Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck was a runaway bestseller. People lapped that book up and learned one major thing from it: to not give a f*ck about every little thing in our lives. That book was like an anti self-help book and helped us to deal with our anxiety in the chaotic world.
So here he comes with his third book, aptly titled Everything is F*cked- A Book About Hope.
This book couldn’t have been more timely, for the world we are living in today has indeed become more chaotic, especially since Covid-19 has overtaken everyone’s lives. With self-isolation and quarantine, and extended lockdowns and air travel shut, people are stuck at homes with their families. Tensions have risen and anxieties are cropping up everything. Demand for therapists has increased, which is evident that people want to address their fears, concerns, and thoughts about living under isolation.
Part One: Hope (Chapters 1-5)
Manson does talk about how the human race has indeed progressed so much in terms of technology, health care, and education, and more and more people are able to live a decent life, yet with all this progress, the anxiety and tension seem to have risen with it all.
“Basically, we are the safest and most prosperous humans in the history of the world, yet we are feeling more hopeless than ever before. The better things get, the more we seem to despair. It’s the paradox of progress/ Amd [erjaps it can be summed up in one startling fact: the wealthier and safer the place you live, the more likely you are to commit suicide.”
He goes on to say, “To build and maintain hope, we need three things: a sense of control, a belief in the value of something, and a community.”
Manson dives deep into the whole idea of how we have fooled ourselves into thinking we are in control of everything when in reality we have unprocessed emotional baggage that we carry around. Instead of regulating our emotions, we think we deserve whatever punches we got in life.
Chapter 3 deals with our emotions, and how important it is to process them, to regulate them. “Your early experiences become your core values, and if your core values are f*cked up, they create a domino effect of suckage that extends through the years, infecting experiences large and small with their toxicity.” He uses Newton’s laws to help us understand how our emotions work.
Chapter 4 is an interesting one, where Manson talks about how we can actually achieve our dreams by sharing several methods. A lot of them deal with finding your own beliefs and connecting to the community at large.
Part Two: Everything is F*cked (chapters 6-9)
Chapter 6 becomes a must-read chapter as the author lays down the formula of how to be a human being, and what it means to be human. The next chapter forces us to confront our pain, because “protecting people from problems or adversity doesn’t male them happier or more secure; it makes them more easily insecure.” This part of the book is actually a challenge to read as Manson asks us to confront our pain and to choose our struggles, all in the effort to “focus and find that pain that you want to maintain.”
Chapters 8 talks about how the world around us has been designed to induce anxiety and fear in us. The advertising and marketing world feeds on our feelings and relies on our feeling to help them make money. The part that struck the hardest to me was when he says that “the only true 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, what you give up in your life.” That is indeed the real freedom!
Chapter 9– I’ll just share what he says in summary:
So there you have it. Mark Manson doesn’t want to give us techniques and methods on how to have hope. He just wants us to be better human beings. As simple as that!