Happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking

14 Mar 2013 59:11 60
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Oliver Burkeman, winner of the Foreign Press Association Young Journalist of the Year Award, explores "happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking" in his best-selling book The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking.

Burkeman says "For a civilisation so fixated on achieving happiness, we seem remarkably incompetent at the task. Self-help books don't seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth -- even if you can get it -- doesn't necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life and work often seem to bring as much stress as joy. We can't even agree on what 'happiness' means".

Oliver Burkeman seeks answers from an unusual collection of people -- experimental psychologists and Buddhists, terrorism experts, spiritual teachers, business consultants, philosophers -- who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. They argue that 'positive thinking' and relentless optimism aren't the solution, but part of the problem. And that there is an alternative, 'negative path' to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity and uncertainty -- those things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought provoking, counterintuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.

New York based Burkeman, is a regular contributor to The Guardian. His work has also appeared in Esquire, Elle, GQ, the Observer and the New Republic. He holds a degree in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University.

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