Learning the subtle art of not giving a f*ck
Ever since I had learnt the title of this delightful book, I had been wanting to read it.I did download the E-book but let's just admit it : doodling at computer screens or kindles doesn't have the same charm associated with holding a book. When I finally bought it, I decided that I would read it in one go. So I did or I thought I did. It took me 3 days to read it except for getting up, sleeping, eating, everyday chores, watching T.V... Okay, I realize that wasn't in one go. But what's important is I read it and I really liked it.I'm not a promoter of the author or being paid to do it. However, I do like to share with others when I have a good experience.Let's not get off-topic. The book is written by (in my honest opinion) an intelligent, logical & practical human being who has given us a fresh perspective on life. My takeaways from the book :
1. Yes, we actually live in an unhealthy materialistic world
There's an obsessive need for pretty much everyone of us to be better than the rest. To be healthier, smarter, wealthier, beautiful than the others has left us feeling so insecure that we have forgotten what we used to be.So, we need to accept that The grass will always seem greener on the other side when it has been filtered (using Instagram Filters, duh!).
2. Sometimes, self-help stuff actually doesn't help
The self help books may have helped some people but it has also left few of us feeling inadequate. All positive, happy, shiny theories & tricks such as thinking positively all the time will actually attract things you want : it makes you fixate on your thoughts & about how much you think negatively. Isn't this something which is not going to help you in the long run ? There can be plenty of examples such as standing in front of the mirror & telling yourself that you are beautiful.Or trying to learn about ways to earn money may make you think you know less about earning money.
3.The "Feedback loop from hell" is not a myth
Sometimes, we get guilty about something such as overspending on a pair of shoes or a dress or something manly (I don't know what guys spend their money so any guy reading this can fill it for someone else. Also,not to offend any girls who may not overspend on shoes or dress but something else, please do the same.). Now we are actually feeling guilty about overspending or not saving enough,. Though we may try to calm ourselves by promising not to spend this much next time. However,this guilt builds up to make us feel that we are incapable of change. This leaves us feeling more guilty about being guilty for over spending. Verdict : Charged Guilty twice ! If you want to make it interesting, just give a night to this funny little game. It can help you remember all the wrong choices you have made in your life & make you realize that you might be the worst human born ever. Not a fun note to end your night on, eh ?
Point : Don't be so hard on yourself. It certainly doesn't do you any good.
4.Trying to be happy might actually be a problem
Did you ever realize it ? I also didn't until I thought about it. We all have an image in our mind about what we need to be happy : A Job, A relationship, A paycheck, some physical features, mental capability, it can be anything. We may fail to achieve it or even when we achieve it, it might not be as good as we imagined. When either of it happens & Bam!. It strikes us that we are not happy. That's where all the problems begin. As I am writing this, I seem to recall the movie "Little Miss Sunshine". All the members of the family had some dreams which when fulfilled would make them happy.But in the end, they were happy even when they were making fools of themselves & got kicked out (& banned from participating in any) of Pageant competition. So, the author suggests to making "Solving problems is key to happiness" as your motto. The happiness lies in the journey & not reaching the destination. More problems that you face,More will be the sense of entitlement to the success you achieved after solving them.
5.Take responsibility rather than thinking it's fate
There's a chapter which is titled "You are not special". It might actually be true to think this once in a while. Let me explain how : The problems which you are going through right now, or you did in the past or might face in future, there's a chance other people might have faced it before you. So,these problems have a solution & you are not a victim of your circumstances.So,when you stop victimizing yourself,it helps you solve them quickly than before.It helps you take control of the situation rather than being controlled by it. When you feel empowered by your problems rather than being threatened, you cope better & come out shining.Also, there's a chance that we may not be extraordinary at everything we do but we get ourselves in this rat race & are left feeling disappointed. So,Let's try to take the pressure off, shall we?
6.You can choose your suffering
When you read this, you might think why would anybody want to choose their own suffering? Have they gone insane? But, just closely look into your lives & question yourself why you are working on a job that pays you minimal but you love what you do. Or Why did you accept one institution over the other just because it's in your hometown. Or any decision you have ever made? Going to gym isn't easy but you have decided to bear it for losing those few pounds. The idea of giving these examples is to make you understand that you have made choices on your own & sacrifices which come with it.So, Make your own choices and be responsible for your own suffering (which is bearable to you).
7.Sometimes, it's okay to be wrong
We,humans, have a tendency to think we are right all the times.It doesn't become a problem unless we are dealing with someone from our own clan. However, it's okay to be wrong sometimes as it gives us to learn something new & space to grow.I'm not suggesting you to be wrong at all times but when there's possibility you might be.Though, I think working on it will be quite difficult as we also have a tendency to deny the possibility of being wrong. You'll not agree to this, won't you ?
8. Action isn't the effect of motivation, it's the cause of it
My favorite quote from this book :
Don't sit there.Do something.The answers will follow
At some point in our lives, each of us might have questioned our purpose or passion in life when we failed at something we counted on. This dilemma might have led us into a period of inactivity, hopelessness,anxiety & distress. Sometimes, we have given up on our entire belief system. The only thing we count on to renew this faith was a life altering event which might change our lives forever.We humans are a bit dramatic, aren't we? However, we can't just sit there & wait for inspiration to strike us.After failing 1000 times, electric bulb was invented. If Edison would have stopped working after the first bulb failed, we would all be sitting under fuel-lit lanterns,chiseling our thoughts on a stone tablet (may be). The point is we can't wait for the motivation to gear us up for taking actions rather continuous actions would keep us motivated to achieve success. Remember this :
Continuous actions --> Motivation --> Success
Keep doing something, Anything & inspiration will strike you in the least expected way!
9. It's okay to say & hear "No"
As humans,I think, we live in the fear of being rejected.It hurts our ego when someone says "No" to us.Some of us may even not be comfortable to say "No" either. Thus, we are stuck in jobs we don't like, relationships we aren't committed to, studies/courses we are stuck in but can't clear 'cos may be next time we"ll pass. But it's important to say & hear "No". It makes us ready for something better. When you are starting at rock bottom, there's only one way to go & it's up. Also, rejecting something defines our identity & values which we live by & by rejecting nothing, we are accepting everything & essentially have no identity.Frankly speaking,"Honesty is the best policy" is a lost cause in today's world where people avoid rejecting things since they live in the fear of being rejected themselves. But, by choosing honesty, we are actually allowing only those people to stay in our lives who are true to us.
10. We are all going to die one day
The only certain thing in our lives is Death.That's the truth about our mortality which we often forget.However, when someone close to us dies, we perceive the true fragility of our lives.With every moment passing by, one may never know when one is going to die. So, rather than being afraid of it, not be afraid of it.A confident man is never afraid of death as he lives his life each day.Our whole lives are driven by the desire to "Not die" metaphorically as well as actually (sometimes). People live in fear of it & the fear is actually so big than the reality that it doesn't allow us to live our lives to the fullest. So, let's try to be less afraid 'cos let's face it people, only few can be fearless & I certainly not one of them. But let's try to start small, living our life one day at a time.
Confucius said once :"You cannot open a book without learning something". Well, I learnt a lot from this one. It actually made me see things which happened in my life from a different perspective & make peace with it. Hope it helps you too. Ciao!