Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope

Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope
Author: Mark Manson
Publisher: Harper
Published: 5/14/2019
We live in an interesting time. Materially, everything is the best it’s ever been—we are freer, healthier and wealthier than any people in human history. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked—the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter.

Everything is F*cked By Mark Manson

Key Insights

We all focus on a brighter future for ourselves.

But, should the future really be our focal point?

Are we setting ourselves for disappointment if we can’t meet those standards we’ve set for ourselves?

In his book, “Everything is F*cked”, Mark Manson talks about the ideas of hope and how it relates to overall happiness and satisfaction in one’s life.

“By experiencing our hopes, we lose them. We see that our beautiful visions for a perfect future are not so perfect, that our dreams and aspirations are themselves riddled with unexpected flaws and unforeseen sacrifices. Because the only thing that can ever truly destroy a dream is to have it come true.”- Mark Manson

With Manson’s constructive advice that will change the way you think about the future, you will begin to focus on the here and the now. That’s what really matters according to Manson.

Key Points

  • Hope Drives People

Throughout the history of the world, hope is the thing that gets people up and out of bed in the morning. It’s what makes them get through tough breakups. And, what helps them to feel some sort of purpose in life. It drives our everyday behavior.

Hope is usually tied to the idea of the future. But, what if we are already living our best lives RIGHT NOW? Why are we focusing on the future?

“Hopelessness is the root of anxiety, mental illness, and depression. It is the source of all misery and the cause of all addiction.”- Mark Manson

Because the world is better than it has ever been in terms of crime, poverty, and other impactful issues, there’s less hope and more fear of losing all these things we have gained over the years. And, because of this fear anxiety and depression have become a more common problem among humans everywhere.

  • Thinking Brain vs. Feeling Brain

To understand the psychology behind hope, we must think of it from both our thinking brain, which is the logical side, and our feeling brain, which focuses on emotion.

A lot of people claim that if we put our feelings aside, we would be more productive. But, that’s just not true. We need both sides, the ‘thinking’ and the ‘feeling’, to do anything. Our brains need to work together in order to stop becoming a victim of hope. This will decrease the cases of anxiety and depression among humans.

Also our emotions cannot be controlled. They must simply be things that we accept into our lives.

  • The Four Laws

The feeling brain can weaken our hopes. This turns hope into a formula for unhappy and unsatisfying lives.

There are four laws that control our emotional state:

  • Every action causes an equal emotional reaction. For example, say someone broke your phone in anger. You would then become angry and want to break theirs in return.
  • Self-worth equals the sum of our emotions over time. For example, this is common with abuse victims if they continually get abused, they will begin to think that they deserve that treatment.
  • Your identity will stay your identity until a new experience changes it. For example, the abused victim may change their view of abuse once they are treated with kindness and respect.
  • People in your circle tend to be like you. For example, as humans we gravitate towards the people who enjoy the same things as us or have the same opinions.

These four laws sometimes paralyze us and make us unable to change, which makes hope unattainable.

  • Accept Life

Religions are a way that people find hope in their everyday lives. A religion gives people hope for the future. For example, in the Christian religion you go to Heaven when you die.

Religions, even when started with good intentions, can often become corrupted by manipulating people into giving money to certain causes or voting certain people into power.

This ties into the idea of hope. When people see “hope” in the future, they see “bad” in the now. A hopeful human is wishing things will change for a brighter future rather than living in the here and the now.

The famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that it was important to accept life how it is, with the good and the bad. That way, we can focus on all the wonderful things that are happening in the present.

  • Immanuel Kant’s Philosophy

Immanuel Kant was a philosopher in the 18th-century. His formula for humanity ties into the idea of hope.

“Act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means” - Immanuel Kant

What this means is you should be doing things to simply do them, not to be benefitted from them. For example, you should greet your partner with a hug when you see them because it’s a nice thing to do, not because you are expecting anything out of it. This philosophy asks people to do things without the hope of getting something out of it.

“You must love someone without expecting anything in return; otherwise it’s not truly love. You must respect someone without expecting anything in return; otherwise you don’t truly respect him. You must speak honestly without expecting a pat on the back or a high-five or a gold star next to your name; otherwise you aren’t truly being honest.”- Mark Manson

This is an adult idea, however. As children, we are focused on what we are getting from something or the pleasure of the situation. In the teen years, we begin to develop morals and ways to live. Then, as adults, we take these morals and put them into our everyday behavior to conduct how we live our lives.

  • The Pursuit of Happiness

The pursuit of happiness, in other words, is the avoidance of things that make us feel pain, discomfort, and difficulties.

But, by actively pursuing happiness, we are running away from situations that may strengthen our greatest virtues such as honesty and humility.

In the modern day, people avoid others with different opinions, which is a problem for democracy. People become unwilling to accept opinions that differ from theirs, which can create major challenges and make us less tolerant as a species.

People, then, begin to think that their own personal opinions reign higher than the country as a whole. And, when people who are like-minded come together, extremists groups are formed.

The main reason, however, to stop pursuing happiness is because it’s an unsuccessful tactic because we never stop seeing problems in our lives. This is known as the Blue Dot Effect.

  • External Influences

There are two main things that are raising the cases of anxiety and depression: Advertising and innovation.

Advertisers do not just focus on attracting to the “thinking” brain, but also the “feeling” brain. It’s not just about how well a product can work for you, it’s about how it can make you feel. Advertisers target the “feeling” side of the brain by making their audience feel insecure and offering a solution.

Then, there is innovation, which has turned into a diversion in the recent past. When a country becomes a first world country, the advertisers swoop in to give you everything you don’t really need. For example, at the market, you can find a whole aisle of chips and junk food. And, though these choices seem like you have freedom, the abundance of them usually leads to less freedom because we become hooked on these additions to our lives.

When your life is focused on all of these luxuries and things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, you are drifting further and further away from the idea of freedom.

  • AI Could Change Our Lives

Artificial intelligence is incredible and it has been making its way into our everyday lives in recent years. Some see it as a threat, but it could also be the best thing that has ever happened to us.

Unlike, AI, humans do not have fancy algorithms. We are creatures of chaos who start wars, set fires, and disrupt the system.

AI has the chance to help us treat the world the way it should be treated with respect. It has the opportunity to put an end to religious and ideological warfare that us humans are victims of.

The Main Take-Away

Although, we have always believed in having hope during all situations, it actually could be harming us more than helping us, creating unnecessary anxiety in our lives. Hope makes us unsatisfied with our everyday lives as we wish for a brighter future. We should accept life how it is and live in the present.


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