Thoughts on: Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson

A book about hope. About our desperate chase for it. How easily it’s lost and what happens when we don’t have it; How to instill it, and how to overcome it.


📝 “Today appealing to the hopeless is easier than ever before. All you need is a social media account. Start to posting extreme and crazy shit and let the algorithm do the rest.”

📝 Intellectually understanding that we should change a behavior doesn’t help. “Emotional problems needs emotional solutions”. Being more empathetic to myself really helped me quit nicotine.

📝 “While pain is inevitable, suffering is always a choice.”

📝 “Science is singularly responsible for all the greatest invention and advances in human history.” It introduced the concept of growth. Before that the average human died in the same economic state she was born.

📝 Blue dot effect 🔵:

If we expect to see something, we start to see it even where there is none. This has terrible implications for almost everything.

“The better things get, the more we perceive threats where there are none and the more upset we become.” Being a victim of violence used to mean that someone physically harmed someone. Today some use the word violence to describe words that make them feel uncomfortable.

📝 In the lunchroom at the department store where I worked as a teen everyone would discuss shows that aired the night before on TV. We all watched the same tv-shows and sat on the same sofas. Social cohesion held the western societies together. Then the Internet came with endless options and varieties! Maybe we miss the old days?

(ps. Is this why people love Game of Thrones? Because it’s the last shared distraction we have?).

📝 “Most people avoid meditation like a kid avoiding homework.”


⚖️ VERDICT:

Unstructured, oversimplified and a thin overarching theme? Yes, at times. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and it opened my eyes to subjects and problems that deserve a closer look further down the road of my literary journey.

4/5


“…the only thing that can ever truly destroy a dream is to have it come true.” Have this happened to you? 🤔

Photocredit: @chandradyani_

For more excellent books, check out my Reading Lists.

Lab Report: 60-Days of Non-Resistance

Current situation: children, crying, shit everywhere (literally and figuratively speaking), irregular sleep, a constant stream of contingencies and emergencies. It’s a lovely mess! BUT it can be frustrating at times. Condition are perfect for a new experiment.


The Lab Report – 009 – “60 days of Non Resistance”

Non-resistance is about letting things unfold as they do. Life is a mess. Instead getting frustrated by trying to control people and situations we can accept things to be as they inevitably are.

To offer no resistance to life makes you feel light and at ease— at least that’s the theory! Let’s look at the results!


Short term effects: ⭐️

– I was going to do this experiment for a month, but it took me a month just to get in the habit of catching myself in my resistance. Usually I realized what had happened only in hindsight.


Long term effects: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– My close relationships have improved.

– It feel pretty good to be able to stay in control when the storm comes.

– It’s still unknown to me how I’m able to handle bigger setbacks since only minor one occurred during the test period.

– Stress levels has gone down.


Sustainability: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– How long it takes to build a habit of non resistance might differ depending on you life situation. You might or might not have a life situation where you have a lot of opportunity to practice.


FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– A few days ago my wife complemented me on how patient and helpful I’ve been recently and how it had really made a difference during these first chaotic months with a newborn (she doesn’t know about the experiment (I think!).

– I actually kept productivity up during this experiment. I thought not forcing and resisting life would lead to less productivity.

– I’ll continue this going forward.


Related reading:

📖 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle 📖

📖 The Bhagadvad Gita 📖


How do you handle the twists and turns of life? 🤔

Check out Lab Reports for more!

New Experiment: 60 Days of Non-Resistance

NEW EXPERIMENT


1️⃣WHY?

I don’t get annoyed too often but when I do get stingy it is usually due to unexpected events messing up my beloved routines.

I have pretty strict routines related to:

– Wake up/bed times

– Workout

– Meditation

– Social media usage

– Study/reading

In life it’s usually not the big things that get to me—I got those under control— it’s the small stuff! Sudden change of plans, interruptions and unforeseen disruptions.

An experiment in acceptance and non-resistance is in order!


3️⃣WHAT?

Non-resistance is about letting things unfold as they do. Life is a mess. Instead being frustrated by trying to control people and situations I’ll accept things be as they inevitably are. of Roll with the punches, aikido, go with the flow…You get it.

To offer no resistance to life you feel light and at ease. You’re no longer dependent on thing being a certain way. When your dependency on outer form disappears the conditions of your life improve greatly…at least that’s what they say. Let’s try it out!


3️⃣ WHEN?

In Progress. I chose my timing well; Here are some things that’s going on right now:

– We have a new born baby.

– My 4-year old has chicken pox.

– I’m have a cold.

– I have some kind of ass injury that cause me pain.

– I’m starting a new project at work.

Like all my experiments I will follow up with a Lab Report. Wish me luck!


Related reading:

📖 A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle 📖

📖 A Guide to the Good Life – Irvine 📖


How do you deal with the sh*t life throws at you? 🤔

Thoughts on: “The Laws of Human Nature” by Robert Greene

Robert Greene puts a lifetime of studies of human nature into one huge and important volume.

