I keep waiting for “positive psychology’s” 15 minutes of fame to elapse. Although sympathetic to the origins of the whole thing (why expect the study of psychopathology to reveal insights into normal function?), the whole “happiness 101” thing left me a little cold. But it goes on and on, kind of like Cats did, equally mystifying in its popularity.
Apparently I’m not the only nay sayer. Courtesy of Powell’s Books news, I learned about “The Antidote” by Oliver Burkeman, who apparently takes a dim, if droll, look, at the whole positive psych movement.
From the publisher’s blurb:
And [Burkeman says] that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty — the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent persons guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.
I have always wanted a self-help book that might have been written by Samuel Beckett. Prayer answered? Full report after I’ve finished it. In the meantime, here’s the first paragraph: