Ironically, self-help books are often among the things that fail to make us happy. What we want from life and the methods by which we receive it are imperative on our individual pursuits of happiness.
“Confronting the worst-case scenario saps it of much of its anxiety-inducing power. Happiness reached via positive thinking can be fleeting and brittle, negative visualization generates a vastly more dependable calm.”The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman
The Quick Brew
It’s understandable that we crave books that offer clean solutions to finding happiness, but the common message of positive thinking is a controversial concept that doesn’t work for everyone. “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” may be the perfect solution for those who have always struggled with positive thinking.
The Quick Stir
Oliver Burkeman, who writes articles on psychology and personal development for The Guardian newspaper, asks “Who says happiness is the only valid goal?”
He puts forward the “negative path” as an antidote to the frenzy of positive thinking. Instead of trying to suppress negativity with a constant cheerful mood, seek the happiness that comes from being negative.
“…it pointed to an alternative approach, a ‘negative path’ to happiness, that entailed taking a radically different stance towards those things that most of us spend our lives trying to avoid. It involved learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity, stopping trying to think positively, becoming familiar with failure, even learning to value death. In short, all these people seemed to agree that in order to be truly happy, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions—or, at the very least to learn to stop running quite so hard from them.The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman
The Antidote is a record of a journey with people, living and dead, who follow a negative path to happiness. The book take us to meditation retreats in remote jungles, to the vibrant streets of Mexico, where death is not something to be avoided but celebrated, and to extremely poor slums where insecurity is an unavoidable fact of everyday life.
“It is alarming to consider how many major life decisions we take primarily in order to minimise present-moment emotional discomfort.”The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman
Thought-provoking, insightful, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is an intelligent person’s guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness. It shows us that the road to happiness is not full of joy, but that happiness is in fact surrounded by turbulence, failure, and indecision.
The Quick Pour
The Antidote is an enjoyable and thought-provoking book. With beliefs from both East and West, from the past and contemporary times, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
About Our H360 Book Picks
We are dedicated to celebrating all of the amazing and beautiful cultures from around the world. We have curated each book in our H360 Book Picks to show an authentic and comprehensive view of different journeys & lifestyles in our global cultures. We are pleased to highlight fresh perspectives that transcend certain preconceived concepts about who we all can be. Each of our H360 Book Picks has been selected to nourish your alignment.