The book by Oliver Burkeman, titled, The Antidote, is something that I picked up after reading his latest book Four Thousand Weeks. I fell in love with many of the ideas expressed in his writings that I wanted to read through this book, written almost a decade ago. Wow! It was a pleasure reading the book and in this blogpost, I will attempt to summarize the main points from the book in the form of brain dump

The main idea of the book is that there is a cult of optimism that is propagated by motivational speakers, authors, teachers, parents, bosses in our world. The intention might be noble but inevitably the outcome is not what’s expected. The book systematically looks at various aspects of Positive thinking and gives arguments and examples for its ineffectiveness in handling life’s uncertainties. A refreshing way to look at life is to move away from positive-seeking, emotionally charged, goal-seeking behavior and make peace with the uncertainty around us.

Any reader will walk away with a different perspective towards life, if he/she thoroughly endorses “positive thinking”, “positive visualization”, “optimism” and all that goes with it. It is likely you might flip your thought process after going through the various arguments by the author.