Let’s start off, right from jump street ~ I hate the title of this book, dislike intensely that the author, Mark Manson, feels the need to drop so many F-bombs that it’s nearly impossible to stand upright. And that being said, I was prepared to dislike the book entirely. Except it didn’t work out that way.

Under the layers of swearing there is a generally good message; your life is what you make of it and caring too much about what others think or feel about you is a waste. Mmmmm…sound familiar?

Some quotes I liked:

“Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.” Yes! Sitting all day long hoping something will change will get you no where. Get up, move and if you make a mistake, learn from it and keep going.

And, “In my experience, the more uncomfortable the answer, the more likely it is to be true.” This is spot on. This is part of what makes it so tough to face what needs to be faced, own it and hope it teaches you something.

Some that I thought were off the mark ~ by a long shot:

“No truly happy person feels the need to stand in front of a mirror and recite that she’s happy. She just is.” Yeah ~ No. Happiness isn’t born into us nor is it a stable part of our lives. We are often fed diets of unhealthy feedback from others ~ sometimes even our parents ~ and using affirmations is a great way to move passed them and soar into what is right for you.

“All the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear about all the time is actually fixating on what you lack.” Wow ~ this one is really off base. The positive and ‘happy’ self help is all about opening options, doors or ways of thinking that you may have missed in the past. We lived too long believing that people would just ‘figure it out’ and, at least in my mind, that hasn’t really helped too much. The more information we have the better.

What I find so hard to believe is how difficult that very information is to find. We have a thousand self help book options, millions of articles written on the topic (some of them by me no less!), and yet the nuts of bolts of how to get to a place where you feel comfortable in your own skin, with your own voice and the values and principals that guide you are often elusive. Of those books and articles very few of them help you figure out what your path is; it often seems to me that each author believes their values are going to be yours because heck, the way they see the world is The Way and universal, right?!

I’m also a bit at a loss when it comes to author’s who wish to point out Universal Truths, such as, “Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a f* about what’s truly f*worthy…” with little to back them up. Maturity is a complex beast and while yes, some of it happens when you begin to sort out for yourself what is worthy of your time vs what’s not very worthy, there are many, many other factors at play. And this is one of the biggest puzzle pieces for me in reference to this book, with no clear place to put it for our purposes ~ other than living life, offering up his thoughts and experiences (which, yes, are part of the path to maturity!), Mr. Manson seems to lack some training in the areas of both psychology and the science of behavior change. 

Is this book worth your read? Maybe. Likely not. If you’re OK with listening to more F-bombs being dropped in one chapter then all the bombs that flattened London during WWII then go for it but otherwise, my suggestion is to find a book that speaks more to who you wish to become.