📚 The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, by Oliver Burkeman

I first spotted this book in a Bergen café. It had this beautiful blue cover, with lettering that caught my eye — and a subtitle that made me absolutely certain I wanted to read it. I bought it for my Kindle just before a trip, and read it while hanging out in various coffee shops while traveling.

The author has some hilarious descriptions about “the cult of happiness”, along with some wonderfully reassuring parts that really resonated with me. There is hope. 💕 But he doesn’t preach optimism or quick wins for finding happiness in life. Some of my favourite highlights:

…we habitually act as if our control over the world were much greater than it really is. Even such personal matters as our health, our finances, and our reputations are ultimately beyond our control; we can try to influence them, of course, but frequently things won’t go our way. And the behaviour of other people is even further beyond our control.

It is essential to grasp a distinction here between acceptance and resignation: using your powers of reason to stop being disturbed by a situation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to change it.

…we could learn to become more comfortable with uncertainty, and to exploit the potential hidden within it, both to feel better in the present and to achieve more success in the future.


Note to self — Read this one again some time, okay? Perhaps if life is giving you a rough time, or if everything is fine. Either way works and will be worth it. 👍