Emotions vs Logic – Can’t It Be Both? (Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson)

Sep 3, 2019

3 minutes

Everything is F*cked by Mark Manson

Everything is fucked – hooray! Yes, that’s good news.

The bad news is most of us meander through life, pursuing “happiness” in the hope of eliminating the pain from our lives. That’s bad news because it’s a waste of time. We’re focusing on the wrong thing.

In Everything is F*cked, author Mark Manson does a fantastic job of weaving together seemingly unrelated aspects of science, psychology, and even Stoicism to help redefine what a meaningful life looks like.

The Feeling Brain drives our Consciousness Car because, ultimately, we are moved to action only by emotion. That’s because action is emotion. … why don’t we do things we know we should do? Because we don’t feel like it. Every problem of self-control is not a problem of information or discipline or reason but, rather, of emotion.

A lot of the conversation in the book is based around the “Classic Assumption”:

The Classic Assumption says that if a person is undisciplined, unruly, or malicious, it’s because he lacks the ability to subjugate his feelings, that he is weak-willed or just plain fucked up. The Classic Assumption sees passion and emotion as flaws, errors within the human psyche that must be overcome and fixed within the self.

Emotions are often seen as a problem, something to be ignored + stifled … but what about love? Passion? Excitement? Joy? Anger? Grief? Those are all emotions we feel – ones that we can’t fully wrap our logical mind around. And you don’t need to – unless you’ve bought into the Classic Assumption (FYI: most of us have; our society insists upon it.)

This book is not one to be summed up in a simple review. The twists and turns and stories infused make for a rollercoaster-ride of a time when reading it, but you can’t help feeling you’ve experienced something profound at the end of each chapter.

A reimagined version of Newton’s Laws of Motion become Newton’s Laws of Emotion; why the majority of our relationships are transactional + not healthy; Immanuel Kant’s formula of humanity; the far-reaching impacts of the Blue Dot Effect … the list of intriguing tie-ins goes on and on.

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. Because if we’re going to be forced to suffer by simply existing, we might as well learn how to suffer well.

I can’t begin to tell you how many notes I’ve taken on this book – probably more than any other book I’ve read this year.

What’s even more interesting is how many of the books I’ve read this year could be related to each other.

Manson’s emphasis on wasting time + suffering on material consumption and transaction relationships relates to the Minimalists and Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.

Manson’s emphasis on pursuing what matters, knowing pain will happen anyway and the true freedom of self-limitation, reminds me of the lessons in The Passion Paradox and Atomic Habits.

Ultimately, the overabundance of diversion and the fake freedom it produces limits our ability to experience real freedom. The more options we have, the more variety before us, the more difficult it becomes to choose, sacrifice, and focus. And we are seeing this conundrum play out across our culture today.

If you’re sick of “traditional” self-help books that hold your hand and guide you along a flower-lined path, then this book is for you.

This book is a punch in the face, a rubberband-snap to the wrist, and an arrow-shot to the heart.

Everything is fucked, my friends, so let’s learn to enjoy life, no matter what pain it brings.

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