This book covers: character, toxic personality types, narcissism, cognitive biases, archetypes, childhood trauma, desirability, shortsightedness, the Shadow, attitude, group dynamics, leadership, persistence, fearlessness, purpose. The list goes on…

📝 You are more like than Louise XVI than you think!

📝 What you and me try tell ourselves: “I’m different. I’m more rational than others, more ethical as well.”

📝 ”If possible, avoid deep contact with those whose time frame is narrow, who are in continual react mode, and strive to associate with those with an expanded awareness of time”

📝 Keep in mind that your expectations of people are communicated nonverbally. Teachers expecting greater things from their students, without saying anything, have positive effects on their work.

📝 People with negative attitudes uses this world view to narrow their experience. It give a sense of control in a world of uncertainty.

📝 Cynicism as Purpose: “Man would rather have the void as purpose than be void of purpose”. Behind this false purpose is the great fear of trying and failing, of standing out and being ridiculed… Cynicism acts as consolidation for lack of accomplishment.

📝 Self-doubt makes us surrender inwardly before we surrender outwardly. Remember this: almost nothing in the world can resist persistent human energy.

💪🏻 ACTION:

The last chapter talks about the importance of mediating on our mortality. This prompted me to commit to a new experiment; to pretend it’s my last day in life. More info coming I separate post!💀 ⚰️

🎲 VERDICT:

This book is great (Book of the Year?)! And practical; I almost don’t want you to read it since I want my newly found super powers for myself. It has already helped me wrap my head around what’s really been going on in situations with people that, until now, had left me dumbfounded.

5/5

Find other fascinating books in my reading lists!

Lab Report: Meditation -The First 6 Months

“If you continue to this simple practice everyday you will attain a wonderful power. Before you attain it, it is something wonderful, but after you attain it, it is nothing special.” – Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, Shunryu Suzuki

The Lab Report – 008 – “Meditation: The First 6 Month”

For me these first 6 months was about establishing the habit of sitting daily. With that now in place it’s time to take it to the next level.

Instead of counting both inhalations and exhalations I’m now moving on to counting only my out-breath. The end goal is to not count at all, but that’s when I built up my ability to concentrate enough.


Mid term effects: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

– I still dose off from time to time.

– Resistance to the practice and boredom is no longer an issue.

– I had a mystical experience (a positive one) when I was a the peak of frustration and boredom with the practice (day 130). I can’t really share the details.


Long term effects: ❓❓❓

– Still unknown. I’m aiming for doing 365 consecutive days in this experiment. It’s still to early to tell.


Sustainability: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

– The habit has become automatic. I have missed 3 days so far which leaves me with a 98,3% success rate. Now I just need to find time to sit for longer sessions.

– Meditation time is in direct competition with my reading time.


FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I don’t feel the same frustration about the practice that I felt in the beginning. Maybe it’s because I’m back on coffee and therefore don’t dose off as easily? More likely it’s because of habit and the well-being I get from sitting. It’s hard to put finger on the exact benefits but they are there and they are noticeable. I feel more calm, yet alert; more detached, yet more engaged.

What are your daily rituals? 🤔

Check out Lab Reports for more!

Lab Report: Wake up at 5 AM

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

The morning hours are very focused. The brain is recharged and there are no distractions. No phone calls, no children running around, no meeting or unforeseen events to attend. Imagine having done 10k running, 30 min mediation and completed the most important task of the day before the rest of the world has taken their first zip of the morning coffee. That’s what we are trying out in this experiment!


The Lab Report – 007 – “Rise Early”

@BenLaing2 (Instagram) asked me if I would like to join him and a group of peps for a challenge; A challenge to rise at 05:30 am for 66 days straight.


Short term effects: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

– It will take a while to get used to going up on time if you are a converting night owl.

– Motivation be unreliable until established a proper morning routine or if you don’t have a strong “Why” for rising early.

– You will immediately feel the momentum building up as task are getting checked off.


Long term effects: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– 2 extra focused hours each day for 5 years; that’s 3650 hours of effort you can put towards whatever you find most worthwhile in life.

– You will grow to love the tranquility of the dark hours.

– I have a family of deer I see during my morning run. It had become a nice ritual to say hi to them.


Sustainability: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

– Weekends pose an extra challenge since there is an cultural expectation that we should stay up later then.

– This lifestyle is not compatible with late nights, which could be considered a loss.

– You have to go to bed early for this routine to be sustainable.


FINAL VERDICT: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I never made the full 66-days, but did two good runs of 30(ish) days in a row. Going up early has given me much joy and fulfillment. I love it!


What morning routine do you have, and what is the morning routine that you wished you had? 🤔

You Find More Lab Reports and Experiments Here!

“Sapiens”, “Homo Deus” and “Now 21 Lessons for the 21 Century”. REVIEW.

While his other books, Sapiens and Homo Deus, focused on the past and the far future – this book focuses on the present and mankind’s immediate challenges.

—-

Topics are ranging from how to deal with disruptive technologies, the resurrection of nationalism and the relevancy of religions. Harari wants to shine a light on the fact that we are lacking new idea systems that are capable to help us navigate these new and trying times. Liberalism and the other old ideologies just won’t make the cut anymore.

