Sunday, 9 February 2014

a bird in the hand

Here is a clever and thoughtful review of the new book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by British reporter Oliver Burkeman, that also presents a brilliant and worthwhile exploration into the recesses and reaches of plans, contingencies and preparedness — the sort of responsible behaviours that are supposed to be key to success in any venture.

Burkeman, with interviews and testimonials of others, however, shows rather that an unflinching focus of on a rigid set of goals is more of a liability and the sort of safe achievement that we are most accustomed to and not something innovative, original and sustaining. Taking the next steps along the path to realise ones goals and resolutions, idealised or assumed and inherited, can sometimes be only for the sake of vanquishing that uncomfortable feeling when one does not know where to go next, and detours—rather than embraced as opportunities or sabbaticals, are seen as set-backs and getting back on the imagined right path can become something counter-productive or ultimately hopeless. There is much wisdom and solace to found in flexibility and improvisation, too.