Everything is Fucked Summary Mark Manson
Part I: Hope
Chapter 1: The Uncomfortable Truth
How May I Help You?
If I worked at Starbucks, instead of writing people’s names on their coffee cup,
I’d write the following:
One day, you and everyone you love will die.
And beyond a small group of people for an extremely brief period of time,
little of what you say or do will ever matter.
This is the Uncomfortable Truth of life.
And everything you think or do is but an elaborate avoidance of it.
We are inconsequential cosmic dust, bumping and milling about on a tiny blue speck.
We imagine our own importance.
We invent our purpose—we are nothing.
Enjoy your fucking coffee.
Our psyche needs hope to survive the way a fish needs water.
Hope is the fuel for our mental engine.
Here’s what a lot of people don’t get: the opposite of happiness is not anger or sadness.
If you’re angry or sad, that means you still give a fuck about something.
That means something still matters.
That means you still have hope.
No, the opposite of happiness is hopelessness
To build and maintain hope, we need three things:
a sense of control,
a belief in the value of something,
and a community.
Chapter 2: Self-Control Is an Illusion
The fact is that we require more than willpower to achieve self-control.
It turns out that our emotions are instrumental in our decision making and our actions.
We just don’t always realize it.
Here’s the truth: the Feeling Brain is driving our Consciousness Car.
The Feeling Brain drives our Consciousness Car because,
ultimately, we are moved to action only by emotion.
That’s because action is emotion. Emotion is the biological
hydraulic system that pushes our bodies into movement.
Fear is not this magical thing your brain invents.
No, it happens in our bodies
Emotion inspires action, and action inspires emotion. The two are inseparable.
Every problem of self-control is not a problem of information
or discipline or reason but, rather, of emotion.
Self-control is an emotional problem; laziness is an
emotional problem; procrastination is an emotional problem;
underachievement is an emotional problem; impulsiveness is an emotional problem.
the problem isn’t that we don’t know how not to get punched in the face.
The problem is that, at some point, likely a long time ago, we got punched in face,
and instead of punching back, we decided we deserved it.
Chapter 3: Newton’s Laws of Emotion
For Every Action, There Is an Equal and Opposite Emotional Reaction
Self-worth is contextual. If you were bullied for your geeky glasses and funny nose as a child,
your Feeling Brain will “know” that you’re a dweeb, even
if you grow up to be a flaming sexpot of hotness.
High and low self-worth appear different on the surface,
but they are two sides of the same counterfeit coin.
Because whether you feel as though you’re better than the rest
of the world or worse than the rest of the world,
the same thing is true: you’re imagining yourself as something
special, something separate from the world
A person who believes he deserves special treatment because of how great he is isn’t
so different from someone who believes she deserves
special treatment because of how shitty she is.
We all overestimate our skills and intentions and
underestimate the skills and intentions of others.
We all overestimate our skills and intentions and
underestimate the skills and intentions of others.
let’s be real: People suck, and life is exceedingly difficult and unpredictable.
Most of us are winging it as we go, if not completely lost.
And if we didn’t have some false belief in our own superiority (or inferiority),
A deluded belief that we’re extraordinary at something, we’d line up to swan-dive off the nearest bridge.
Without a little bit of that narcissistic delusion, without
that perpetual lie we tell ourselves about our specialness, we’d likely give up hope
Your Identity Will Stay Your Identity Until a New Experience Acts Against It
Chapter 4: How to Make All Your Dreams Come True
There’s a reason that all the major religions in the world have a history of sending
missionaries to the poorest and most destitute corners of the globe:
starving people will believe anything if it will keep them fed.
For your new religion, it’s best to start preaching your message
to people whose lives suck the most: the poor, the outcasts, the abused and forgotten.
Jesus Christ did the same damn thing. Buddha, too. Moses—you get the idea.
Religious leaders preach to the poor and downtrodden and enslaved,
telling them that they deserve the kingdom of heaven
—basically, an open “fuck you” to the corrupt elites of the day. It’s a message that’s easy to get behind
Spiritual religions are high risk/high reward. They require,
by far, the most skill and charisma to get going.
But they also pay off the most in terms of follower loyalty and benefits.
(I mean, have you seen the Vatican? Holy shit.)
And if you build one really well, it’ll last way after you die
After all, you need to be able to paint a really simple picture for your followers.
There are those who get “it” and those who do not get “it.”
Those who get it are going to save the world.
Those who do not get it are going to destroy it.
Chapter 5: Hope Is Fucked
Every religion runs into the sticky problem of evidence.
