Customer Review

57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A self-help book for pessimists, September 6, 2012
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This review is from: The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed reading this book. As a pessimist, I always thought that most of my ideas about life were not shared with mankind. The book showed me that some of my personal strategies are in fact quite common and proved effective also by others.

If you hate self-help books I am sure that you will love reading this book, if you love them you SHOULD read this book.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 9, 2012 11:27:04 PM PST
Adel Anwar says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 2:54:55 AM PST
Pessimism will always be more realistic than optimism. Just look at the billions of Africans who are starving this instant.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 2:55:37 AM PST
Positive thinking won't help people dealing with cancer, and may make the grieving process harder when one loses kith and kin.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 4:42:46 AM PST
Adel Anwar says:
Thanks. 1. I do not understand the "link" between your two issues above: optimism/pessimism vs. starvation/non-starvation.

2. From a scientific point of view, you are wrong. The optimist has the greatest chance of survival. That does not mean the optimist can not equally be realistic. Think about Max X that is starving and going to die anyway: better tobe optimistic and find a way to attempt to live; or pessimistic and give up? I notice in concentration camp (for example) Victor Frankl in the midst of certain death chose optimism and "blamed it" on surviving.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 5:23:30 AM PST
1. Well, if optimism is supposed to make everything better for everyone, why aren't we all well-fed human beings with bodies that would shame Brad Pitt and Miss Universe?

2. Optimism and realism are mutually exclusive. If you think you'll win the lottery, and spend all your money, you'll likely be dead broke within a few weeks. And I would suspect that optimism increases one's heart rate and metabolism, leading to more calories burned in the same amount of time relative to a pessimist.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 6:18:28 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2012 6:23:30 AM PST
Adel Anwar says:
Winston - thanks for your insights. In answer to your points:

i. Optimism is not "automatic" just like cleaning is not automatic. Entropy laws states that going from order to chaos is automatic. So optimism must be cultivated and engaged. It is not the "guarantee of happiness" but the "pursuit of happiness" that is your inalienable right . If you want a body like Brad - then you eat and work at it with faith (optimism) over time to cultivate it.

ii. To you optimism and "so called realism' are mutally exclusive. This is an error , but I admit it may be a valid subjective perception.

To me: optimism - de facto - includes being realistic . However "realism" is itself a "subjective perception" for example "what exactly is it to be realistic" ? It varies depending upon the individual. I support being highly optimistic whilst concurrently evaluating and analysis as many perspectives as possible (upsides and downsides, then designing a way forward and engaging actually or test runs with sheer optimism).

Optimism is a way of life - but a choice. Hence gurus charge [and are well worth] millions of dollars to learn to cultivate this state. Alternatively without the gurus, the drug option is another way - that is equally expensive and fraught with side effects.

3. As for people dealing with terminal illness: positive thinking is the only hope and last line of defence (assumption: as long as one is realistic in evaluating all options and reaching decisions). If you are going to die anyway - better to live in the enjoyment and pursuit of happiness , than to live a miserable life that is left (and NO one that no one can predict - how long is actually left) till death. Once again it is a "choice" and takes effort to be optimistic (it is not automatic). It is a great choice in my expert opinion: the fabric of being American - the best.
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