(Video link here.) We are always on the lookout for people, books and sites that give an honest view of what it takes to make or do or be something. So were intrigued by this video trailer for The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking. The book is Oliver Burkeman’s exploration of various kinds of “inspirational, success-oriented thinking” and new research that posits that “positive thinking” might not be as useful as we thought. It lead him to a radical take on happiness and success: the power of negative thinking, in which we learn to “bathe in insecurity, uncertainty and failure.”
We’re definitely gonna check it out as we’ve long thought that these principles are actually keys to the creative process. This Guardian piece distills a chunk nicely.
…it is our constant quest to eliminate or to ignore the negative – insecurity, uncertainty, failure, sadness – that causes us to feel so insecure, anxious, uncertain or unhappy in the first place.
Yet this conclusion does not have to be depressing. Instead, it points to an alternative approach: a “negative path” to happiness that entails taking a radically different stance towards those things most of us spend our lives trying hard to avoid. This involves learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity and becoming familiar with failure. In order to be truly happy, it turns out, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them.
The book, available in the UK will be released in the US in November. It you can’t wait, the UK version is available used and new from Amazon sellers or for Kindle.
via Brain Pickings
Related posts: ruth asawa: adversity allowed time for art
louis c.k on being broke (with su tung-p’o)
on making mistakes (in public, no less)
on the rightness of being wrong via TED
tool for improvising: embrace mistakes
‘harness the power of being an idiot!’x