Yes yes i know the name may be off-putting to some.but this book is like a breath of fresh air. There are a plethora of self-help books on the market today all preaching from the same scriptures…but… this….this book….is a different type of self help book. It is brutal. It is honest. It is real. It is sincere. It is genuine. It is like a slap in the face or a shot of Forres Park Puncheon rum (It is a Trini thing, it has 75% alcohol by volume, it is not for the faint of heart ;). It is not here just to make you feel better about yourself and all mushy and filled with self love and thinking and daydreaming about butterflies and rainbows. No, it is instead here to give you a hard dose of reality drawing upon some of the life experiences of the author. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and i would highly recommend it. Rating 4 / 5 ❤
Now, if you never heard of Mark Manson, you should maybe check out his website (https://markmanson.net/). The man does not sugarcoat anything in his blog posts and it is the same way in this book and this is why I enjoyed it. It doesn’t feel like a self help guru talking about a far fetched theory about the path to happiness or the importance of a positive mindset (don’t get me wrong I believe in the law of attraction and the importance of positive thinking but you can’t just sit back and think positively and hope to live a well fulfilled, successful life). 😎
Some of the key points from the book that stuck out for me were:
- “Wanting positive experience is a negative experience, accepting negative experience is a positive experience.” Yes, read that again and let me explain. So for example, the more you want to earn more money or have a better car or a bigger house, the less you appreciate the money that you are earning now, the car that you are driving or the house that you are living in. All of a sudden, no matter what size home you are living in, it starts to feel smaller because you want something bigger, the key takeaway here is that okay to want more money or a better job or a fancier car but appreciate what you have at the same time.
- “Self improvement is really about prioritizing better values, choosing better things to give a f about.” On a daily basis, you have a million decisions to make, some major decisions like in work deciding if to submit a report today or add another section and submit it tomorrow or minor decisions like what shoe to put on in the morning. There are many different things to worry about and self improvement, according to Mark Manson is about choosing what you care about, and focusing on that. Is health and peace of mind is important to you then prioritizing eating well, exercise and meditation should be at the top of your list of things you care about.
- “If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something – anything, really – and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself.” For example, you really want to have a healthier lifestyle, to complete a 5 km race by the end of December, you can start today, how about you walk 1/2 a km. Do something, get outside, just start. If there is a paper you need to complete for work or for school, and it is due in two weeks, do a paragraph today. Often times just starting an action can provide you with the motivation to continue because you already accomplished something.
- “To become truly great at something, you have to dedicate shit-tons of time and energy to it.” This should be obvious right? But, I find that we live in a world of instant gratification, people want to be successful right now, they want to leave university and get that big paying job right away, they wanna start singing and become a star overnight. But that is not the way it works, to become great at anything you have devote a lot of time and hard work, it does not just happen, you have to work for it.
I am a true believer in self development / personal development and personal growth and I enjoy books that make you examine yourself, reflect on your own behavior and analyze the way you have handled situations in the past. This book made me think, a lot. Do I care too much about everything? Maybe i should be more thoughtful with where what and whom i devote my time and effort: “where i give my f***s.” Maybe if i try to care about everything i really end up half-assing everything? Maybe, just maybe less is more. Maybe you should really be more selective in what you choose to care about, as Mark said:
The question then is, What do we give a fuck about? What are we choosing to give a fuck about? And how can we not give a fuck about what ultimately does not matter?
Think about that next time you are stressing or upsetting yourself about a situation or circumstance that really, you should not even be worrying about, because it ain’t your battle boo! ❤