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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This might be my favorite self-help book of all time. It’s a good introduction to alternatives to positive thinking, but The Antidote never goes deep enough into xntidote one subject to make it a memorable book or one that is worth re-reading. Remember that a journalist is some one who gets paid money to do things that you might like to do for free if the consequences didn’t seem overwhelming.

And most definitely not a saint who will suffer abuse till the end of time. The perfect Stoic adapts his or her thinking so as to remain undisturbed by undesirable circumstances; the perfect Buddhist sees thinking itself as just another set of circumstances, to be non-judgmentally observed.

It is the attitudinal foundation of the scientific burkemqn.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

Modern society tends to regard people as failures if they fail at one thing instead of separating the failure from the person. I need more adjectives to describe how much I enjoyed this look at happiness in the modern world. By demanding we repel every sour idea and insert a sweet one in its place, we are left in a constant state of vigilance and flight; marshaling our energies not toward beneficial outcomes but toward guarding against our natural inclination to adequately assess risk.

Because by the time Looking at life directly is a lot like looking at the sun directly and should come with similar warnings.

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

When we talked further, she said she had been using some visualization tapes, where you are directed to imagine that lasers or burkemn vigilante white cells are killing your tumor. D o you see a glass that is half-full, half-empty, or that simply contains enough antidotf to throw over the idiot asking you to make the choice? I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in popular psychology research.

What he suggests is that “a happiness worthy of the name” must include a mix of the rough and smooth, the aches and pains as well as the joys of life.


All it took, was reading a few small anecdotes about some well-known to people OTHER than me, of course motivational speakers, who sooner or later ended up going bankrupt. He wrote 47 novels during his lifetime. After all, someone fixated on the best outcome imaginable will be disappointed much more often. Here is a trailer about it: 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.

A lot of Tolle’s philosophy overlaps with the Buddhist concept of the self as illusory.

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

The thing is though, I entered the contest because I read the summary and immediately laughed because hand to god this book was almost exactly a conversation I was having with a good friend recently. I also have many, many problems with the kind of positive thinking that’s in books such as The SecretI have to say, which involve — just literally as far as I can tell — focusing on the idea of becoming very rich and successful and just waiting for it to happen.

How failure antidlte something that brings people together and creates community and should not be seen as an attack on who we are.

He talks of the merits of meditation, anridote of our current misplaced obsession with setting ourselves goals. Oh, and a bit of humor: 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.

Finally, far from being antodote 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. At the same time, he has not allowed his brain to turn to mush.

Which is certainly something that i like. And I agree with him when he writes that maybe our definition of “happiness” is screwed up. Science is another thing. Burkeman zeroes in on the same thing that Shakespeare put in the mouth of Hamlet: Once one is somewhat familiar with the subject, I’d instead recommend to read primary sources and more focused commentary on them, for example Seneca, A Guide to the Good Life: Sep 13, Caroline rated it really liked it Recommended to Caroline by: He can do that, of course, but not without leaving a gaping hole.


And I think they do provide a short burst of some good feeling to the people who go Strangely though this doesn’t stop me aligning myself with the rather Spartan ideas put forward in the book. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

I’d imagine that this book can serve as an overview and an introduction to another way to view life. Rather than thinking about everything in a positive way, it is much better to see things realistically, accurately, and truthfully.

But its very awkwardness is a reminder of the spirit that it expresses, which includes embracing imperfection and easing up on the search for neat solutions.

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

It’s funny, and smart and counterintuitive enough that it antidoet a whole damn lot of sense. The Antidote explores that interesting idea. I did like this book, but i wanted more from it.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? When I thought about doing this, when I told other people about it, everyone seems to agree it’s just a horrifying thought that you would be saying those things out loud. Preview — The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman. The subtitle here is the hook: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by philosopher and participatory journalist Oliver Burkeman; he instead looks at the many groups over the last several millennia, from the Stoics of ancient Greece to the Buddhists of Asia, the Rationalists of the Enlightenment, and even such modern figures as Alan Watts, to show that maybe it’s actually pretty healthy to sometimes picture the worst-case scenario, to embrace the failures you make, and to always carry with you a finely tuned daily awareness of your own imminent death.

Still, there’s a lot of great ideas in this little book that can get you thinking – maybe get you to the library to check out a philosophy book. He extensively quotes the renowned psychologist Albert Ellis. Try to define your “self” and put boundaries around it and it becomes very elusive. Then ther Calling this book life changing would be a little hyperbolic, calling it perspective changing would not.