Book Review : The subtle art of not giving a fuck by Mark Manson

My favourite lines from the book :

My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius…..Instead measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator.

Unlike any self help book, this guide puts forward a ‘counterintuitive approach to living a good life’. Now what would you expect from a self help book : assurances like ‘you are special and born to extraordinary things’, ‘ whatever you think is or isn’t, you are right’, ‘keep trying’, ‘don’t doubt yourself’ and the like. But not this book. This book tells you that you are not special. ( And after reading the book, I agree with Mark! )

Mark Manson has very adeptly laid down his counter-intuitive thoughts well- illustrated using anecdotes from his life and those of his acquaintances. Throughout the book, you will get to read lines like : ‘Don’t try’ ( the first chapter) , ‘You are not special’, ‘Doubt your own thoughts’ and the best part : his reasoning and rationale is not flawed. In fact this is what make this book worth reading – because of Mark’s candid and uninhibited way of laying down secrets of living a happy life, secrets which are not in accordance with the generally- accepted philosophy, yet holds water. He has also laced his writing with profane humour & unbridled expressions. ( The title of the book is proof itself ! )

All in all, this groundbreaking book will definitely help you in re-evaluating your mantras of life. And according to Mark,once you do that you will realise that living a contented and happy life isn’t that difficult after all.

Highly recommended.

Why I write….

I am afraid of speaking my heart out in front of people,

Writing gives me a better and non-judgmental platform….

My biggest learning of life till date

How to deal with misunderstandings in relationships?

 

Misunderstandings happen in every relationship and I am not only referring to the romantic ones. The platonic are blood relations are also plagued by this.

Cause of misunderstanding: not people but their assumptions and beliefs!

Usually people have a set of assumptions & beliefs based on which they react to a certain situation.

For e.g. A son asked his mother for an expensive phone. She refused.

What Mom meant: Getting him a new phone would distract him from his studies especially when his final exams are around the corner. I will buy him a phone after his exams are over.

Mom’s belief: Educations is more important for his future than fulfilling his wish now. My son should concentrate on his upcoming exams.

Mom’s assumption: I should think about my son’s long term benefit and not on providing instant gratification.

BUT

What son thought: My mother does not love me. She loves money.

He is questioning his mother – not her belief, not her assumption. This creates acrimony in relationship until and unless explicit effort is made to remove such misunderstanding.

The reason I am saying that assumptions and beliefs are causes because it is far more constructive to critically analyse an assumption/belief than questioning an individual.

Let me make it easier for you. Which of the following is more hurtful?

Son:  Mom, I don’t like your belief / assumption.

OR

Son: Mom, I don’t like you.

I rest my case.

How can we deal with misunderstanding? – 10 key points

  1. Never jump to conclusions.
  2. Do not react immediately. Take time to understand the underlying belief/assumption to know where the thinking is coming from.
  3. If in doubt, ask frankly. The person will understand.
  4. Take effort.
  5. Do not always expect the other person to take effort. It is your relationship as well.
  6. Talk to the person when he/she has calmed down.
  7. You both are a team – not adversaries. There is no winner in a relationship. It is not a fight.
  8. Understand your assumptions and beliefs as well. Self-awareness is key.
  9. Give space and time to the other person to understand you.
  10. Don’t think you know someone really well. Every person is evolving. There are layers waiting to be unfolded. There is more to that person than meets the eyes.

Have a healthy relationship.

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Bring me some flowers…

When you want to thank me for those notes I lent you,

When you want to say sorry for being late for our date,

When you want to make me feel special on my birthday,

When you want to celebrate valentine’s day,

When you want to just surprise me at work,

When you come to see me off at the airport,

When you want to show that you love me,

Bring me some flowers…

Hard Work Vs Luck

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Giving up all the pleasures

Burning the midnight oil

Way beyond all measures

That’s how hard he toiled !

       ~           

Day after day, night after night

Perseverance was his game

He never ever let out of sight,

His goal, his purpose, his aim !

          ~           

But on one arduous occasion,

Luck gave him no favor,

Left his morale with abrasions

His will power wavered.

           ~         

Disappointed and despondent,

He started doubting his merit,

Hard work was replaced by lament

Luck was something he did not inherit

          ~            

But then one fine day, he resolved

Not to give up in the fight

Failure made him evolve

Into a person of great will and might

~  

Numerous times in his struggle he fell

But he was never to be backed down

And steadily increased, his drive to excel

Toughest obstacle could not knock him down.

~  

Again he fell, and got up

And the cycle continued

Till the time when even Luck asked him

“What have you got in you ?”

