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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The book ends well with the last chapter, Memento Mori. And there’s the recent research that seems to show the more people use these kinds of self-help techniques, the more unhappy they seem to become. So thank God, then, for the newish The Antidote: He provides enough names and references to follow up on your own if th are interested, and if the book serves any purpose this would be it.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

And for many goals, the dilemma is that the act antidtoe striving can work against the attainment. There are useful notes on each chapter, many other books are mentioned in the text and there is an index. And if you go back through the history of philosophy, spirituality, the stoics of ancient Greece and Rome, the Buddhists, antidpte then also linking up anttidote contemporary approaches to psychology, you find bureman else, which is actually that trying to let those feelings be and not always struggling to stamp them out is a more fruitful alternative.

He sums it up by talking about “negative capability” that is if I understand it burkenan idea of accepting that life is uncertain, sometimes painful, and that feeling wonderful all the time is not even desirable how sweet is sweet when there’s nothing antifote sweet? Burkeman would be the first to accept that he hasn’t written the last word on human happiness.

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 antidoe 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.


Well, it isn’t a clearly defined recipe, and it isn’t grounded in absolutism. 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 antdiote realizing that being negative is actually the most positive outlook you can have.

When we talked further, she said she had been using some visualization tapes, where you are directed to imagine that lasers or burmeman vigilante white cells are killing your tumor. Jul 14, Caren rated it it was amazing Shelves: If you can regard your thoughts and emotions about whatever you’re procrastinating on as passing weather, you’ll realise that your reluctance about working isn’t something that needs to be eradicated or transformed into positivity.

I found it wonderfully provocative. The Pursuit Of Happiness. No trivia or quizzes yet. There were also good sections on overcoming fear of failure and embarrassment.

But I’m definitely not one for always looking on the bright side of life, and I wouldn’t call myself an optimist at all. Call me old-fashioned, but much more important than seeing positively is to see accurately, truthfully, honestly and sincerely. So the stars aligned and I won this book.

Now, stoicism and Buddhist metaphysics are favorite subjects of mine. Antidoe was far, far too late for me. The primary danger of this approach is that it leaves us totally unprepared for failure; and when we fall short of our expectations, as we inevitably will, we’re left feeling directly accountable. May 24, Lylah rated it it was amazing. Instead he splits hairs trying to undermine it for some reason. I need more adjectives to describe how much I enjoyed this look at happiness in the modern world.


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

Preview — The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman. Originally published as The Antidote: How failure is something that brings people together and creates community and should not be seen as an attack on who we are. The author, Oliver Burkeman, a Guardian journalist covering psychology, says that instead we need to cultivate an attitude of reasonable pessimism. He also writes a monthly column for Psychologies magazine. Positive thinking, if carried to excess, can bkrkeman dangerous as it can mean that you ignore the dangers in the course of action you are taking.

Yeah, duh, it is indeed a little ironic, given that it liberated Rowling to become staggeringly successful and wealthy. Rather than thinking about everything in a positive way, it is much better to see things realistically, accurately, burkemn truthfully. The author, Oliver Burkeman, a Guardian journalist covering psychology, says that instead we need to Curmudgeonly Brit that I am, I enjoyed this book a lot.

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

I used to do the lab. Happiness reached via positive thinking can be fleeting and brittle, negative visualization generates a vastly more dependable calm. It is the attitudinal foundation of the scientific revolution.

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 point. Lulz at that blurb; “a radically new path to happiness. The bulk of the book sees Burkeman walk down these paths increasingly less trodden.

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