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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Pain is an evolutionary process …

Sheldon Cooper says in The Big Bang Theory that pain is an evolutionary process. It forces you to develop strength, maturity, insight and courage. It makes you see things in a different light, in a way unperceived in our happy state because we are too engrossed in celebrating….

Pain is necessary.

Pain is pertinent.

And whether the world is mature enough to understand it or foolish enough to berate it, it is your reality…

So deal with it because no one else can and no one else will !

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Back with a Bang ! No – a degree actually ;)

Hola Amigos,

My archives show my last post in 2016 ….. Way back !

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After almost a two-year break, I am back as a blogger and this time hopefully for a long time. First of all, my reason for taking a break was my education. I was pursuing a post graduate degree in Human Resource Management which took my 2 years for good. But now that I have graduated and settled, I thought it to be an appropriate time to awaken the blogger in me.

I tried to maintain a balance between my education and blogging, but with time it became too difficult to declutter my mind and write something. Lot of things were happening, and were happening too fast.  Although at times, amidst writing assignments, preparing presentations and solving business cases, I missed the blogger in me.

But the past is gone !! It’s time to focus on here and now…..
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This time I have bigger plans for this blog including quality content from my heart to yours, more musings, learning that I have acquired in last two years and many more.

For starters, this is my new instagram account : Amateur’s Instagram Account

Do follow me !

Cheers to a new beginning !

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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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Mutual Admiration Sessions

The man who discovered fire meets the man who invented the wheel ('I've always admired your work).

Me: “I am feeling so low today. There is so much competition out there in the world. I feel I am not worth anything.”

Roomie (visibly panicked) : “ What happened ? Are the mid-sems result out? ”

Me : “No! It’s just that I don’t know what I am doing with my life.”

Roomie: “ Why are you in a brown study today ? ” Don’t tell me you have completed the entire Supernatural series and have no more episodes to watch. The ‘Sherlock’ episode has come out. You can watch that.”

Me : “ I am serious. I am 20 now and I am just not satisfied with what I am today. I feel worthless.”

Oh! by the way, I did complete the Supernatural series, and I have put the ‘Sherlock’ episode on download.

That’s not the point. I think I don’t have the qualities to be a successful person in life. How will I fulfill my aspirations when I am not even confident enough about my abilities and strengths? Forget the aspirations, I don’t even feel good as a human being !!”

Roomie (in a saturnine tone) : “Well, I am on the same page with you ! Indeed there are so much expectations and hopes with one’s life that I am scared and afraid of facing the world after college. I want to live a happy and successful life and the fear of failure haunts me everyday.”

Me (histrionically) : “Am I ever going to cheer up ?? Will I ever regain my confidence? Am I good for anything? Oh, how I wish someone could bring me back to life !

Roomie: Don’t lose heart! Ok, Let’s do one thing. Let’s play a game so that we can both cheer up and regain the lost confidence.

Me: What game?

Roomie : You list one strength/ admirable quality that I have , and then I will list yours. We will keep rotating the turns. But no exaggeration and pretense ! You don’t have to flatter me. It should be genuine.

Me: Will that work?

Roomie : I have not tried, but let’s check !

    ~

And man did it work! By the end of a 15 minute-long session, alternatively admiring the other person and hearing words of praise for yourself, the mood was lifted , the missing confidence regained and a lesson was learnt.

The account dates back to my college days and is one of the most vivid moments that I shared with my room-mate. That day, we learnt two things:

  1. Admiration lifts our mood and helps us regain confidence. So that day we promised to each other that if ever, either of us feels low or disheartened or worthless in life, the other would come to the rescue – not only to shower admiration on the gloomy friend and cheer her up, but also to make her see the beauty in the world by making her to praise the former.
  1. A girl understands a fellow girl’s mindset so well! 🙂

From that day, it was a secret we both had kept to ourselves, until this day when I am letting the cat out of the bag. We even gave a name to the game – ‘Mutual Admiration Sessions’.

