Bookshot #137: Unfu*k Yourself
I've never really been into the whole 'self-help' genre. It's just not something I've ever felt a need to really dig into for whatever reason- primarily because I am usually acutely aware of my failings and what I should do to correct them, it's just that I don't do it. I'm also wired differently than what society expects, I think. I've never really had grand ambitions or dreams for myself-- it's sort of a laconic disinterest in those things that worries me-- I know I've always wanted to a. have a family (check) and b. travel the world and see everything I could possibly want to see on this crazy planet of ours before I die (still working on this part.) It might just be the season of life I'm currently in, but starting a business? Chasing a promotion? None of that really motivates me to get up in the morning. Coming home at the end of the day on the other hand, does.
Over the years though, there have been a couple of titles that have caught my eye and a few podcast interviews that have intrigued me enough to dig into more. I don't know who wrote The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck, but it's on my to read list. (Turns out, it's Mark Manson!) And this one, too, caught my eye, so I snagged it on Audible and gave it a listen.
First of all, it's read by the author- always a nice touch, in my opinion- but it also helps that Gary John Bishop is Scottish. So not only do you have a helpful Life Coach trying to get you to unerstand the importance of unfu*king yourself, but he's doing in a delightful Scottish brogue that leaves you no doubts as to his limited tolerance for whining and bullshit. So right out of the gate, I'm onboard. This dude would see through my whining. This dude would call out my bullshit. This dude accepts no excuses.
After explaining what he's about and what the point of the book is, Bishop proceeds to break down the seven personal assertions that are at the core of his philosophy- they are:
"I am willing."
"I am wired to win."
"I got this."
"I embrace uncertainty."
"I am not my thoughts; I am what I do."
"I am relentless."
"I expect nothing and accet everything."
Some of these, I'll admit are kind of eye-rolling inducing. But the more I listened, the more it kind of got into my head a little bit. You sit down and think about your life and say, "I am willing" out loud and you might be surprised and how much of an internal boost you get from just declaring that. Or you might analyze the concept and realize that there a considerable number of things you might be willing to do, but you're also tired and just want to sit down for a bit.
Your mileage is probably going to vary depending on what you're looking for out of this book. Personally, the last few chapters I found to be more thought provoking and motivating than the earlier parts of the book. "I embrace uncertainty" seems like a good advice- especially this year. "I am relentless," is another good question to ask yourself. What are you relentless about? Are you willing to be relentless about anything?
I can see this being incredibly helpful if you're looking for a little guidance on how to kick your life in the ass. But if you're not quite in that territory then this book could be a vehicle to have a conversation with yourself about what your priorities are, where you are in your life and what you might be looking for right now.
Overall: My first foray into the 'self-help' genre was a good one, especially in Audio form. Your mileage may very depending on what you're looking for out of a book like this, but if you go into it with an open mind and willing to do some self-examination and self-reflection you will get something out of this. How much is entirely up to you. My Grade: *** out of ****
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