Post event update:
We had a great discussion about the points made in this book, which we thought would be better titled ‘the subtle art of carefully choosing what to give a f*ck about’.
Points we discussed were:
- Mason’s premise is that problems are inevitable, but that we can choose our problems by choosing what to give a f*ck about. For example, if we care very much about losing weight, we have chosen the problem of choosing meals at restaurants carefully.
- Mason focuses somewhat on the message that ‘it is the journey that matters, not the destination’. We thought that this is important to note, although the quote feels overused in society!
- The premise that if something bad happens to us, we are not to feel guilt for it but are responsible for how we respond is one we debated for a while. Are you responsible for your response if you lack the maturity to know that?
- We debated whether there is any truth to the statement that ‘people who are exceptional become that way by thinking they are average and focusing on improvement’. People like Steve Jobs seemed to know they were exceptional. On the other hand, Jobs knew where his weaknesses lay, and who to hire to ‘plug the gap’. Perhaps this is what the author meant?
- “Growth is an iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right”; we go for wrong to slightly less wrong”. We accept that school is a learning process, but seem to get to a point in our lives where we have less tolerance – both of ourselves and of others – to learn. How many times have we given up on something that we’re not good at the first, second or third time round? How many times have we become frustrated at someone for ‘not getting it’ having taught them once?
- We can be different in different situations – for instance, some members of the group found it difficult to accept uncertainty, but were okay with uncertainty in their personal lives, and vice versa.
- Our memory plays tricks on us – we keep memories which reinforce our current beliefs – something I know all too well as a hypnotherapist helping people past trauma, relationship issues and phobias!
- And finally, Mason’s “do something” principle inspired our next book – do something now, even if it’s really small, and let good actions cascade as a result.
What did you think of the book?
Come and discuss this book on 31st October, 7-9pm, Fountain Harvester, Milton Keynes
Click here to join. Event is free.
We’ve read a lot of books on how to increase our productivity, fine tune our habits and create the right mindset to achieve our dreams. We’re constantly surrounded by the message that we’ll be happy when we get that next promotion, that new TV or that bikini body.
This book turns that all on its head. What if we stop striving to be better, take a step back, and accept where we are?
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Written in very…colloquial language but full of good insight, this is an easy read which is bound to get the discursive juices flowing!
I hope you can get past the swearing.
As it’s Halloween, feel free to come in costume. Come and discuss at the Harvester.