the average person.

None of this is theory. It’s based on extensive research from the book, 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People.

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Why You Should Read Fiction (3 Surprising Benefits)

When I was a kid, I only read fiction. Harry Potter. The Bartimaeus Sequence. The Inheritance Series. I thought non-fiction was boring and useless. I remember complaining to a classmate at my school library about why there was such a large non-fiction section. What kind of person reads a 500 page book on history for fun?

A few years later, I was introduced to the idea that non-fiction held the secrets to succeeding in every area of life. Will Smith said in an interview that for every problem that needs to be solved, someone has already written a book on it. Warren Buffett introduced to me the idea that not all non-fiction books were as boring as they made it in the classroom.

(Maybe Will is being a little enthusiastic with his statement but that got me interested.)

But after reading hundreds of “How To” books on improving every topic under the sun (nutrition, longevity, wealth, focus, social skills, and so on), I got slightly burnt out on non-fiction. I heard Charlie Hoehn and Nils Parker of the Mating Grounds podcast talk about how reading fiction helps you connect the dots of non-fiction, give your brain a break, and spur creativity.

I was interested to get back into fiction given that I realized I hadn’t read a fiction book in years and it seemed like a great way to escape having to think about logical concepts all the time. Here’s why you should read fiction.

1. You Live A Thousand Lives of Adventure (And You Start to Remember…)

People say this about non-fiction because you gain a lot of wisdom and perspective from real people’s biographies, especially if they lived much different lives than you. But it’s also true for fiction. The difference is that for fiction, these people don’t actually exist and their lives are even crazier and more fantastical.

Humans are wired to marvel at great storytelling and it is at its finest and most unleashed in the realm of fiction.

You are transported to universes and situations with creatures and personalities you would have never dreamed of. With a great book, you can’t help but feel amazed at how incredible a character is. Remember the first time you experienced Captain Jack Sparrow’s personality? Well, there are even more awesome personalities in books, like Bartimaeus, for instance.

Fiction lets you turn your brain off, relax, and get entertained.

You get your pick of a culmination of thousands of years of trial and error to create the most epic story imaginable.

When I first started reading fiction again, I started getting flashbacks to all the jaw-dropping stories I read as a child that I forgot about. Those were good times.

2. You Give Your Brain A Well-Deserved Break (And Something Magic Happens…)

A recipe for burn out is to stuff every second of your day with something for your brain to think about, especially if it becomes a chore rather than something fun.

That’s exactly what I’ve done in the past because I thought it was “productive.”

Unfortunately, I’ve found myself feeling resentment, jealousy, and frustration when I overhear peers talking about spending their time watching Netflix, reading a good book, or just relaxing.

Fiction gives you the luxury you need. It helps you unplug. It lets your brain completely unwind. It eases you into a good sleep. And the most beautiful part?

It’s in this eased state that our subconscious takes over and solves the problems that we couldn’t solve with our full focus and all the non-fiction reading in the world. There’s a reason why our best ideas happen in the shower.

3. Your Emotional and Social Intelligence Increase

Plenty of books and articles have been written about how IQ is overrated and how emotional and social intelligence are key to wealth and high status in real life.

What’s shocking is that five scientific studies published in Science found that children who read literary fiction had greater levels of ability to infer and understand people’s emotions and thoughts. 

It’s important to note that it was also found that it had to be literary fiction. Popular fiction had no effect. This may be because literary fiction is more realistic and has more mysterious characters that force you to come up with their motives.

If you’re struggling with your communication skills in your career or dating life, literary fiction may be a great stepping stone. The right book will improve your empathy and understanding of others — it will teach you see another’s values and drives, even if you don’t agree with them.

4. It Makes You A Better Reader, Writer, and Person

We’ve all heard people say that watching TV or being on social media too long rots the brain. Maybe it’s because you are sitting there and letting a screen bombard you with addictive, mind-numbing noises, pictures, and advertisements.

Music, on the other hand, doesn’t quite hit the mark either. It can lift your mood and spirits. But it usually doesn’t leave you that much better off, unless you’re a professional musician.

Educational podcasts may be the next best thing to reading since they fill in so much wasted time in a day and leave you smarter.

But reading can make you a better and faster reader and writer. Even if you don’t think you’re a writer, chances are that you type and write more than you realize on a daily basis. We’re all writers and the different ways we choose to present our words can make a huge difference to our lives over time.

This happens more often when you pick up an actual book (or Kindle or iPad) and actually read the text. Audio books are great and I prefer them, but reading actual words on paper (or a screen) will really help you see how sentences are put together and how effective language is delivered.

