The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking [Oliver Burkeman] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Success. In his new book, Oliver Burkeman shuns motivational seminars and the power of ‘Antidote’ Prescribes A ‘Negative Path To Happiness’. Summary and reviews of The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman, plus links to a book excerpt from The Antidote and author biography of Oliver Burkeman.

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No trivia or quizzes yet. Sep 13, Caroline rated it really liked it Recommended to Caroline by: The Antidote looks at finding contentment from different perspectives, moving your focus outside of yourself, not focusing on finding security, realizing your own mistakes and weakness and sometimes damnit realizing that being negative is actually the most positive outlook you can have.

I’m also very sceptical, especially about psychological strategies to ‘get the most antiote of life’. Antidotr imagine that this book can serve as an overview and an introduction to another way antifote view life. I on the other hand am a jelly person. So the stars aligned and I won this book. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been just accepting whatever mood I’m in and getting on with what I have to do in my day, and I feel happier already.

And worries about becoming insecure do seem to antudote at the root of a lot of anxiety in western societies. Topics Health, mind and body books The Observer.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review | Books | The Guardian

Burkeman, a bit of a curmudgeon by nature, sees through the snake oil peddlers all too easily, but longs for some alternative that might bring a sense of fulfillment or contentment to his life, so he sets out burjeman explore how cultures throughout history have defined and pursued happiness. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

There were a whole bay of various speakers, one of whom I think really gave voice to the classic approach when he said that the way to achieve success was to eliminate the word ‘impossible’ from your vocabulary.

And I think they do provide a short burst of some good feeling to the people who go So I didn’t know if things would work out. I found it amusing somehow.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking

The message extolled by self-help gurus and mainstream motivational literature entreats us to eliminate negativity from our consciousness, to coordinate our activities around a set of clearly defined goals, antidotte visualise to the point of actualising our desired futures. Each of these is a different way of resisting the ‘irritable reaching’ after better circumstances, or better thoughts and feelings I burkemwn recommend this book to anyone interested in popular psychology research.


Feb 03, Karl-O rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 4 comments. Call me old-fashioned, but much more important than seeing positively is to see accurately, truthfully, honestly and sincerely. Drawing from Stoicism the real thing, not the straw man version most of us hear aboutBuddhism, and psychological studies that are critical of so-called positive thinking, what I found most striking about The Antidote was how often it seemed to articulate and burkemqn my own half-formed ideas.

Rather than thinking about everything in a positive way, it is much better to see things realistically, accurately, and truthfully. There are useful notes on each chapter, many other books are mentioned in the text and there is an index. But then the author goes off track getting less funny and reaching too far trying to sum up tue of Western and Eastern philosophy in a few chapters of disconnected anecdotes and interviews with people like Eckhart Tolle. Although Burkeman commends truthfulness, he doesn’t stress its value for its own sake, only as a surer means to happiness than rose-tinted vision.

So, taking the advice of Stoic-inspired psychotherapist Albert Ellishe says the names of tube stations out loud at each stop, in order to get over the feeling that it would somehow be terrible if people thought him mad.

And so, paradoxically, it is by thinking more about the downers in life, such as the inevitability of death, the inescapability of suffering or the impossibility of security, that we achieve something like happiness. I should know this If not know, find out, since I’m a Librarian and it’s what I do explores psychology in his weekly column. This had about atidote same effect, as John Oliver and Rachel Dratch cursing Lupus into submission, pictured here below for your convenience. Instead, it proved to be much more: Forcing yourself to “think positive” often makes failure that much more devastating; setting long-terms goals often means scuttling your well-being in the drive to achieve and doubling down teh the very moment it might make sense to abandon a bad idea ; trying to antidoe motivated can create an extra thing to be frustrated and depressed about; there is comfort and relief to be found in contemplating worst-case-scenarios and even death itself rather than trying to emphasize the positive at all costs.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

Murphy’s Law symbolize the error-prone nature of people and processes. The next few chapters engage in some specious over-intellectualizing along with some very good stuff.

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But we antidtoe not happier.

That is the essence of how they work. The chapter ends with an excerpt from the famous commencement speech J. One line from Murphy’s law sums this up: He also writes a monthly column for Psychologies magazine. I need more adjectives to describe how much I enjoyed this look at happiness in the modern world. Businesses which refuse to allow employees to raise any negative questions about plans can in the end find that their operations go pear shaped because they did not take into account legitimate concerns.

Come from the ghetto or the trailer park? Originally published as The Antidote: For instance, in Kenya he can see that simply taking the apparent happiness of its people at face value is “laden with problems”, from the racism of thinking that “primitive” people are simpler souls than westerners to the political conclusion that nothing needs to be done to alleviate their poverty.

He provides enough names and references to follow up on your own if you are interested, and if the book serves any purpose this would be it. But I’m not truly a Stoic as I still look on the bright side of things more often than the black side.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review | Books | The Guardian

But journalist Oliver Burkeman says whatever your plan, you are most likely doing it wrong. Take out out from the library. As antidotee groups have each independently proven, he shows through a series of fascinating trips to various contemporary communities, tribes and experts around the globe, it can actually be really healthy for humans to understand their boundaries, to know which things they can reasonably accomplish and which they can’t, and to know when to let go of an obsessive desire for a goal before that goal instead kills you; and in the meanwhile, he cites modern study after modern study that are each starting to show how much damage the “power of positive thinking” can have, from antieote frustration over challenges to the body giving up on a challenge after enjoying it too much in an idealized version in one’s head, even to the kinds of fatalistic embrace of violent quick-change solutions that burkdman come with fascist administrations in times of crisis.