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The Power of Negative Thinking

And How It Can Be a Powerful Route to Joy, Success and Satisfaction
Narrated by: Oliver Burkeman
Length: 1 hr and 35 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

To achieve any major life goal, conventional wisdom tells us we must think positively. Picture yourself delivering the perfect presentation and it shall be so; envisage the ideal job interview and it will go well; imagine yourself sprinting first across the finish line and you will romp home as champion. While these strategies sound compelling, they have been shown to backfire. 

Oliver Burkeman explores why people are often more successful - as are organisations, armies and governments - when they focus on reasons they are likely to fail; asks where happiness comes from, and whether we look for it in the wrong places; explores a phenomenon that has come to be called 'fungineering' – attempts to boost happiness in the workplace; and confronts what many of us see as the most negative of all experiences: death.

In a special one off episode, The Impostor's Survival Guide, Oliver Burkeman explores why so many of us spend our working lives feeling like impostors on the brink of being found out. Where do these feelings come from and are we alone? Oliver talks to individuals who've reached the top of their field whether in the arts, business or medicine about how they all feel like impostors from time to time. He'll also examine the latest research that suggests its more prevalent than ever. What's changed about how we live and work today that leaves so many of us with these feelings. And what can be done about them? Is just admitting to one another that we all feel same way enough?  

©2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2019 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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Light and refreshing listen

In the typical rush of everyday life, the book brings you back to earth, but not in a way that most psychological reads do, but in a light, a bit humorous way

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  • Andrew Lenards
  • 23-07-19

Perfect Follow-up to "Addicted to Busy"

Oliver Burkeman perfectly outlines how positive thinking is likely to backfire. This is a great introduction to Burkeman's perspective. I particularly enjoyed the final chapter on imposture feelings and imposturism. If this is the first you've heard of Burkeman, you are in for a treat! Once you finish with this, enjoy "The Antidote", "Addicted to Busy", and "Why Are We So Angry?". Checkout his appearance on the 10% Happier podcast too!

2 people found this helpful