Stand FirmResisting the Self-Improvement Craze
Stand Firm
Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze

The pace of modern life is accelerating. To keep up, we must keep on moving and adapting, constantly striving for greater happiness and success. Or so we are told. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: stress, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high, while our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic.

How can we resist today's obsession with introspection and self-improvement? In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and 'stand firm'. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner self but in coming to terms with yourself in order to coexist peacefully with others. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this vibrant anti-self-help guide offers a compelling alternative to life coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say 'yes!'

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More Info
  • January 2017
  • 152 pages
  • 210 x 138 mm / 8 x 5 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $49.95
  • 9781509514250
  • Paperback $14.95
  • 9781509514267
  • Open eBook $14.95
  • 9781509514298
Table of Contents

1. Cut out the navel-gazing
2. Focus on the negative in your life
3. Put on the No hat
4. Suppress your feelings
5. Sack your coach
6. Read a novel ? not a self-help book or biography
7. Dwell on the past

About the Author
Svend Brinkmann was living the relatively sedate life of a professor of psychology at Aalborg University when Stand Firm was published. The book was an overnight sensation in Denmark and catapulted him into the media limelight as a leading public intellectual and cultural critic. Svend now travels widely to host events and lecture on the big questions of modern life. He has featured in several documentaries, and presented Live Fast on Danish television and the Meaningful Life series on national radio.

The psychologist leading the backlash against self help — The Times

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"Stand Firm is an exhilarating broadside against the intense modern pressure to do more, be more, to become happier and more productive, and to 'find yourself'. In championing Stoicism over the relentless and exhausting wild-goose chase of self-help, Svend Brinkmann - though he might not like the fact - has written a book that truly helps." - Oliver Burkeman, columnist, The Guardian

"This wonderfully funny and intelligent book not only exposes the foolishness of the self-help cult, but also offers a concrete and appealing alternative, reminding us that philosophy is as relevant for living our lives today as it has ever been." - Carl Cederstrom, Stockholm Business School

"Every once in a while a book comes along that is both ironic and serious, both funny and challenging, both timely and wise. Stand Firm, with its seven steps toward living against our accelerated culture of 'self-realization', is such a book. It should be on the bookshelf of every person concerned with the state of the world - or with the state of themselves." - Todd May, Clemson University

"Stand firm is a brilliant, funny, liberating and significant critique of the dominant and individualizing hamster wheel culture that we live in... Brinkmann's book is for the people, that is all, for all of us." - Politiken

"A satirical, but also very deep alternative to the current compulsion for self-developement." - Berlingske Tidende

“A bracing and defiant manifesto." - The Sydney Morning Herald
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