The Highest Value in the Universe

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Today’s book being discussed in The Bouncer’s Book Club is called Everything is F****d, by Mark Manson. It is EASILY one of the best books published in 2019 and it’s certainly one of my favorites.

Lots to discuss with respect to this one.

I honestly think that Mark Manson is becoming someone you NEED to pay attention to amid all the voices shouting at each other, and ideologues doing what ideologues do.

Seriously, there are flashes of brilliance all throughout Everything is F*****d.

Some samples from my personal study notes:

“Things were way worse, and people took action to make a better life for themselves and others. What have I done lately?”

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“Heroism isn’t just bravery or guts or shrewd maneuvering. These things are common and are often used in un-heroic ways. No, being heroic is the ability to conjure hope where there is none.”

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Witold Pilecki: “I have tried to live my life such that in the hour of my death I would feel joy rather than fear.”

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“You care. You care, and you desperately convince yourself that because you care, it all must have some great cosmic meaning behind it. You care because, deep down, you need to feel that sense of importance in order to avoid the Uncomfortable Truth, to avoid the incomprehensibility of your existence, to avoid being crushed by the weight of your own material insignificance. And you — like me, like everyone — then project that imagined sense of importance onto the world around you because it gives you hope. Is it too early to have this conversation? Here, have another coffee. I even made a winky-smiley face with the steamed milk. Isn’t it cute? I’ll wait while you Instagram it. Okay, where were we? Oh yeah! The incomprehensibility of your existence — right.”

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“If you’re angry or sad, that means you still give a fuck about something. That means something still matters. That means you still have hope.”

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The opposite of happiness is hopelessness, an endless gray horizon of resignation and indifference

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We are moved to action only by emotion

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Emotion inspires action, and action inspires emotion. The two are inseparable.

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Instead of honoring and recognizing their feelings, people went too far and started believing that their feelings were the only things that mattered

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For every action, there is an equal and opposite emotional reaction

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“Persistent low-level narcissism is natural, but it’s also likely at the root of many of our sociopolitical problems. This is not a right-wing or a left-wing problem. This is not an older generation or younger generation problem. This is not an Eastern or Western problem. This is a human problem. Every institution will decay and corrupt itself. Each person, given more power and fewer restraints, will predictably bend that power to suit himself. Every individual will blind herself to her own flaws while seeking out the glaring flaws of others. Welcome to Earth. Enjoy your stay.”

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Alright, so what could be the most important thing in the entire universe? I think that a very serious contender could be thought of as “expanded consciousness”.

Basically: the development of consciousness in yourself, and everyone you share the earth with. An enrichment of our fundamental mode of experiencing reality.

What I mean is simply: healthy and flourishing minds.

What is a healthy and flourishing mind?

Well for starters, I’d want to be free from fear, if I were to consider myself to be “flourishing”. Nobody coming over the next hill to slice me up into pieces, and whenever I hear a plane in the sky, I would want to have a relative certainty that it’s a commercial plane and not a bomber.

I would want access to education, teachers that cared about my intellectual progress, and no one resentful of the fact that I WAS able to get an education. Many girls all over the world still don’t have that basic right.

Stress and anxiety are also antithetical to having a healthy mind, so to upgrade my consciousness I would have to downgrade my stress levels.

What’s more…I would want the same thing for everyone on earth. What holds true for my own flourishing would hold true for them, and I can’t imagine being completely happy while there was still someone, somewhere, UN-happy.

I really can’t think of too many goals worth shooting for that would beat out “expanded consciousness” for the #1 spot. Can you?

All the best,

Matt Karamazov

NOTE: Today’s lesson came from Everything is F****d, by Mark Manson. You can get my notes on this book, as well as my notes on every other book I’ve ever read, by clicking HERE.

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NOTE: Check out the fascinating book discussions we have going on over at The Bouncer’s Book Club on Facebook! Instead of just reading MY writing all the time, you’ll be able to benefit from the wisdom and insights from many other insatiable readers just like you.

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NOTE: Do you want to read more books? I’ve created an online course, Hit the Books!, that will teach you how to read faster, make more time for reading, understand and remember more of what you read, how to choose what to read, and so much more. You can check it out here.

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