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.
Yes. Always nice to hear an author read his own work. More meaning is gleaned by inflection.
The author kept aware of the goal of his work. Excellent expository piece. Just enough in the way of examples, did not stray from the thread. Nice prose; this author can write!
Seems like a decent chap. Nice pacing.
Let's Turn Positive Thinking On Its Head!
I relly liked it. Has become a sort of manual for me.
Fantastic affirmation of many feelings I already have. Wonderful discovery of even more, new information and ideas that can only help reinforce the habits of thinking that lead to happiness.
This is a phenomenal, brilliant book. Honestly. Probably the single most important (if not the only) self-help book I would ever recommend to someone; and required reading for anyone who suffers from anxiety.
It's thoughtful and well researched. Very respectful of philosophies, theories, schools of thought, and science throughout the world and over the years.
Covers many sane approaches to tragedy, failure, and death, encouraging a respect for them that is not based in fear and avoidance. A good way to embrace life, and enjoy the depths of pleasure without feeling the need to keep a worried eye on trouble. Reminds me of a favorite lyric, "If you welcome every trespass, then every tramp's a guest. Give what they would take from you, then every theft's a gift." If you make friends with tragedy, you can enjoy the fruits of life far more deeply, and this book covers a range of approaches you can take.
Thoughtful and kind-hearted look at life & happiness. Not preachy but rather the writer approaches the human condition with a sense of awe and mystery that appears to model the thinking the writer is advocating. Sounds like it would be fun to sit down and talk with the writer about some of his adventurous research interacting with various people and cultures.
Very engaging book, held me right to the end. Basically an alternative look at happiness - not just how to achieve happiness, but a reset on our thinking about happiness that forces readers to redefine what happiness is. Oliver Burkeman does a great job of pulling together a summary of the thoughts and works of many prolific writers and thinkers throughout history in order to provide the rails for his audience to achieve this understanding. His many travels, interviews and experiences also make for some very amusing dialog and reflection. Readers interested in a no-nonsense reflection of life purpose, and in being real (without always having to think or be positive) will enjoy Mr. Burkeman's insights.
If you only read one book this year, or this decade, read this one. It unlocks all of the underlying logic behind many of the social science presented on npr. I found it to be life changing and I only started reading it 3 days ago.
Insightful, comforting, paradoxical.
I would have appreciated more "stories". There's a lot of philosophy, and my background in Buddhism helped me to understand a lot of the more complex theories or ideas, however I found it difficult to connect with or relate to without stories or examples.
Very insightful. Day-to-day, I am a positive, energetic and relatively "happy" person. However, I would call myself, or my inner thoughts, rather bitter, jaded or cynical. I cringe at the thought of positive thinking because some days I am sad, and I think it's just okay to feel what you feel. I found this book to be reassuring that my criticism that the optimism train sometimes only makes me feel worse about how I feel about certain situations. I appreciate that it breaks the mold of expectations that we tend to hold ourselves to as part of society.
I've found myself reluctant to fully embrace positive thinking or stoicism. Frustrated with the sugary cheeriness of the one and the grim war like mentally of the other. What a fabulous guide through both ideologies with rich and transformative life application.
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