The subtle art of not giving a f*ck – Book review

Author : Mark Manson

It was funny how I kept seeing the title of this book everywhere! So I decided to give it a read, and ended up having a shocking realisation of how many petty things in life have I (or we) given a fuck about. Now, to all those who get offended easily, please don’t get worked up on this title. This book has nothing to do with the f word at all, but is just a brilliant guide on how to go with the flow of life peacefully.
I have a few important takeaways from this book that I felt were worth jotting down.

Happiness: Most of us have a misconstrued definition of happiness. Becoming famous, having loads of followers in your social accounts, always buying high end products (especially cosmetics, lol) to live an extravagant lifestyle. If these are the things that actually make you happy, *facepalm* ,you have totally got the wrong meaning of happiness. The author calls them as some kind of a pleasure that gives you the highs on and off, but eventually drags you into the ditch.
Happiness is not just smiling even at your bad times, but accepting those situations completely. The author has wonderfully struck a chord with his readers by saying that do not try hard to be always happy, it only makes us more unhappy! And that is so true!

Values: What values we hold dear in our life is very important. Because it is these values alone that we should probably give a fuck about (or care about). Unfortunately, there are many who cling onto values like “I hope everyone likes me”, “I want to be someone special”, “I want to be the centre of attention” blah blah. Such kind of values do not get us anywhere in life. The author says that it’s better to revisit our values, even if it makes us uncomfortable or difficult to go ahead with them. These values define who we are and how we live our lives. Human beings have smarter brains than other living species. Isn’t this fact good enough to be special already?!You don’t have to try too hard to be exceptional or unique. A rat race is for the rats, not for humans! I believe that we should rather invest our time and efforts in constructing meaningful values and achieving them. The author amazingly changes our mindset to this.

Suffering: Nowadays we suddenly keep hearing that going to a psychologist is no longer a disconcerting issue. Or choosing a life coach career is just as easy as finishing a course and straight away leaping into becoming one. I don’t feel the author is actually trying to criticize life coaches here, he strongly feels that WE owe the responsibility of our problems and not others. Instead of seeking others to solve our problems, it is time we start taking responsibility and own our problems. There is no harm in taking guidance or recommendations from others(not just mentors, everyone for that matter), but we cannot keep them entitled to our lives. If we have appropriate and meaningful values in life, the suffering that we go through is actually a joyful experience. This is because we know that we are on our rightful path to attaining these values.

Death: Death is inevitable, and naturally, it gives us the creeps. Whenever discussions related to death crop up, we stubbornly change topics or avoid them. In certain cases, we even make light of it by saying something humorous. But do we really feel fearless inside?! The author describes a wonderful incident about how close he was to death and how refreshing he felt after that. He says that we need to consider death as a fact rather than a fear. During our ups and downs, constantly reminding ourselves that death is an inevitable occurrence, will actually make things better. It makes us to reflect that whatever we are struggling for is worth it or not, at the end!

The author has shared many stories to explain how well we can contemplate what life is all about. Addressing these philosophies in such a humorous, but influential way is, I believe, the greatest success of this book.

To those who haven’t read this book yet, go grab your copy soon! 😀

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Immortal talks – My perception

I have been reading books (mostly fiction) for quite a while. Something made me read books on Philosophy,and Immortal talks is my fourth read related to life lessons.
This book easily becomes the most favourite, nonetheless the most difficult to understand too.
The author being anonymous – Shunya(nothing), also adds a mystery element to the book.
Each story/incident, infact each and every page, has an underlying meaning. I tried to put down in few lines, of what I deciphered in accordance to the chapters.

Chapter 1 : A very hard-to-accept fact is that we live the reality that we ourselves choose. As mere human beings, our life travels the path based on what our mind and body yearns towards. Enlightenment is a realisation wherein we are able to attend to our soul and not just our mind/body, to break free the illusionary world.

Chapter 2 : We, as humans, have lots of emotions that are not in our control. Detaching ourselves from these attachments though difficult, is seemingly possible. Next time you see anyone exhibiting strong emotions, think that they are in a play directed by the Universe; don’t let it make an impact on you. This gradually makes you believe that you too are part of the play, whenever you feel dragged by any kind of attachments. Isn’t it great to know that we are here for a higher purpose, and not just exchanging karmas with each other by falling prey to the delusional world?!

Chapter 3 : My personal favorite. This is a mind boggling experience of erasing the definition of time and space, and looking at our life as a sequence of scenes. Whatever we imagine is out there in the Universe as a ‘scene’. Now which scene translates into a reality is entirely in our hands. While it’s ok to enjoy these scenes that we manifest into our reality, life is better if we do not cling on to them once it’s over. Somewhere in this chapter, you will feel a state of nothingness. Enjoy this experience as I really doubt it could be found in any other book.

Chapter 4: This chapter engages us with an enchanting soul travel beautifully described. It also emphasises the importance of empathy and compassion one must have. We live a better life when we are conscious of not just our fellow humans, but also of other living beings around us.

Chapter 5: Again a continuation of soul travel, but with a deeper meaning associated to death. Though we perceive death as the end of everything, there is always some part of us alive in the lives of our loved ones. Yes, I know, it’s intriguing to accept this fact. But the author has wonderfully explained this with a concept of the soul.

Chapter 6: We often get possessed by cursed souls (positive and negative emotions). Being aware of these emotions and their impact on us, itself is liberation in a way. Eventually, just let go and release!

This probably might be 10% of what my deluded brain could interpret.
Never miss the opportunity of reading this book; it has got some magic which touches your soul and leaves you in a state of bliss.

PS: I have become a huge fan of Hanuman after reading this book, and have come to believe him as a superhero…😎😄