True or false: Stress is good for you.
Conventional wisdom insists that the statement is false, that stress is a thief robbing us of our ability to relax and enjoy life to its fullest. But for centuries, poets and philosophers have celebrated the ups and downs of life as the very essence of living, the spice that enables us to taste life fully.
So who's right? The new, fast-emerging positive psychology movement is affirming the timeless wisdom of the philosophers by showing that it is not stress itself preventing us from enjoying life, but our negative reaction to stress that does the damage. Positive psychology confirms that rather than shrinking from adversity, we must become engaged by it-and thrive through it-before we can savor all the sweetness life has to offer.
Dr. Paul Pearsall, bestselling author and a leading figure in the field of positive psychology, calls this proven phenomenon of converting stress into personal discovery and transformation Stress-Induced Growth, and says it is the essential element in unlocking your life's full potential. In The Beethoven Factor, Pearsall introduces you to the people he calls thrivers, individuals who face life's unavoidable challenges head-on and grow stronger and more vital as a result. Included are the amazing and inspiring stories of these so-called thrivers, including the composer Ludwig von Beethoven who wrote his best-loved symphonies despite total deafness, and the author himself who overcame Stage IV cancer.
Pearsall explains that these thrivers have important lessons to teach us about the life-enhancing art of flourishing. Though rare, thrivers are not unique; we all have the innate ability not only to weather life's tumults, but to become better than we ever were before. The Beethoven Factor gives you the tools to uncover your own "thriveability" and begin experiencing the richness, beauty, and true pleasure of living.
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Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical neuropsychologist who opened the world's first positive psychology clinic, an achievement for which he was awarded the Rush Gold Medal from the International Psychiatric Association.
Pearsall is the author of several New York Times bestselling books, most notably "The Pleasure Prescription" and "The Heart's Code". One of the most requested speakers in the world, Pearsall gives presentations at more than 30 events each year and is a frequent consultant to national television including Dateline, 20/20, and CNN. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.
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