“True security lies in the unrestrained embrace of insecurity - in the recognition that we never really stand on solid ground, and never can”
Is our search for happiness futile?
Or are we just going about it the wrong way?
In this fascinating new book, Oliver Burkeman argues that ‘positive thinking’ and relentless optimism aren’t the solution to the happiness dilemma, but part of the problem. And that there is, in fact, an alternative path to contentment and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid – uncertainty, insecurity, pessimism and failure. Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.
“An excellent book; Burkeman makes us see that our current approach, in which we want happiness but search for certainty - often in the shape of material goods - is counterproductive. We’re on a treadmill of disappointment. So Burkeman explores a better way, and tells us about the philosophers and thinkers who have inspired him”
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”The Antidote is a gem. Countering a self-help tradition in which “positive thinking” too often takes the place of actual thinking, Oliver Burkeman returns our attention to several of philosophy’s deeper traditions and does so with a light hand and a wry sense of humor. You’ll come away from this book enriched - and, yes, even a little happier”
Daniel H. Pink
author Of Drive And A Whole New Mind
“Quietly subversive, beautifully written, persuasive and profound, Oliver Burkeman’s book will make you think - and smile”
author Of Alex’s Adventures In Numberland
“He has written some of the most truthful and useful words on [happiness] to be published in recent years. This is a marvellous synthesis of good sense, which would make a bracing detox for the self-help junkie”
“If life can only have one destination, then, Burkeman argues, we should enjoy the journey as much as we can and deal with the terminus when it comes. It’s a simple idea, but an exhilarating and satisfying one”
Oliver Burkeman is a feature writer for the Guardian. He is a winner of the Foreign Press Association’s Young Journalist of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the What The Papers Say Feature Writer of the Year award. He writes a popular weekly column on psychology, This Column Will Change Your Life, and has reported from London, Washington and New York. His work has also appeared in Esquire, Elle, GQ, the Observer and the New Republic. He was born in Liverpool in 1975, grew up in York, and holds a degree in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University.
Oliver Burkeman on The Art of Charm podcast, discussing why you might be happier if you resist positive thinking …