The Antidote is a series of journeys among people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. What they have in common is a hunch about human psychology: that it’s our constant effort to eliminate the negative that causes us to feel so anxious, insecure, and unhappy. And that there is an alternative "negative path" to happiness and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid. It is a subversive, galvanizing message, which turns out to have a long and distinguished philosophical lineage ranging from ancient Roman Stoic philosophers to Buddhists. Oliver Burkeman talks to life coaches paid to make their clients’ lives a living hell, and to maverick security experts such as Bruce Schneier, who contends that the changes we’ve made to airport and aircraft security since the 9/11 attacks have actually made us less safe. And then there are the "backwards" business gurus, who suggest not having any goals at all and not planning for a company’s future.
Burkeman’s new audiobook is a witty, fascinating, and counterintuitive listen that turns decades of self-help advice on its head and forces us to rethink completely our attitudes toward failure, uncertainty, and death.
©2012 Oliver Burkeman (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Absolutely - and I've pretty much been talking about and sharing this book with anyone and everyone over the past week as I've been listening to it.
I LOVE this book because it means I don't have to change who I am to be happy. It's about perspective and goal-seeking (a chapter which I found particularly fascinating and mind-opening)... you don't have to change who you are or your personality. You can be a rational logical thinking human being, and use those qualities to find tranquility and contentment in your life now. I think listening to the book is probably easier than reading it. I definitely see myself listening to it more than once (which is not something I can usually do - usually I read something once and it's done.) But this is inspiring and the context it gives to life helps you evaluate life from the place where you are - not from where everyone around you tells you you are supposed to be.
The examples and stories are fun and well-written, and the author is a great reader. I think there are some American readers who may not be used to English snark and might be put off by that, I thought it was funny.
My only real complaint is that he suffers from the same perspective skew that he complains of in positive thinking; lack of real evidence and a pious attachment to their own belief.
I can think of people in my life that could benefit from this book, in the same way that I know of people who benefitted from "The Secret", and over-all I think the truth sits somewhere in the middle depending on the individual.
I would definitely recommend this book, especially to students of marketing, behavioral sciences and psycho-history.
Tired of all the "get happy" books out there? Then try this. I enjoyed listening to Oliver Burkeman's narration and appreciated his dry sense of humor and his sincerity. His main point is that trying too hard to be happy can actually result in being less happy. It's truly a novel idea that you don't have to love what you are doing at all times every day, or that you can make the pain, sadness and disappointments in your life just magically disappear by following one method or another. Or that it is necessarily good to always look on the bright side. Burkeman's isn't telling us that we all have to go around being grumps, but when things go wrong or we get too attached to the right way for things to be, we are running away from thoughts and emotions that if we felt them and didn't resist them, would help us grow and maybe reset our whole idea of what "happiness" is.
I read all of the success books that a young person embarking on a career might read. I could never get on board with the outlandish claims and goals which did not align with reality. Read this book to put your yourself in the right frame of mind to allow success to or not to happen to you.
I was hesitant about getting yet another "self help" book, but I can say this is the first one that I feel has helped! I have always struggled to be positive, and that is just fine! I no longer feel like I am failing at life for my natural negative thought processes. I truly appreciate this book for giving me another point of view. Oliver Burkeman has a nice voice, I love it when an author records their own audio book.
I enjoyed this book because it provides insight on how to appreciate the negative paths. Although I think I am a generally positive person, it may be because I am comfortable learning from whatever happens. This book explores embracing life as it is instead of worrying about the uncertainty. Made me happy to listen to it!
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