Expand Your Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking & Writing Through Reading

Positive Thinking Brings Rewards

Very often, we think of acquiring cash, cars, houses, credit cards and other materialistic things.

How about acquiring optimism to build a life of real rewards and lasting fulfillment?

No, I am not kidding. You can acquire optimism and become an optimist instead of a pessimist.

Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.

In his book, “Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life”, Seligman says learning to manage your life is as simple as remembering “ABCDE”.

“A” is for Adversity, “B” for Beliefs, “C” for Consequences, “D” for Disputation and “E” for Energization.

In life, we are constantly facing small and major problems or adversities which trigger responses in thoughts and feelings.

These adversities could be as follows: someone steals the parking space you are about to drive into; your playful children are not doing their homework as told; your best friend has not been returning your phone calls; you and your spouse have a fight; you invite a boyfriend over for dinner but he says he has other things to do; you receive a poor grade in your studies, and so on.

For any Adversity, you think in a certain way because of your Beliefs. If you receive a poor grade in your studies, you might think that you did the worst in class, that you are stupid, that you are too old to be competing with younger students, or that you should give up.

As a consequence of your beliefs, you feel totally dejected, useless and embarrassed and decide to withdraw from further studies.

If you think and feel like this, then you are pessimistic and miserable. Seligman recommends that it would be worthwhile to counter such thoughts and feelings with disputation, that is, by arguing against such negative ideas.

Through Disputation, you gather evidence to prove that not everything is bad. You might not have a good grade, but you are probably not the worst. It does not mean you are stupid since you have better grades in other subjects.

To counter the pessimism, you think of more optimistic ways to look at the situation. You think about possible causes or beliefs concerning the situation. Perhaps you have a family and a full-time job and you have been busy at work lately.

Then you look at implications of the alternative causes or beliefs. If you have a full-time job, the implications for your part-time study with better grades could be spending less time with the family or being more efficient at work or being more effective in learning.

Finally, Seligman advocates Energization. This is where you respond optimistically and calmly by thinking, feeling and doing positive things.

Once you acquire the art of optimism, you may not require the full ABCDE approach. You could shorten it to ABC.

When you face Adversity, ask yourself, “What are my optimistic Beliefs about this situation?” Then, ask yourself again. “How can I feel and act optimistically so that, arising from my behavior, there it no or little consequence affecting myself or someone else?”

Be optimistic. Give the ABCDE or ABC a try and keep practicing the method. You can be optimistic, positive, constructive, happy and successful in life.

