The Antidote: Happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking
Hilarious and compulsively readable, The Antidote will have you on the road to happiness in no time.
In an approach that turns decades of self-help advice on its head, Oliver Burkeman explains why positive thinking serves only to make us more miserable, and why ‘getting motivated’ can exacerbate procrastination.
Comparing the personal philosophies of dozens of ‘happy’...more
I'm not someone who reads a lot of self-help books. I don't read them at all, really, though living in Southern California for a couple decades meant inevitable contact with self-help gurus and enthusiasts. Positive thinking, visualization and imitating the habits of successful people have always struck me as somehow deficient tactics but I never re ...more
The book remains true to its title. It is really meant for the people who can't stand 'positive thinking', 'cult of optimism' kind of approaches to happiness. What this book does is that it shows a new and counter-intuitive approach to happiness- NEGATIVE PA ...more
The general drift of the book is that the roaring ra-ra-ra of positive thinking does not work. Day by day, in every way, we are NOT getting better and better. The author, Oliver Burkeman, a Guardian journalist covering psychology, says that instead we need to ...more
Oliver Burkeman is a journalist who was skeptical of the "cult of optimism," and he digs into the research on positive thinking and talks to various experts in the field. The first thing he learns is that you can't suppress negative thoughts — suppression doesn't work. Whatever idea you are trying to squash down will only continue to pop ...more
I have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with positive thinking.
On the one hand, telling myself that things'll work out somehow, helped silence my panic-stricken rants. Interestingly enough, these rants where mostly fueled by reckless lack of studying for some of the most difficult exams of my life.
On the other hand, everyone's luck runs out EVENTUALLY, and no amount of believing in oneself wo ...more
A better goal ...more
I think it's got the wrong title, because this makes it sound like pop-psychology, and this is much more than ...more
Learning to focus on the negative may cause some to raise an eyebrow. Accepting your failures and even having a sort of relationship with death can be downright scary for others. But Burkeman takes your hand and lightly leads you through the ideals of Stoicism using many examples along the way and many different principles from around the world. In this book you will discover how positive thinking can actually be damaging for some people.
This is got to be one of my most favorite se ...more
And it was refreshing, true, to read something that involved some thinking but didn't require any heavy lifting.
I know this is going to come as a shock to many of you, but I am not exactly an "Up With People" kind of guy, and the relentless forced positivity within a certain section of the liberal arts these days, despite being done for the most noble intentions, tends to wear me out. So thank God, then, for the new ...more
Every chapter is well written and provides sufficient insight into each of the various ...more
I really like ...more
I kept reading because this book is so much more. How wonderfully validating this book was. (That is why we read self-help books, right? Not to change, but to validate who we are.) At some point I had realized that while I'm not one of the "happy' type, I am a content person when I'm not feeling bad about myself for not being "happy." The constant pressure to be ...more
Oliver Burkeman, a Brit, starts by looking at what's wrong with America's billion dollar self-help/motivational industry. There's the expensive seminars (which corporations, the military and government agencies pay for their employees to attend) where an 80-year-old tycoon with an orange faux tan lets you in on his secret to success: banish the word "impossible" from your vocabulary! Then ther ...more
But then the author goes off track getting less funny and reaching too far trying to sum up all of Western and Eastern philosophy in a few chapters of disconnected anecdotes and interviews with people like Eckhart Tolle. And despite this huge goal, there are unnecessary and confusing detours, like a long discussion of Descartes's "cogito ergo sum" that I think misses the poin ...more