A lot of research in this area... showing how learning to interpret events subjectively as optimists leads to much higher success.
Some of you may recognize Matt Biondi. 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Many people thought that he could equal Mark Spitz records of seven gold medals.
First race, silver medal. Huge disappointment.
Second race, bronze medal. Huge disappointment. Everyone I remembered that very distinctly. People talking about
how he falls under pressure, how he is not the person we thought he is.
Martin Seligman at that point said "no, he's going to succeed".
Why? Because he measured him and many other athletes on their levels of optimism and pessimism.
And Matt Biondi was a constant optimist.
And he knew he would interpret these "failures", I mean, you know bronze and silver medals in the Olympics, failures, right?
But these relative for him expected to win seven golds, failures, he would interpret them not as permanent.
"I choke. I can't make it in the Olympics" as pervasive "I can't swim well anymore and win"
to temporary and specific, which he did exactly that and won the next five gold medals.