It’s been a while since I have finished a good book, and the primary reason for that is because I have been stuck on Mark Manson’s Everything is F*cked for the last three or four weeks. I wish that I would have just put the book down and moved onto the next book, but my OCD simply wouldn’t let me. Once I start something, I need to finish it.
Mark Manson’s first book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck was actually a pretty good book. Not my favorite, but it was good.
After managing to make it through the first hundred pages of nothing but an unnecessary amount of using the word “f*ck,” the message became clear. We are often led to believe that in order to live a happier life, then we need to be more. We need to buy more, we need to own more, we need to have more, and we need to be more. What we fail to realize, though, is that the more we have, the more miserable we become.
The key to living a happier life isn’t to care about more. It’s actually to care about less. It’s to care about the things that truly matter in life, not the things that bring momentary happiness. Forget about having all of the fancy belongings, forget about the judgment of others, forget about trying to impress everyone around you, if you want to find happiness, then you need to care less about what others think and more on yourself.
That’s not the case with Everything is F*cked, though. Truth be told, it was hard to focus on what the message was. If there is one way to describe this book, it would be one massive brain dump mixed in with endless amounts of research over the course of 232 pages. To me, this book didn’t flow as easily as Manson’s previous.
Everything is F*cked
As Manson describes, there are two parts to our brain. There is the Thinking Brain and there is the Feeling Brain. Too often we listen to our Feeling Brain to help us feel a certain way without using our Thinking Brain and understanding how our actions are going to impact us moving forward. And with that, I agree.
We often do use our Thinking Brain to help us overcome our fear of The Uncomfortable Truth – the truth that we are all going to die, that we are going to be forgotten once we die, and that in the grand scheme of things, we mean very little in the enormous picture of life, even if we think we are all that and a bag of chips.
But then we get into Religions. Yes, once you make it past the first hundred and some pages of the Thinking Brain and Feeling Brain going back and forth with each other, you then get to read about all of the different religions, and not the common religions that you are thinking of.
As Manson describes, every group that we associate with in life is a religion, and basically, we are all f*cked because when we diversify ourselves into certain religions, we grow to hate everybody who falls under a religion whose beliefs don’t align with ours.
Again, to some extent, I agree with this as well.
Then, the last religion: AI. We have created computers that are far smarter than we are, and in the long run, we are f*cked because we are giving AI control over every aspect of our lives. (Okay, as I am writing this, I actually see where Manson is coming from).
The part that I really didn’t enjoy, though, was when Manson talked about hope. You would think that because the book is about having hope you would gain some insight on hope, right? Wrong.
When talking about the idea of hope, Manson says:
“Instead of looking for hope, try this. Don’t hope. Don’t despair, either. In fact, don’t deign to believe you know anything. It’s that assumption of knowing with such blind, fervent, emotional certainty that gets us into these kinds of pickles in the first place. Don’t hope for better,” he writes. “Just be better. Be something better. Be more compassionate, more resilient, more humble, more disciplined. Many people would also throw in there, ‘Be more human,’ but no — be a better human.”
See, this is the part that I highly disagree with. Being better, more compassionate, more resilient, all of these things are much easier said than done. Sometimes, we need hope. Sometimes it is hope that gives us the strength to be better when we don’t believe that we can actually be better. Without hope, what would be there to help motivate us?
I guess I can only speak for myself, but in the midst of my struggles, it was hope that helped me to find a way, it was hope that gave me the strength and courage to live a life that I was not yet living, and it was hope that ultimately provided that better life for me. I had tried for years to “just be better” and that didn’t work. Needless to say, without hope, I fear that I would still be living the same old miserable life.
Look, I am only one person. With that, no matter what I think about the book, I still have to give Manson credit for even writing it. I mean, writing a book is a pretty damn big accomplishment, especially one that will probably be a New York Times Best Seller.
But the book just wasn’t for me. I am more of your classic “self-development” uplifting kind of guy. I enjoy reading books about the good in life and why we should have hope, not books that state to give up hope and just be. For me, it just doesn’t work that way.
It might be a little harsh, but I would rate this book 4/10. It just wasn’t for me, and overall, I am glad to be done with it.
Who knows, though. Maybe this book will help you. Again, this is all my opinion. It doesn’t mean that some won’t find it to be a good book, it just simply wasn’t my style.
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