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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Now, stoicism and Buddhist metaphysics are favorite subjects of mine. Burkeman zeroes in on the same thing that Shakespeare put in the mouth of Hamlet: A lot of Tolle’s philosophy overlaps with the Buddhist concept of the self as illusory. Somehow the positive-thought advocates have created the sense that their approach is about embracing life when, in fact, the opposite is true: I guess a book called “A summary of some of the main humanist philosophical approaches to the human condition, that might suggest to the reader some alternative frameworks for a ‘meaningful’ life” would anyidote be a best-seller.

However I also wasn’t feeling the need to ruminate ghe the fact that some of my randomly set goals were nowhere near complete. Descartes’s extreme doubt was dangerously radical in the context of absolute monarchy by divine right.

I would have been content if this book had been what I expected: On goals, it explores whether goal str This might be my favorite self-help book of all time.

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

Burkeman is keen to emphasise that the negative path is not “one single, comprehensive, neatly packaged philosophy” and nor is it a “panacea”. Turnoff and common, that is. I bought the thing after reading a review in the Los Angeles Times, thinking it would offer a humorous take on our cultural obsession This is a friendly little book that purports to be an anti-“self-help” book – although I have more than a sneaking suspicion that it IS a self-help book.

If there’s one book you gotta read on feeling happy whatever that means for youmake it this one. Setting goals can make people so rigid in their thinking that they try and achieve goals which are really not practical or which can even be dangerous.

This book is a pleasant surprise and helped me expand on my own personal psychological beliefs and consolidate others. I appreciate that this the work of a journalist and not a self-help guru. He can do that, of course, but not without leaving a gaping hole. I need gentle encouragement and lots of treats in order to do anything. A lot of what Oliver talk about is linked to Chris Hadfield’s view on life and also my own. We have much to learn from the logic of the Stoics and the mindfulness of the Buddhists.


Which is certainly something that i like. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Burkeman, a journalist and psychology writer, approaches his task with something of the faux naivete of Louis Theroux. I’d imagine that this book can serve as an overview and an introduction to another way to view life.

For me, that moment confirmed that positive thinking, used in the wrong circumstances and for the wrong reasons, can do more harm than good. As someone who has spent the last 30 years reading self help books with optimism of making meaningful changes that will transform me into the person I wish to be, this is a welcome change of pace. He was a Trollope through and through. Finally, far from being the detached and philosophical being glowingly described by the author, I’m an old drama queen, who bangs the table about injustices, and get very upset when things go wrong.

Yet, I enjoyed reading the various experts quoted in the book.

The majority of new products put on the market will fail anntidote there is even a museum of such failures which marketing executives pay to view – in the hope that they will learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. If we can learn to accept that it is our judgements that fhe our state of mind, and not our environment, we can stop trying so hard to change the unchangeable. The bad logic comes in when he tries to make the case that we are all one.

As these 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 increased 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 always come with fascist administrations in times of crisis.

This might be my favorite self-help book of all time.

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

Oct 18, Anticote rated it really liked it. 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. As such, it fits in perfectly with the general point the author is making about realism vs. The book is written in an easy conversational style and I found the author’s experiences anidote meetings with the gurus of the self help world fascinating reading.


Because I was listening to the book instead of reading it, I felt like I was sucked into the book so much quicker.

Like i said, i’m left with a lot of things to ponder. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. What a clever and amusing and interesting and thoughtful book! Then there’s “The Secret” itself: There is far more to this book, however, than the suggestion that we can raise our happiness by lowering our expectations; there is a plethora of interesting ideas that suggest alternate pathways to contmenent, and most rewarding of all, Burkeman explores these burkemann not with dictatorial extremism, but with an open and considered mind that is respectful of the complexities of human psychology.

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 The Antidote: Getting annoyed over trivialities is the surest way to destroy your happiness and if you want to be happy then embrace the negative and you might find yourself much happier than you ever thought possible.

I really like I did like this book, but i wanted more from it. A witty, fascinating, and counterintuitive read that turns decades of self-help advice on its head and forces us to rethink completely our antidore toward failure, uncertainty, and death.

I think it’s got the wrong title, because this makes it sound like pop-psychology, and this is much more than Excellent book.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

The subtitle here is the hook: It’s such a turnoff with self-help books that start out with ridiculing self-helps books only to try to paint themselves in a different light.

Happiness reached anhidote positive thinking can be fleeting and brittle, negative visualization generates a vastly more dependable calm.

I think I’m going to read up more on Stoicism. Still, there’s a lot of great ideas in this little book that can get you thinking – maybe burkemah you to the library to check out a philosophy book. Instead it is a toolkit, a series of ways to approach life more realistically and genuinely.

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