I resisted the urge to buy this book for quite a long time. I’m always a bit reluctant to buy books with titles that seem to be designed just to appeal to the busy passerby’s at airports, promising to change your view on life. Then it happened. I bought this book in an Airport (Amsterdam), and although I didn’t really change my view of life, for sure I have discovered a lot of commonalities with some feelings about life that I’ve had for some time.
Mark Manson does this in a very counterintuitive way. He is somehow able to destroy in a matter of few pages, years of self-proclaimed self-help gurus, and gets us all back to one important point: our life is what we decide to do of it.
First lessons first.
The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience.
And paradoxically the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.
By referring to Alan Watts‘ “backward law”, Manson helps us find a reason for why a lot of the efforts we do in our self-improvements… don’t really work. And helps us understand why the real people that are successful are so because of their constant improvement over their constant “errors”.
He also helps us running the errands of choosing the struggle of our life, because that is what will make our life meaningful. In this sense growth becomes an endlessly iterative process, but not one were we for from “wrong” to “right”. Rather from “wrong” to “less wrong”.
Some broader concepts come in light, above all the fact that we do all things “right” doesn’t make us “right”. I bet each of you knows at least one person in your life who constantly tries to do all the “right” things. But fails hopelessly to be “right” in most situations. Too often however we are just drawn into negative energy circles, as he outlines:
But the part that has made me reflect more is the one that talks about motivation and its relationship with Action. It was one of those “aha” moments when you finally see written ink on paper something you always thought of:
Action ⇒ Inspiration ⇒ Motivation
In order to achieve something… best way is to start doing it.
Overall a pleasant and inspirational reading, written in fast-paced rhythm. The entire book almost finished too early. And it leaves with the sensation of longing for more: or at least to meet somewhere the “Disappointment Panda”, that immediately landed on my personal Facebook profile as a meme for this personal reading discovery.