Well the game was a stroke of serendipity, but can it not be extrapolated to our life ?

During the course of the journey we call life, we often come across predicaments which tend to shatter our confidence in our own being. Our worth becomes a blurred image and we tend to question the correctness of every decision we take, owing to the failures we encountered in the past or harbingers of discouragement we came across. Ideally, our conscience should remind us of the accomplishments we have achieved in the past and the greater heights we are capable of reaching in future – we know it as self-confidence. But at certain times, our conscience ceases to communicate and gets buried under a thick cover of apprehensions and doubt. We need an external agent to lift that cover and show us a picture of what truly we are capable.

The endeavor should not be equated to chest thumping – the intention is not to get blinded by the admiring words showered upon by the ‘mutual admiring partner’. That’s why, it is mutual. You will hear praise for yourself, but you will also have to point out qualities that you admire in your fellow participant. It will negate the probability of getting lost in narcissism. Eventually, when the cover is lifted, your mood will be lifted along with your confidence.

I also believe that some people will find it silly and childish and immature.

When somebody is depressed and low, and has lost all the trust and faith on oneself and one’s capabilities, how can such a stupid game help?

My answer to all those people:

You have been serious all your life. Try being silly for a change !

It might work for you, it might not ! I give no guarantee. But at least it will be worth a try.

Well, it helped me and my roomie ! 🙂

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Letter to my Future Kid

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My darling,

How are you keeping kiddo? I hope angels are taking good care of you.

I am reminded of you everyday, sweetheart. Your thoughts flash into my mind when I see kids playing in the park or on the street – the carefree demeanor, the boisterous movements ; not a single worry in the world. I am reminded of you when I see a mother feeding her baby in a restaurant, leaving aside her own food; I am reminded of you when I see kids scared of water, clinging onto their fathers in a swimming pool. But I am also reminded of you when I hear young teenagers committing suicide either because of poor grades or failed relationships. I am also reminded of you when I hear young girls being brutally raped and murdered. There are other dark evils residing in this world, my child, that your little, innocent mind can not even fathom.

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But you don’t have to worry, my darling. I intend not to scare you but to assure you that your mom along with your dad is going to take good care of you. Every evil thing trying to come close to you will find me standing in the way.

I promise.

You are my bundle of joy ,
Does’nt matter a girl or a boy ! 🙂

I would be happy to buy t-shirts for you as much as I will be happy to buy frocks.

You don’t have to worry about your school grades. I don’t care whether you get an ‘A’ or ‘B’. If getting an ‘A’ makes your heart happy, do it. I will not mind! But don’t pressurize yourself. Do what makes you happy, because only then you will do it with your full vigor.

If you are not interested in studies after school and want to pursue any other field, I will never object. My only condition – do your work sincerely and passionately in whichever field you are. Never settle for mediocrity and be true to your passion. I will be more than happy to see you doing what you love.

I don’t want you to be successful and ambitious as much as I want you to be a good human being, kiddo.

As a parent, I might not be able to fulfill each and every demand or wish that you have – some because of my inability and some because of your greater good – but believe me – I will give you everything you need to make your life comfortable and happy. So forgive me if I do not get you a smartphone or an ipad or a play station when you are young – I would like you to play with other kids and socialize outside. It is more important.

If you fall in love, I would never object to your marriage, because of ludicrous reasons like ‘Oh, she/he is of a different caste/religion/nationality’ but I would object if she/he is not a good human being. But I will not be hesitant to accept him/her if you have confidence on your choice. One more thing, marriage does not make you less of our kid and our home – less of your home. Always keep that in mind.

You will always be the apple of my eyes, baby.

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Take me more as your friend than your mom. Do not hesitate if you ever face a problem. Remind me whenever I deviate from my promise. Forgive me if ever I am harsh on you – I just want you to be a happy and a good human being.

I will always love you, honey!

Your future Mom

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