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

Burkeman, Oliver
Faber and Faber 2012
ISBN 978-0-86547-941-8
225pp
Date finished: 2013-02-10

A short and lively tour through several negative philosophies of life such as Stoicism, Buddhism, and some unnamed approaches. What that they have in common is that they don't strive for perfection and focus only on the positive. Stoicism suggests that we should contemplate the negative -- imagine "the worst thing that could possibly be happen" -- in order to see clearly the good in what we have. Buddhism suggests that we should not become attached to things or to desires, and meditation empties the mind of chatter. Setting goals can lead to target-fixation, in which you steer single-mindedly toward a specified goal without considering that circumstances have changed. Eckhart Tolle argues that the self is merely a fiction and its boundaries don't need to be so scrupulously policed. Security and success can never be guaranteed. If this way of thinking appeals to you, Burkeman's book is a worthy introduction that gives the reader a starting point for further investigation.

Tagged: philosophy

Permalink: http://books.amk.ca/2013/02/Antidote.html

%T The Antidote
%S Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking
%A Burkeman, Oliver
%W http://www.oliverburkeman.com/
%G ISBN 978-0-86547-941-8
%I Faber and Faber
%D 2012
%P 225pp
%K philosophy
%@ 2013-02-10
%* *

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