—-

📝 The opportunity cost of fighting terrorism is that the money could have be used to fight other threats; like global warming.

—-

📝 Disruptive technologies will likely create a new “worthless class” of billions. Marxism might make a come back when jobs are being threatened, one might think? But Marxism presumes that the workers labour is of value. That probably won’t be the case with advancements in automation.

—-

📝 Protect humans not jobs. Finding meaningful pursuit for humans is the most important problem to solve in a future without jobs.

—-

📝 You don’t need religious text to be moral. Apes learned to take care of the poor and weak well before the Bible told them so.

—-

📝 “If you want reliable information, pay good money for it.” 👌🏻

—-

A whole bookshelf worth of topics is crammed into one small volume, which becomes a problems when each chapter deserves its own book.

—-

Harari don’t have a solution for all the issues. He offers the same advise that wise people and sages always have: sit down on a cushion and observe your sensations. Know thyself, and get to know suffering deeply enough so that you can act in a way that reduces it both your life and in the life of others.

—-

4/5

 

Review (4/5) – Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!

 

Thoughts on: “The Wisdom of Insecurity” by Alan Watts

I’m focusing on notes this time around!

——

Watts does a really great job at explaining ideas that seem to be at the core of most religious and spiritual teachings.

——

📝 The Law of Reversed Effort. ”When you try to stay on the surface of water, you sink; but when you try to sink you float. When you hold your breath, you lose it— which immediately calls to mind an ancient and much neglected saying, “Whosoever would save his soul shall lose it.”

——

📝 There is a contradiction between the desire of being secure and fact of change. We want to be separate from the life of flux and change to feel secure and that, paradoxically, create the sense of loneliness and fear. “The desire for security and the fear of insecurity are the same thing”.

——

📝 “You want to escape the pain, but the more you struggle to escape, the more you inflame the agony”.

——

📝 “Look!”

——

📝 Money is as a token for wealth. “In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are “coins” for real things”. They represent them but are not those things. Words are fixed while what they represent change.

——

📝 “When each moment becomes an expectation life is deprived of fulfillment, and death is dreaded for it seems that here expectations must come to an end”.

——

📝 “So long as there is the motive to become something, so long as the mind believes in the possibility of escape from what is at this moment, there can be no freedom”.

—-

🤯 Is the brain really good for us? Or is it taking on a destructive evolutionary specialization by our focus on trying to predict the future?

—-

⚖️ This book is a given in the library of the spiritually minded reader, alongside modern classics like the works of Eckhart Tolles, and timeless classic like Bhagavad Gita and Tao Te Ching.

—-

5/5

Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!

Thoughts on: “Tao te Ching” by Lao Tsu

I can see a possible scenario in the future, where I’m a greying old man, and I praise this book as profound and monumental. But let’s face it, It did not do much for me right now.

——

I enjoyed it quite a bit and something tells me this book is special, but I don’t feel I have access to all its layers yet. It feel pointless to put a number on a book like this and therefore I won’t.

——

The book is lightweight with it’s 81 aphorisms of Chinese wisdom – most of which doesn’t even cover half a page in the book. But it demands reflection. ——

📝 The oldest version excavated was dated back to 400 years BC.

——

📝 “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.”

——

📝”A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”

——

📝 ”To understand the limitation of things, desire them.”

——

⭐️ Takeaway:

Non-Attachment, non-Judgment and non-Resistance. We have heard it all before. These principles are easy to understand intellectually but so hard to master.

——

My current plan is to get more editions (with different annotations) of Tao te Ching and keep going back to it every other year or so.

——

What’s your relationship to this book?

——

?/5

Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!

Thoughts on: “Demian” by Hermann Hesse

The story revolves around young Sinclair and the difficult task of finding ones self. Growing up in a protected and pious middle class home he eventually has to face the real world. Sinclair gets a new mysterious classmates, Demian, who guides him to detach and revolt from the superficial world of form and awaken to his true self.

——

📝 Abraxas: A deity combining the godlike and the devilish.

——

📝 “All I really wanted was to try and live the life that was spontaneously welling up within me. Why was that so very difficult?”

——

📝 “When we hate a person, what we hate in his image is something inside ourselves. Whatever isn’t inside us can’t excite us.”

——-

⭐️ Takeaway:

About the previous quote: If that’s the case – and by observing this phenomenon for a while I believe there is some truth to it – then even when someone irritates us, we can use that as an opportunity to learn more I out ourselves. I kinda like that quote for that reason.

——

📊 My Amateur Jungian Analysis: Sinclair is the “Ego”, Kromer his “Shadow” and Demian the “Self”. Lady Eve is the “Anima” (the unconscious feminine side of a man). One of Jungs anima levels is even named “Eve”. By opening up to Lady Eve, Sinclair becomes complete. He and Damien become one.

—-

⚖️ Verdict:

This a mysterious and short (100 pages!) coming of age story for philosophically minded reader. Pauses for contemplation are needed between each chapters. The best 3$ spent this year!

——

For those who read already: What do you think Demian did to get Kromer of Sinclair’s back?

——

What short book blew your mind recently?

——

4/5

Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!