Words and Expressions for IELTS Speaking & Writing

  1. positive (adj): thinking about what is good in a situation, feeling confident and sure that something good will happen ⇒ “Positive Thinking Brings Rewards”
  2. reward (n): a thing that you are given because you have done something good or worked hard ⇒ “Positive Thinking Brings Rewards
  3. acquire (v): to gain something by your own efforts, ability or behavior ⇒ “Very often, we think of acquiring cash, cars, houses, credit cards and other materialistic things.”
  4. credit card (n): a small plastic card that you can use to buy goods and services and pay for them later ⇒ “Very often, we think of acquiring cash, cars, houses, credit cards and other materialistic things.”
  5. materialistic (adj): caring more about money and possessions than anything else ⇒ “Very often, we think of acquiring cash, cars, houses, credit cards and other materialistic things.”
  6. optimism (n): a feeling that good things will happen and that something will be successful ⇒ “No, I am not kidding. You can acquire optimism and become an optimist instead of a pessimist.”
  7. lasting (adj): continuing to exist or to have an effect for a long time ⇒ “How about acquiring optimism to build a life of real rewards and lasting fulfillment?”
  8. fulfillment (n): the act of doing or achieving what was hoped for or expected ⇒ “How about acquiring optimism to build a life of real rewards and lasting fulfillment?”
  9. kid (v): to deal with something in a careful way ⇒ “No, I am not kidding. You can acquire optimism and become an optimist instead of a pessimist.”
  10. optimist (n): a person who always expects good things to happen or things to be successful ⇒ “No, I am not kidding. You can acquire optimism and become an optimist instead of a pessimist.”
  11. psychologist (n): a scientist who studies and is trained in psychology ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  12. optimistic (adj): expecting good things to happen or something to be successful ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  13. rise above (n): to not be affected or limited by problems ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  14. pessimism (n): a feeling that bad things will happen and that something will not be successful ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  15. depression (n): the state of feeling very sad and without hope ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  16. accompany (v): to travel or go somewhere with somebody ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  17. negative (adj): bad or harmful ⇒ “Author and psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman believes that each of us can learn to be optimistic by rising above pessimism and the depression that often accompanies negative thoughts.”
  18. adversity (n): a difficult or unpleasant situation ⇒ ““A” is for Adversity, “B” for Beliefs, “C” for Consequences, “D” for Disputation and “E” for Energization.”
  19. consequence (n): a result of something that has happened ⇒ ““A” is for Adversity, “B” for Beliefs, “C” for Consequences, “D” for Disputation and “E” for Energization.”
  20. disputation (n): a discussion about something that people cannot agree on ⇒ ““A” is for Adversity, “B” for Beliefs, “C” for Consequences, “D” for Disputation and “E” for Energization.”
  21. energization (n): make somebody feel more enthusiastic about something ⇒ ““A” is for Adversity, “B” for Beliefs, “C” for Consequences, “D” for Disputation and “E” for Energization.”
  22. trigger (v): cause a bad reaction ⇒ “In life, we are constantly facing small and major problems or adversities which trigger responses in thoughts and feelings.”
  23. playful (adj): made or done in fun, not serious ⇒ “These adversities could be as follows: someone steals the parking space you are about to drive into; your playful children are not doing their homework as told; your best friend has not been returning your phone calls; you and your spouse have a fight; you invite a boyfriend over for dinner but he says he has other things to do; you receive a poor grade in your studies, and so on.”
  24. spouse (n): a husband or wife ⇒ “These adversities could be as follows: someone steals the parking space you are about to drive into; your playful children are not doing their homework as told; your best friend has not been returning your phone calls; you and your spouse have a fight; you invite a boyfriend over for dinner but he says he has other things to do; you receive a poor grade in your studies, and so on.”
  25. dejected (adj): unhappy or disappointed ⇒ “As a consequence of your beliefs, you feel totally dejected, useless and embarrassed and decide to withdraw from further studies.”
  26. embarrassed (adj): shy, awkward or ashamed, especially in a social situation ⇒ “As a consequence of your beliefs, you feel totally dejected, useless and embarrassed and decide to withdraw from further studies.”
  27. withdraw (v): to move back or away from a place or situation ⇒ “As a consequence of your beliefs, you feel totally dejected, useless and embarrassed and decide to withdraw from further studies.”
  28. recommend (v): to tell somebody that something is good or useful, or that somebody would be suitable for a particular job ⇒ “Seligman recommends that it would be worthwhile to counter such thoughts and feelings with disputation, that is, by arguing against such negative ideas.”
  29. worthwhile (adj): important, enjoyable, interesting ⇒ “Seligman recommends that it would be worthwhile to counter such thoughts and feelings with disputation, that is, by arguing against such negative ideas.”
  30. counter (v): calculate ⇒ “Seligman recommends that it would be worthwhile to counter such thoughts and feelings with disputation, that is, by arguing against such negative ideas.”
  31. argue against (v): to speak angrily to somebody because you disagree with them ⇒ “Seligman recommends that it would be worthwhile to counter such thoughts and feelings with disputation, that is, by arguing against such negative ideas.”
  32. evidence (n): the facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true ⇒ “Through Disputation, you gather evidence to prove that not everything is bad.”
  33. concerning (prep): causing worry ⇒ “You think about possible causes or beliefs concerning the situation.”
  34. lately (adv): recently ⇒ “Perhaps you have a family and a full-time job and you have been busy at work lately.”
  35. implication (n): a possible effect or result of an action or a decision ⇒ “Then you look at implications of the alternative causes or beliefs.”
  36. alternative (adj): a thing that you can choose to do or have out of two or more possibilities ⇒ “Then you look at implications of the alternative causes or beliefs.”
  37. efficient (adj): doing something well and thoroughly with no waste of time, money or energy ⇒ “If you have a full-time job, the implications for your part-time study with better grades could be spending less time with the family or being more efficient at work or being more effective in learning.”
  38. advocate (v): to support something publicly ⇒ “Finally, Seligman advocates Energization.”
  39. approach (n): to come near to somebody/ something in distance or time ⇒ “Once you acquire the art of optimism, you may not require the full ABCDE approach.”
  40. shorten (v): to make something shorter, to become shorter ⇒ “You could shorten it to ABC.”
  41. arise from (v): to happen as a result of a particular situation ⇒ “How can I feel and act optimistically so that, arising from my behavior, there it no or little consequence affecting myself or someone else?”
  42. affect (v): to produce change in somebody/ something ⇒ “How can I feel and act optimistically so that, arising from my behavior, there it no or little consequence affecting myself or someone else?”
  43. constructive (adj): having a useful and helpful effect rather than being negative or with no purpose ⇒ “You can be optimistic, positive, constructive, happy and successful in life.”

Exercises

Fill in each blank with the appropriate word, making changes where necessary

accompany, negative, trigger, consequence, dejected, counter, implication, alternative, positive, optimism

1. He takes a very ………………. attitude when correcting pupils’ mistakes.

2.We look to the future with ………………….

3. Thunder ……………….. lightning.

4. I’ve had enough ……………….. advice—it only tells me what not to do!

5. This decision will have long-lasting ………………….

6. Large price increases could ……………….. demands for even larger wage increases.

7. She grew more and more melancholy and pale and ………………….

8. They were accused of wasting public money, but they …………………. this charge with the claim that they had wide public support.

9. The ……………… of your statement is that I was wrong.

10. We returned by the ………………… road.

Expand Your Vocabulary for IELTS Speaking & Writing Through Reading
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