You can tell people all this great stuff about God and spirits and angels and whatnot,
but if the entire town burns down and your kid loses an arm in a fishing accident, well, then . . .
oops. Where was God?
Throughout history, authorities have expended a lot of effort
to hide the lack of evidence supporting their religion
and/or to punish anyone who dared
question the validity of their faith-based values.
Part II: Everything Is Fucked
Chapter 6: The Formula of Humanity
The Formula of Humanity has a ripple effect:
your improved ability to be honest with yourself
will increase how honest you are with others, and your honesty with others will influence them
to be more honest with themselves, which will help them to grow and mature.
Throughout the rich and developed world, we are not living through a crisis of wealth or material,
but a crisis of character, a crisis of virtue, a crisis of means and ends.
Chapter 7: Pain Is the Universal Constant
The Blue Dot Effect suggests that, essentially, the more we look for threats,
the more we will see them, regardless of how safe or comfortable our environment actually is.
And we see this playing out in the world today
This is the Blue Dot Effect. The better things get, the more
we perceive threats where there are none, and the more upset we become.
the idea that Einstein was a poor student is bogus.
He excelled at math and science from an early age,
taught himself algebra and Euclidean geometry in a single summer at age twelve,
and read Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (a book that
present-day graduate students struggle to finish) at age thirteen.
You think, hey, to be happier, I’m going to need to get a new job; so you get a new job.
And then, a few months later, you feel you’d be happier if you had a new house;
so you get a new house. And then, a few months later,
it’s an awesome beach vacation; so you go on an awesome beach vacation.
Pursuing happiness is a value of the modern world.
Do you think Zeus gave a shit if people were happy?
Do you think the God of the Old Testament cared about making people feel good?
The pursuit of happiness is a toxic value that has long defined our culture.
It is self-defeating and misleading. Living well does not mean avoiding suffering;
it means suffering for the right reasons
The human mind operates on the same principle.
It can be fragile or antifragile depending on how you use it.
When struck by chaos and disorder, our minds set to work making sense of it all, deducing principles
and constructing mental models, predicting future events and evaluating the past.
This is called “learning,” and it makes us better; it allows us to gain from failure and disorder
Because pain is the universal constant. No matter how “good” or “bad” your life gets, the pain will be there.
And it will eventually feel manageable. The question then,
the only question, is: Will you engage it?
If any of these things is fragile in your life, it is because you have chosen to avoid the pain.
You have chosen childish values of chasing simple pleasures, desire, and self-satisfaction.
Our tolerance for pain, as a culture, is diminishing rapidly.
And not only is this diminishment failing to bring us more happiness,
but it’s generating greater amounts of emotional fragility,
which is why everything appears to be so fucked
Pain is the currency of our values. Without the pain of loss (or potential loss),
it becomes impossible to determine the value of anything at all.
Pain is at the heart of all emotion.
Negative emotions are caused by experiencing pain.
Positive emotions are caused by alleviating pain.
When we avoid pain and make ourselves more fragile
The pursuit of happiness is, then, an avoidance of growth,
an avoidance of maturity, an avoidance of virtue.
Chapter 8: The Feelings Economy
The world runs on one thing: feelings.
This is because people spend money on things that make them feel good.
And where the money flows, power flows. So, the more you’re able to influence
the emotions of people in the world, the more money and power you’ll accumulate.
This is the problem with exalting freedom over human consciousness.
More stuff doesn’t make us freer, it imprisons us with anxiety over whether we chose
or did the best thing. More stuff causes us to become more prone to treating
ourselves and others as means rather than ends.
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
This is not only real freedom, this is the only freedom.
Diversions come and go.
Pleasure never lasts. Variety loses its meaning. But you will always be able
to choose what you are willing to sacrifice, what you are willing to give up.
This sort of self-denial is paradoxically the only thing that expands real freedom in life.
The pain of regular physical exercise ultimately enhances your
physical freedom—your strength, mobility, endurance, and stamina.
Plato was the first to suggest that there was an
inherent separation between the Thinking Brain and the Feeling Brain.
One must build character through various forms of selfdenial, rather than through self-indulgence.
Democracies are designed to reflect the will of the people.
We’ve learned that people, when left to their own devices,
instinctively run away from pain and toward happiness.
The problem then emerges when people achieve happiness:
It’s never enough. Due to the Blue Dot Effect, they never feel entirely safe or satisfied.
Chapter 9: The Final Religion
So, instead of looking for hope, try this:
Don’t hope for better.
Just be better.
Be something better.
Be more compassionate, more resilient, more humble,
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