Everything is #@%!ed by Mark Manson - Ch 7

Posted by David Schaefer on

Hello all,

We are nearing the end of Mark Manson’s book, Everything is #@%!ed – A Book About Hope, the first book that Noah and I picked to do our first review of.  After this look into chapter 7 we only have two more chapters to go.  If you have read a book that you found personally helpful, that you feel would be a good candidate for our book reviews, please share it with us.

In seven, we found out about the presence of “pain.”  I like the logic that Mark shares, that even when things are going well, that “the better things get, the more we perceive threats where there are none.” (165)  There is credit in this statement, things can be going great in one’s life and we still have a need for hope that things will get better, that something will not come along and derail our bliss.  We perceive peoples’ actions or statements as threatening as our minds will conjure up scenarios of doom and glum.  This is especially exaggerated in the minds of people like me that have experienced a dysfunctional childhood. 

I still find myself dealing with stress and anxiety from the unknown.  It’s sad, but I can imagine threats where there are none.  When it comes to confrontation, I really have a physical reaction.  In my days growing up with an abusive father – confrontation was violent.  Whenever I must deal with someone in a disagreement, my hands start to shake, I lose concentration, I have trouble getting my point across and defend myself verbally.  I cannot make eye contact – I want out of the situation as fast as possible. 

Not knowing what dad was going to be like, being on edge all the time, the nervous system is changed.  I believe being on this constant alert for self-preservation messed up my ability to react in a calm manor.  Confrontation to me equaled violence.  Even to this day, I would rather avoid confrontation.  I’ve even been told that I am too nice.  Guess I would rather be that than whom my father was.

A great message that I got as well from this chapter is that the adversity can strengthen us.  I knew for sure that I wanted to be a better father than I had.  I wanted to be there for my son and daughter.  I wanted to give them stability in their lives – so we have not moved from place to place like my dad had us doing.  He did this mainly to get away from the trouble he caused wherever we lived.  We got the kids involved in activities like sports, band or whatever they wanted to try.  It’s why I continue to be there for them for whatever they may need.

Pain, whether we want to or not, we will confront it in some form or other in our lives.  Our experiences will influence our perceptions of what is true or false in our lives.  A personal reason that DB Toxic is important to me, is that I plan to make this venture a healing experience for myself.  I’ll learn a lot and share what I am comfortable with.  Hopefully, I can open up more and more as time progresses.

A conclusion of this chapter is that “pain” is a constant.  It will be with us in some form or other no matter what.  So how does “hope” fit in here?  Mark moves the concept of hope to – “hope is ultimately self-defeating and self-perpetuating.” (175)  The logic of this definition of hope makes sense and can be inspiring.  As Mark says, “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.” (176)

Kind of a grim definition of hope, but the are methods to bring comfort to our lives that are shared in this chapter.  I never knew a truer purpose of meditation until Mark shared the story of a Thich Quang Duc.  It is a shocking story and I will leave its detail for you to read about.  The power of meditation is clear, we can find a piece beyond anything I realized.  “In many cases, our mental pain is far worse than any physical pain.  In most cases, it lasts far longer.” (186)  I want to start a meditation routine now and can see it as one method of healing or dealing with my mind’s turmoil.  Another tool that I have found personally helpful is journaling.  I have journaled off and on for years.  Combining the two, meditation and journaling, should be helpful for me.

There is so much good stuff in this chapter, but I will end this portion of my post today with this – Mark shares that “pain is the currency of our values.  Without the pain of loss, it becomes impossible to determine the value of anything at all.”  (189)  I took this as good sign.  I try to be a positive guy, I try to help people as much as I can, even to my own detriment, and I’m not a violent guy for sure.  I value my role as a father and husband – these are values that I will protect and stand up to as best I can.

Thanks for sharing in my self-reflection, join us again next week and let us know what you think in the comment area.

Noah's Take

To start out with in this chapter, Mark starts off talking about this, “Blue Dot effect” which in my opinion is something a lot of us need to use as, almost a wake up call,  especially myself. The Blue Dot effect is this idea that the more we look for threats on our earth, the more we’ll find them, regardless of how safe our environment actually is. I’m sure many of you feel the same way I do with this because with me, there’s always  something in the back of my mind. I could be sitting in my room just watching T.V and just get this ominous feeling of worry.  Whether it’s the feeling that I forgot to do something, or I hear a noise outside and instantly chalk it down to a skinwalker.  I’m always worried about something and as Mark talks about further in this chapter, this effect is going on everywhere in this world. The News, our government, even your own mother is probably worrying about something on the constant. This leads to a lot of bad decisions or “unnecessary precautions.” Just to use as an example, look at what just happened with the toilet paper shortages. This had no reason to happen in the first place and with all of this panic about TOILET PAPER there’s probably a couple cases of this doing nothing more than making the situation worse.  But that probably isn’t something people are ready to hear. 

    Something else that Mark talks about is that the pursuit of happiness itself is toxic. If you feel unhappy at your steady job, you’ll take a risk and go find another job.  If you feel unhappy in your house you’ll go out and try to search for a new house.  If you’re always out searching for this white picket fence then you might never be happy.  The pursuit for materialistic items is one of the most toxic things you can seek, because you don’t need anything physical to be happy. 

Mark also says that one of the most important things a human brain can do is learn.  No matter what pain or hardship you go through in life, as long as you take note and learn from it you can look at it as a blessing.  Mark shows a pretty gruesome picture in this chapter that really shows how ignorant a lot of people can be.  And in my own opinion that’s a phrase I would use for a lot of people nowadays, "Ignorant."   There’s so many ignorant people in this world that base everything in life off of just the media or what the “gossip” is and it’s like nobody thinks for themselves. In order to show a message anymore you have to go all out. There is no more soft debate.

Just like every Chapter before, Mark has me enthralled with everything he has to say and how he views the world. Now that we're nearing the end of this book I look forward to the finale or final words Mark has to offer. Tune in next week for chapter 8 which is hopefully as real and down to earth as the others.

Till Next Time 




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