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Everything Is F*cked is a book about hope by Mark Manson. Hope is what makes us happy and it’s what makes us progress forward.
What is the opposite of happiness? Sadness or anger?
“The opposite of happiness is hopelessness, an endless gray horizon of resignation and indifference. It’s the belief that everything is f*cked, so why do anything at all?”
Hopelessness is the root cause of depression mental illness and anxiety. The avoidance of hopelessness is one of our consistent missions in life. It’s what steers our life in certain directions.
“Hopelessness is the root of anxiety, mental illness, and depression. It is the source of all misery and the cause of all addiction.”
Hope is something greater than ourselves; without hope, we believe we are nothing, irrelevant and not important. We all strive for a sense of importance, we strive to avoid what Mark Manson calls “The uncomfortable truth”
What is the uncomfortable truth?
This book is not nihilistic like it seems, on the surface, it sounds nihilistic but it is actually a book against nihilism. Your life is not hopeless and meaningless unless you subscribe to a belief that it is.
Pain is inevitable, however, hopelessness and suffering is a choice. Can we attain self-control in order to make the choice against hopelessness in suffering states? Every problem of self-control is not a problem of information, discipline or reason but rather of emotion. Self-control, impulsiveness, and laziness are emotional problems.
“Self-control is an illusion. It’s an illusion that occurs when both brains are aligned and pursuing the same course of action.”
The Thinking brain Vs The Feeling brain
Within your mind you have two brains; the thinking brain and the feeling brain. We like to think our logical thinking brain is in the driver’s seat of our self-control, but actually our feeling brain is in the driver’s seat. All of our actions are done because of a feeling.
We are constantly making decisions with the heart. Don’t fight you’re feeling brain because it can make it worse. Basically the way the thinking brain can get through to your feeling brain is by communicating with it using the language that it knows: emotion!
“Ultimately, we are moved to action only by emotion. That’s because action is emotion.”
If your thinking-brain can convince your feeling brain how a certain change will lead to a greater feeling, then the feeling brain will listen. When our feeling-brain and thinking brain are not aligned, we feel powerless and everything around us begins to feel hopeless. We gain better self-control by having our thinking brain and feeling brain align with the same values.
“Maybe remind the Feeling Brain how good it feels to have exercised, how great it will feel to look good in a bathing suit this summer, how much you respect yourself when you’ve followed through on your goals, how happy you are when you live by your values, when you act as an example to the ones you love.”
Our life is lived as a journey and we are all on our own chariot, pulled by two horses. We all have a gift to help us steer our horses in the direction in life we want. That gift is known as meaning control. Controlling the meaning behind your impulses and feelings is how we can better align our thinking brain and our feeling brain together.
Why do people start to experience hopelessness?
Often time’s hopelessness comes from the feeling like we are not in control over our lives and ultimately not in control of our own destiny. People in this state feel like a victim to the world in a victim to their own mind. So what else do you need to have hope? Faith!
Without faith, there is no hope. Hope is fundamental to your psychology. You need it for several reasons:
1- To have something look forward to.
2- To believe you are in control of your destiny enough to achieve something great.
3- To find a community to achieve it with you.
When we lack one or all of these for too long, we lose hope and spiral into the void of the uncomfortable truth.
“by experiencing our hopes, we lose them. We see that our beautiful visions for a perfect future are not so perfect, that our dreams and aspirations are themselves riddled with unexpected flaws and unforeseen sacrifices. Because the only thing that can ever truly destroy a dream is to have it come true.”
There are things in life we cannot change; what can’t be changed is pointless to fight against. There is nothing we can do that will change the uncomfortable truth it is what it is. But what we can do is change how we feel and perceive the uncomfortable truth.
Do not hope for a better circumstance; hope to be strong enough to overcome difficult circumstances. Do not hope for things to be better; hope that you are becoming better.
“Hope doesn’t care about the problems that have already been solved. Hope cares only about the problems that still need to be solved. Because the better the world gets, the more we have to lose. And the more we have to lose, the less we feel we have to hope for.”
Hope for the suffering that comes with freedom, the pain that comes from happiness and the wisdom that comes from ignorance.
“Because pain is the universal constant of life, the opportunities to grow from that pain are constant in life. All that is required is that we don’t numb it, that we don’t look away. All that is required is that we engage it and find the value and meaning in it.”
Pain is inevitable but suffering is always a choice. There is always a separation between what we experienced and how we interpret that experience. The human mind is incredibly flawed.
There is an inner conflict when the thinking brain and feeling brain are not aligned. Our ability to process information is hamstrung by our emotional need to validate ourselves. Realize that even if all of your problems of today become magically fixed, your mind will still perceive the inevitable F*ckness of tomorrow.
“So, instead of looking for hope, try this:
Don’t despair, either.
In fact, don’t deign to believe you know anything. It’s that assumption of knowing with such blind, fervent, emotional certainty that gets us into these kinds of pickles in the first place.
Don’t hope for better. Just be better.
Be something better. Be more compassionate, more resilient, more humble, more disciplined. […]
Be a better human.”
Who doesn’t want more freedom in their life? Who wants freedom mixed with suffering? If you give your feeling brain 100% freedom with your thinking brain being in the passenger seat, that would be terrible. The conflict would result in suffering.
“Freedom itself demands discomfort.”
Having harmony with the thinking brain in the feeling brain will lead to greater self-control over our destiny and feelings.
You need the thinking brain and the feeling brain to be free and working in harmony. So once your two brains are in harmony, how can you achieve freedom? The only true form of freedom is through self-limitation. It is not the privilege of choosing everything you want in your life, but rather choosing what you will give up in your life. You can’t do everything, so what can you do and what do you want to do?
“The only true form of freedom, the only ethical form of freedom, is through self-limitation. It is not the privilege of choosing everything you want in your life, but rather, choosing what you will give up in your life.”
Ultimately the most meaningful freedom in your life comes from the commitment for which you have chosen to sacrifice.
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What did you learn from Everything Is F*cked? What was your favorite takeaway? Is there an important insight that we missed? Comment below or tweet to us @storyshots.
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Text shot is adapted from Matthew McGill Youtube channel