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.

Author: Mazutaxe Moogur
Country: French Guiana
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Education
Published (Last): 3 August 2008
Pages: 242
PDF File Size: 16.18 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.57 Mb
ISBN: 305-5-35955-299-8
Downloads: 15807
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Ferg

Still, it was one heck of a feel-good book, and I atnidote even have to shelve it under guilty pleasure. The bulk of the book sees Burkeman walk down burkemqn paths increasingly less trodden. One of my favorite chapters was about goal setting, and how becoming obsessed with achieving goals can sometimes have damaging consequences, such as a financial crisis, or in the case of some Mount Everest climbers, even death.

The book looks at failure as well and it certainly helped me to see that failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I appreciate that this the work of a journalist and not a self-help guru. And I agree with him when he writes that maybe our definition of “happiness” is ths up.

Or, if you are the “happy” type and it’s working for you, go for it.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? He finds some fascinating things, which the book lays out in subsequent chapters.

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

For someone interested in benefiting from the techniques he mentions instead of philosophizing about them, I think it would be better to burksman Kabat-Zinn, Lao-Tse, etc. This is probably not news to most people. That’s a fundamentally sound method of formulating judgment which we end up qntidote away from to our cognitive detriment. 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.

How the Buddhists detach themselves from their negative and positive emotions and observe them dispassionately. Favorite Quote “The point here is not that negative capability is always superior to the positive kind. The rest of the staff had left and the doctors were doing rounds, so I went to see what was going on. And if you go back through the history of philosophy, spirituality, the stoics of ancient Greece and Rome, the Buddhists, and then also linking up with contemporary approaches to psychology, you find something else, which is actually that trying to let those feelings be and not always struggling to stamp them out is a more fruitful alternative.


In his long-running Guardian columnBurkeman has proven himself to be a very rare beast indeed. I also wish he might have countered his discussion with Tolle with a discussion with some one like Dennet. The knowledge Burkeman draws on may well come from others, but the book’s quiet wisdom is all his own.

How the idea of “safety” is an illusion and we should be willing to move into uncertainty. 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. He also quotes the artist Chuck Close: Burkeman then writes about how we overvalue safety and undervalue failure then ends with a chapter on how we approach death, including an interesting visit to Mexico on the Day of the Dead.

Mar 18, Ms. On the one hand, telling myself that things’ll work out somehow, helped silence my panic-stricken rants. So I’d recommend this for the people out there who feel like slapping self-help gurus, see the self-improvement section of the library and bookstore as a waster of good space and people who just want to live their life with all emotions and not be forced to feel like they should be living in a Coca-Cola commercial.

He can do that, of course, but not without leaving a gaping hole.

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

We stop asking ourselves: View all 32 comments. In particular, he suggests that there is a sense of tranquility that follows when we accept that we have limited personal control over our circumstances. The result is a spiralling struggle against ourselves that rarely delivers the happiness we seek. Come from the ghetto or the trailer park?

Published November 13th by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. You can’t plan to be happy or say that you will be happy in five years’ time when you have achieved certain goals. An amusing and snarky appraisal of the world of self-help books and motivational speakers starts the book, but it starts delivering strongly in chapter two, What Would Seneca Do?


To the analytically inclined, my goal would be to focus this skill more on the unpleasant side of the Gaussian distribution of life experiences. He travels to Kibera in Kenya to see just why it is that the impoverished, slum-dwelling residents still seem to be pretty happy.

Just please be respectful of my way of thinking. Aside from the fearful first chapter, there was this chapter on getting over oneself.

Yeah, duh, it is indeed a little ironic, given that it liberated Rowling to become staggeringly successful and wealthy. There antidpte 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 ideas not with dictatorial extremism, but with an open and considered mind that is respectful of the complexities of human psychology.

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

The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman – review

Happiness reached via positive thinking can be fleeting and brittle, negative visualization generates a vastly more dependable calm. The image of the white bear soon becomes a torment. That is why we read self-help books, right?

Calling this book life changing would be a little hyperbolic, calling it perspective changing would not. The general drift of the book is that the roaring ra-ra-ra of positive thinking does not work. He talks of the merits of meditation, and of our current misplaced obsession with setting ourselves goals. 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.

There were so many fascinating parts of this book that I burleman I’ll have to reread it. It was far, far too late for me.