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The global pandemic has upended lives and slammed shutters on almost everything. One activity that has been largely encouraged though is reading. The lockdown orders for millions of people across the world have changed how we spend our time. For some its Netflix or cooking, for many its reading.


This afternoon, I read "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life" and found that Mark Manson — the author behind the liberally used profanities — is philosophical, practical and inspiring. At its core, the book is about values and encourages us to figure what's truly important in our lives and letting go of everything else. "The key to a good life is not giving a f*ck about more; its giving a f*ck about less, giving a f*ck about only what is true and immediate and important… our families, our best friends, our golf swing. And, to our astonishment, this is enough. This simplification actually makes us really f*cking happy."


It's a brutally honest reality check about our insecurities, fears and expectations. A bold confrontation of self sans the fluff we've been led to believe by self-help gurus. Instead, the author probes, "What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out… people who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it…"


Here's something everyone can learn: "The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they're exceptional. on the contrary, they become amazing because they're obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. It's anti-entitlement. People who become great at something become great because they understand that they're not already great — they are mediocre, they are average—and that they could be so much better." What resonated with me the most? "We, individually, are responsible for everything in our livers, bio matter the external circumstances. we dont always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond… the point is, we are always choosing, wether we recognise it or not. Always."


My conclusion? The author advises us to accept our limitations and work on our individual qualities. At the same, recognise who or what is important, and give them time instead of spreading yourself thin. If you're able to do this you can focus on what matters in life: you. The book inspires us to transform our life with introspection and subsequent change in mindset. A must- read! By the time you finish reading it, perhaps like me in one sitting, you'll know what I mean.

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