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The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking | [Oliver Burkeman]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Michel 08-07-15
    Michel 08-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Bon concept"

    Il y a des bon concepts, mais il faut savoir que c'est un livre ultra philosophique. Gens pragmatique s'abstenir.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cory A Howe Anoka, MN United States 04-20-15
    Cory A Howe Anoka, MN United States 04-20-15 Member Since 2010
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    "I don't buy it. but..."

    It helps to read & think about opposing viewpoints. I don't buy it. The logic seems flawed but I recognize that my biases are in play. Maybe for some this works. To me much of it feels like running away

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Tran 02-10-15
    Helen Tran 02-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Enjoyed every bit."

    "Who says happiness is a valid goal in the first place?"

    About ten minutes in the author said this and I knew I had picked up the right book.

    The book happens to be one of many books on happiness which I have read and I'd have to say one of the best. His arguments against the positive thinking trend were interesting and thorough. His 'techniques' on how to achieve happiness through a negative path I find correlate with what I have also discovered over the past few years through my various readings. While I wasn't particularly looking for confirmation, it was nice to know that I wasn't the only one who subscribed to the positive thinking only way of life.

    I appreciated the performance as well, he keep me interested and I nearly digested the book in one sitting because I couldn't turn it off.

    Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in exploring their definition of happiness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antonio Rollon 02-06-15
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    "amazing "read""

    the author speaks in such a way that is almost impossible to not pay attention.

    and the content is extremely thought provoking and profound.. I realize at3 years on the planet am actually a stoic Buddhist!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie 01-25-15
    Marie 01-25-15
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    "Et si le bonheur n'était pas LE but?"

    Très bien, surtout les 3 premiers chapitres. Le reste aussi est bien mais s'écarte du sujet du stoïcisme. Humour, excellente voix. Une lecture intéressante mais quand même plutôt légère.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darcy 01-04-15
    Darcy 01-04-15
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    "Enlightening and entertaining"

    I wondered if this might be an exercise in positive thinking mockery and nothing more, but it's really far from that. Lessons learned from the mistakes of the positive thinking camp are shared, sometimes sardonically, but the real meat of this book is in the detailed examples of the various ways in which people achieve happiness by not focusing on that as the goal.

    I love it when an author presents their own work and Oliver Burkeman's reading here is a perfect example of why. He delivers The Antidote in tones both heartfelt and wry, as only someone who's been there and lived that can.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kay United States 04-12-14
    Kay United States 04-12-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Better on a Kindle"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is thought provoking and I like the premise and the perspective it offers. I think it would be far better on a Kindle where I could highlight key concepts and things I would like to remember. I kept finding myself rewinding and re-listening to parts because I wanted to get the point of what he was saying and apply it to how I think or perceive the world. I just felt unfulfilled when the book was done, like having an in-depth discussion without a conclusion or obvious points I could easily apply. Again, I blame it partially on audio format. This book requires a little deeper thought and consideration. I am trying to decide if it is worth purchasing on the Kindle, but I understand the broad perspective and would be paying for a couple key concepts and illustrations that I found particularly valuable.

    Oddly unsatisfying. Maybe I just didn't focus enough. If you have an issue with feeling happy or positive (which I do at times) I think its a good read; just not life-altering, but it does give one some insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reg Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 12-27-12
    Reg Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 12-27-12
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    "Awesome"
    What made the experience of listening to The Antidote the most enjoyable?

    It was factual and made sense.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    ?


    Have you listened to any of Oliver Burkeman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The bits on goal setting where particularly stand out.


    Any additional comments?

    everyone should listen to this book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Vikoren 04-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Jaw Dropping Depth"

    Mr. Burkeman shares a sweeping journey of Epic proportions as he travels through key chains of though, practice, and research.

    The sense of speed is breathtaking as he demolishes one cherished fantasy after another while authentically exploring alternatives.

    If this is the only book you ever read on the nature of nature, then you picked the right one.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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