Oliver Burkeman quotes and books

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The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking quotes

For the Stoics, then, our judgments about the world are all that we can control, but also all that we need to control in order to be happy; tranquility results from replacing our irrational judgments with rational ones

Confronting the worst-case scenario saps it of much of its anxiety-inducing power. Happiness reached via positive thinking can be fleeting and brittle, negative visualization generates a vastly more dependable calm.

And here lies the essential between Stoicism and the modern-day 'cult of optimism.' For the Stoics, the ideal state of mind was tranquility, not the excitable cheer that positive thinkers usually seem to mean when they use the word, 'happiness.' And tranquility was to be achieved not by strenuously chasing after enjoyable experiences, but by cultivating a kind of calm indifference towards one's circumstances.

True security lies in the unrestrained embrace of insecurity - in the recognition that we never really stand on solid ground, and never can.

For the Stoics, then, our judgments about the world are all that we can control, but also all that we need to control in order to be happy; tranquility results from replacing our irrational judgments with rational ones

The effort to feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable. And that it is out constant efforts to eliminate the negative - insecurity, uncertainty, failure, or sadness - that is what causes us to feel so insecure, anxious, uncertain, or unhappy


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