~  

“Oh mighty warrior, the shining knight”

“I have tried my best to defeat you”

“But you bounce back every time

“How on earth, I have no clue”

~  

Persistent effort is the secret, he said

Hard work is the key

 Luck – “I can hold no longer, take your success

Today, you have defeated me ! “

~  

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A Brother’s Sister

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Cynosure of all eyes,

 I was, for three years long,

 Soon, I heard joyful cries

‘Look sweetie, your brother is born’.

~

 Tiny little hands, minuscule fingers,

So delicate he was to hold,

 In the hospital, by his side, I lingered,

 ‘Let him sleep, honey’, mum told.

~

I got my first & only sibling,

My very first friend,

This was just the beginning,

 Of a friendship that would never end.

~

Sharing toys and chocolates,

He was my partner in crime,

That hasn’t changed till date

Along the years, over the time.

~

Once a kid, now fully grown

Into a tall, handsome man,

So quickly, the time has flown

Twenty years is a long span

~

But, even after twenty years,

Our bond is very much the same

Still reveling, fighting, sharing  tears

Pulling each other’s leg, calling names !

~

I don’t get to see him much

Away from home, I live

But I always keep him in touch

Sense of closeness I want to give.

~

I want him to be successful

And lead a happy, sanguine life

Filled with pride and joy, blissful

Complete with children and a caring wife!

~

A Proud sister, I will always be,

I want to see him rise and shine,

Apple of my eye, he will always be

No matter how old he is, brother mine !!

                                                                                               ~

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Don’t judge me before you know me

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To all the prejudice minds,

And people anxious to judge,

Who turn an eye blind

And shelter a ludicrous grudge,

~

Unaware of my strength,

Ignorant of my struggles,

You have watched my life at arm’s length

You don’t know my troubles.

 ~

Do you really make yourself believe

You have touched my soul’s every nook ?

My friend, the smiles and tears can deceive

I am not an open book !

 ~

I intend not to fool you,

Nor I wish your admiration,

But I also don’t want you

To judge me on preconceived notion.

~

You are free to have your opinion,

About me, my demeanor as a whole,

But do not let bias establish dominion

Over your righteous, sound soul.

~

Spend time to discover,

My desire and my intention,

Lift the bias cover

I am not an epitome of pretension.

~

Misunderstood by people, my intentions and gestures,

It is miserable to bear & see,

Even difficult when I know very well

Those people don’t know me

~

Love me, hate me, show me your ire

Once inside my heart, you see

Have an opinion as you desire

But don’t judge before you know me !

 
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Dance Along

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Dance, Dance
Dance to the beat,
Dance, dance
To music, tap your feet !

Dance, dance
Throw caution to the wind,
Dance, dance
Make your body swing !

Dance, dance
Let the rhythm flow,
Dance, dance
Let your face glow.

Dance, dance
Bring your friends to the floor,
Dance, dance
Groove and twirl to the core.

Dance, dance
Put your hands up in the air,
Dance, dance
With panache, elan & flair.

Dance, dance
Whenever you are sombre,
Dance, dance
Swirl around, don’t ponder.

Dance, Dance
What if you are not a pro*,
Dance, dance
You will steal the show!

Dance, dance
Dance with all your heart,
Dance, dance
It is more than just an art.

~

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A Note to the readers: It might seem more of a lullaby or a nursery rhyme than a melody , but I had to incorporate the simplicity with which dance can have an indelible effect on a person’s spirit. Being a dance enthusiast myself, I feel very relaxed and at peace after a dance session. It is a stress buster and mood lifter for me and I enjoy it thoroughly. I am not a professional. I dance not to please or entertain others. I dance for myself ! Hopefully, you can try it too and experience the magic!

*pro : professional

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Long Distance Love

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From rising sun to the shining stars,
From Monday blue to the Sunday fondue
The world around seems incomplete
The missing piece is You !

 Seeing lovers in the park,
Hand in hand, strolling together,
My heart yearns for a nice little walk
But my wishes are tethered.

 Eating ice creams is no fun,
When there is none to share,
Oh how much I miss your affection
Your warmth, your care !

 My eyes want to see you,
My hands want to feel
And I don’t mean digitally,
But for real !

I knew it would be difficult,
I knew it would be lonely,
But I soothe my heart saying,
It’s difficult, but temporary.

I know very well you too reciprocate
Emotions of this sort
But you think I am the reason, not fate
For the distance that hath us apart.

I wish a radiant life for us,
For which, apart we have to live
But not for long, this fuss,
Togetherness to us destiny will give.

Nothing in this life comes without struggle
We too have our share,
Opposing families, unstable careers we have to juggle
Before building our lair.

But one day the miles will vanish,
The struggles we will defeat,
We will rejoice together, I promise
At our magical feat !

Till then hold onto the bond of love,
Remember me each day
After all,I live in your heart,
Not too far away!

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Fondue: a dish in which small pieces of food are dipped into a hot sauce or a hot cooking medium such as oil or broth.

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