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.

To Win OR To Win Fairly

Jamaica's Yohan Blake, second left, starts in a men's 100-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

 

Prayer of a Sportsman

Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on through life
I ask but a field that is fair,
A chance that is equal with all in the strife,
A courage to strive and to dare;

And if should win, let it be by the code
With my faith and my honor held high;
And if I should lose, let me stand by the road,
And cheer as the winners go by.

-Berton Braley

Although the above excerpt from Berton’s creation bears the heading ‘ Prayers of a Sportsman’ , but you don’t have to be a sportsman to keep this thought in your heart, for every human being on this planet is a participant of a race – a race to succeed in life, to achieve what one dreams ,a continuous effort to prove oneself superior than others, a race which goes on till our last breath – In that way , we all are sportsmen , aren’t we?

Nowadays, people are so busy with their respective races, that they often forget the rules and the sportsman spirit which is necessary to keep the competition fair and humane. The focus is only on winning, rather than winning fairly. Only the ultimate results matter. But there is one question that needs to be answered. Will the person gazing back at us from the mirror be happy and content with us winning the race at any cost ignoring the fairness of the game? Will he be happy seeing the trophy even if we know that somebody else deserves it more?

In modern day scenario, one can’t help but ponder on Berton’s lines to realize how precisely he has sketched an honorable sportsman’s character– he wants to win but only when he deserves it, else he asks for enough strength so that he is able to forget his own defeat and revel in winner’s celebration. That’s a sportsman’s glory, his triumph and his legacy that will inspire millions after him.

Hence, the choice is simple- to win OR to win fairly. The answer lies nowhere but within us.

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