Put simply: Reading fiction is a great way to come out a better person in the most unexpected of ways. Just the fact you know certain references to popular fiction books will make you a better conversationalist, connect with more people, and a wiser person.

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No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover Book Summary & Review

No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover Book Summary & Review (Plus an Exclusive Interview)

“There are no perfect relationships. There are no perfect partners. Relationships by their very nature are chaotic, eventful, and challenging.”
― Robert A. Glover, No More Mr. Nice Guy

One of the books that has had the most profound impact on my life is Dr. Robert Glover’s No More Mr. Nice Guy.

The book uncovers:

  • the truth about the stereotypical Nice Guy
  • why modern society has created so many of them
  • why they fail to get the relationships and career success they crave
  • how to take back your life in an honest, non-manipulative way without becoming a jerk

It also goes into detailed stories of many of his Nice Guy clients and specific steps on how to break free from this behavior.

Dr. Glover understands Nice Guys deeply, having coached thousands of them as a licensed psychotherapist. He adeptly addresses specific common questions like, “Why is it a bad thing to be nice?” and “How do I talk to a girl without making it seem like I’m hitting on her?”

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How To American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents by Jimmy Yang Book Summary & Review

So I read How To American – An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents by Jimmy O. Yang. Well, I read a good portion of it.

That’s right, I didn’t read every word of the book, but you can still learn a lot without reading an entire book.

If you’re not familiar, Jimmy is a 30-year old Hong-Kong American actor who plays Jian Yang on the hit TV show, Silicon Valley. He wrote a whole book on his life journey and Asian immigrant struggles. It’s a must-read for any Asian American because it hits on themes we struggle with unique to us.

It was fantastic and shocking at times. Here’s what I learned…

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think and grow rich napoleon hill

Why Reading 251 Books Didn’t Help Me Get Richer (Yet)

In the last couple years, I’ve read a ton of books. In fact, I stopped counting at 251 because I was going through them so fast. In addition to that, I’ve consumed hundreds of podcast interviews of millionaires and even more hours of video interview content. Yet I’m still not much richer.

How could all this priceless information from wealthy individuals do so little?

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Cara Delevingne on Happiness, Imposter Syndrome, Overwork, Therapy & the Beauty in Flaws

Cara Delevingne on Happiness, Imposter Syndrome, Overwork, Therapy & the Beauty in Flaws

“Be comfortable in your own shoes because you’re going to be in them for a while.” – Cara Delevigne

Cara DeLevigne’s speech during the Women in the World summit has touched me on multiple levels, even though I’m not a woman. I’ve watched it numerous times since it’s release.

With 41 million followers on Instagram, this supermodel spoke about many issues we can relate to, which surprised me immensely because I didn’t think she would struggle with these issues because of her success, a common misconception society has. In her chat, Cara talks about:

  • not knowing who you are
  • having a mental breakdown
  • dropping out of high school at 17
  • dealing with therapy and anti-depressants
  • how your flaws are what make you special
  • how writing helped her by articulating how she felt
  • trying to do well in school to please her parents but failing
  • meeting people who want to use her for what she can provide
  • being a goofball and nothing like the personality of a normal model
  • how mental illness and depression aren’t something to be ashamed of
  • how she always wanted to change the world growing up, like most kids
  • how she started yoga for fun, but stayed with it for the spiritual and therapy
  • how people who rejected her in the past in the industry were now all over her
  • having the imposter syndrome: not feeling like she deserved her success and feeling like she got lucky living some one’s dream life.
  • how she didn’t feel like she could complain or feel bad about any of the internal battles she had because of her fabulous external life
  • how she couldn’t say no to any opportunity after success because she remembered how difficult it was before and how this caused her to overwork and get stress-induced psoriasis, which gave her big welts all over her body and made her feel disgusting
  • how she wished someone would have just told her to take a break, but no one did
  • the importance of saying no to take control of your life, something she has now learned how to do (similar to Lady Gaga’s lessons with learning saying no to opportunity during her talk at the Emotion Revolution Summit)
  • how her modeling agency treated the symptoms of her psoriasis but not the underlying cause to get her back on the runway as soon as possible to make more money
  • just because you’re successful, rich, famous, good-looking, or loved doesn’t mean you will be happy
  • how you should dream bigger. Many girls tell her that they want to be models, but she thinks genetic engineers, astronauts, and presidents are cooler
  • how she wasn’t treated seriously and looked down on by other actors when she tried to break into the acting industry
  • how she grew up believing that showing any emotion, including crying, was weakness
  • the bad parts of the modeling industry: constantly being told you’re not good enough, measuring your worth as a person by rejections at work, photographers who only do the job to sleep with women, and models who don’t stand up for themselves who get used by photographers because they feel like they should be used

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