Thursday, October 18, 2012

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

Full Disclosure I won this book as a Goodreads Firstreads. The thing is though, I entered the contest because I read the summary and immediately laughed because hand to god this book was almost exactly a conversation I was having with a good friend recently.  Basically we were talking about how we find the whole "self-help" thing boring.  My problems (not that I have any, obviously) do not stem from me not having any faith in my ability to get through things, so why do I need to wake up everyday and tell myself it will be a good day. Sometimes it isn't. You deal, and you move on.


... Anyways.

So the stars aligned and I won this book.  I was pretty excited, because you know, I wanted it.  Burkeman is a writer for The Guardian who (I believe?) (I should know this) (If not know, find out, since I'm a Librarian and it's what I do) explores psychology in his weekly column. The Antidote looks at finding contentment from different perspectives, moving your focus outside of yourself, not focusing on finding security, realizing your own mistakes and weakness and sometimes damnit realizing that being negative is actually the most positive outlook you can have. Basically this books is giving legitimacy to something we all kind of hoped - it's ok to not be perfect, it's ok to not be happy, it's ok to just plow through some things muttering to yourself about how this bleeding sucks and you just want it to be over so you just get. it. done. 

So long story short, I loved this book. It's funny, and smart and counterintuitive enough that it makes a whole damn lot of sense. What it's not is a self-help book. Well for me it almost was - it's one thing to have your friends agree with you - it's another thing when somebody wrote a whole book with actual facts about how it's ok to not force yourself to be happy.

So go. Buy a copy. Take out out from the library. Lend it to a friend (or few).  But make them buy their own copy after, because They should probably lend it to their friends.

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