Albert Ellis Belief System


Today is the centenary of the Albert Ellis’ birth, a pioneer in psychology (in fact, called the “greatest living psychologist by Psychology Today prior to his passing in 2007). Mike Pegg shares a perspective on his life in his A to Z Strength Companion – “E is for Albert Ellis” with an insight into embracing adversity.

It’s not the adversity, it’s the belief system. The adversity is the fuel, but the “Belief System” is the engine which powers growth and learning from it. Rational beliefs are self-helping; irrational beliefs are self-harming.

  • “[Albert] had a difficult childhood, beset by illnesses and his parents divorcing. It was at this time that he began working on the seeds of what became known as Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. Albert began to see that there were solutions to the challenges that he faced. These revolved around making choices and dealing with the consequences. Many years later he would write: You’d better strongly think, believe, and yes, feel that you can control your own emotional destiny. Not others’ thoughts and actions. No. Not the fate of the world. No. But your thoughts, feelings and actions. The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

Celebrating his centenary, Twitter is particularly alive today with some choice quotes from Ellis that ring with failure embracing spirit…

  • "There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy."
  • "The art of love… is largely the art of persistence."