About the Book
He’s done it again.
The Subtle Art of Giving a F*ck? Stunning.
Everything is F*cked? Knocked it out the park.
Mark Manson, I salute you!
I would try and elaborate what it’s about but I know for a fact I wouldn’t do it justice.
Instead, here are some of my favourite passages…
- “This is also probably partly why religious people suffer from depression and commit suicide in far fewer numbers than nonreligious people: that practiced faith protects them from the Uncomfortable truth.” Chapter 1: The Uncomfortable Truth
- “… the Thinking Brain makes lateral connections between events (sameness, contrasts, cause/effect, etc.), while the Feeling Brain makes hierarchical connections (better/worse, more desirable/less desirable, morally superior/morally inferior). Chapter 3: Newton’s Laws of Emotion
- “We all possess some degree of narcissism… The nature of our consciousness dictates that everything happen through us. It’s only natural, then, that our immediate assumption is that we are at the center of everything – because we are at the center of everything we experience.” Chapter 3: Newton’s Laws of Emotion
- “… one thing they [psychologists] do know is that childhood trauma fucks us up. This ‘snowball effect’ of early values is why our childhood experiences, both good and bad, have long-lasting effects on our identities and generate the fundamental values that go on to define much of our lives. Your early experiences become your core values, and if your core values are fucked up, they create a domino effect of suckage that extends through the years, infecting experiences large and small with their toxicity.” Chapter 3: Newton’s Laws of Emotion
- “There’s a reason that all the major religions in the world have a history of sending missionaries to the poorest and most destitute corners of the globe: starving people will believe anything if it will keep them fed.” Chapter 4: How to Make All Yours Dreams Come True
- “Now think of it this way: You exist. You didn’t do anything to deserve existing. You don’t even know why you started existing; you just did. Boom – you have a life. And you have no idea where it came from or why. If you believe God gave it to you, then, holy shit! Do you owe Him big time! But even if you don’t believe in God – damn, you’re blessed with life! What did you ever do to deserve that?… This is the constant, yet unanswerable question of the human condition, and why the inherent guilt of consciousness is the cornerstone of almost every spiritual religion.” Chapter 4: How to Make All Yours Dreams Come True
- “The average human from two thousand years ago experienced about as much economic growth in his lifetime as we experience in six months today.” Chapter 5: Hope is Fucked
- “And with no prospect for change or a better life in this lifetime, people drew their hope from spiritual promises of a better life in the next lifetime.” Chapter 5: Hope is Fucked
- “A friend of mine once described parenthood as ‘basically just following around a kid for a couple of decades and making sure he doesn’t accidentally kill himself – and you’d be amazed how many ways a kid can find to accidentally kill himself.'” Chapter 6: The Formula of Humanity
- “This is essentially what good parenting boils down to: implementing the correct consequences for a child’s pleasure/pain-driven behaviour. Punish them for stealing ice cream; reward them for sitting quietly in a restaurant.” Chapter 6: The Formula of Humanity
- “The Blue Dot Effect suggests that, essentially, the more we look for threats, the more we will see them, regardless of how safe or comfortable our environment actually is.” Chapter 7: Pain is the Universal Constant
- “This constancy of pain results in what is known as ‘the hedonistic treadmill’, upon which you run and run and run, chasing your imagined ten [out of ten]. But, no matter what, you always end up with seven. The pain is always there. What changes is your perception of it. And as soon as your life ‘improves’, your expectations shift, and you’re back to being mildly dissatisfied again.// But pain works in the other direction, too…” Chapter 7: Pain is the Universal Constant
What Others Are Saying
I do agree with the above Amazon review to some extent. It did feel a bit confused in places and I don’t think it’s quite as a slick as The Subtle Art…
Having said that, it’s still fantastically good!!!
I love Mark’s ability to unpack really complex philosophical and psychological theories from the likes of Kant and Plato, and the points he raises around pain being part of the human condition is something which I’ve never really understood before until now.
Is it his best? Probably not. I think I preferred Models and The Subtle Art… That doesn’t mean this is a bad book though. Far from it. Mark just happens to have set himself an exceedingly high standard.
In my eyes, this is never a bad thing!