Book Review – The subtle art of not giving a f*ck

Author: Mark Manson
Print Copy | Kindle
This book has been on my wishlist for really long. I was all excited to start it off finally. I enjoyed the first few chapters for his style of writing. Only after 100 pages I realised that it is more of a book for entertainment than learning something new. He just consolidated the concepts from top self-improvement books and wrote it in his own style giving his own examples to drive the point home. Initially, it was confusing to understand what he was trying to say. But later you realise that there is so much unnecessary introduction to a concept and the actual concept is explained in a quick way.
All the above is criticism for the book, let’s get into why should you read the book. 
If you are new to self-improvement, then you should read this to know the gist of all the important self-improvement books out there. There is a reason why it is one of the best selling books in the market. Instead of you reading different books to understand the basics, he covers them all for you in one book, that too in an entertaining way instead of giving instructions.


Ch1 Don’t Try
The first chapter says “Don’t try”. That attracts you. Because it tricks you into thinking that you can be what you want to be without trying. But that is not the truth. All he says there is choose the few things which you want to excel at. It is about priorities. If you bark at every passing dog, you will never be able to reach the destination.
Ch2 Happiness is a Problem
He talks about the truths of life. Everyone has problems. Happiness comes from solving them. This is another way of telling that happiness is the journey and not the destiny
Ch3 You are not special
He drops another bomb to bring you to reality that you are not special. It is his way of saying that you can’t be good at everything. Choose your priorities and work on that daily to reach where you aspire to be instead of thinking you are special.
Ch4 The Value of Suffering
You might be successful in life but if your values don’t align with what success means to you, you will feel miserable forever. You choose your suffering. You decide what you want to feel good about and what you want to feel bad about.
Ch5 You are always choosing
Everyone has problems. But you can change something in your life when you take responsibility for it and act upon it.
Ch6 You’re wrong about everything
You see a certain facts and form beliefs. Your interpretation could have been wrong. It would not even be a fact but coincidence. Only if you are less certain about yourself, you have the chance to question your beliefs and be open for change.
Ch7 Failure is the way forward
You will learn more from all the failures you ever had than the tons of successes. Just do something about where you want to reach. 
Ch8 The importance of saying no
When you say no to all the things which don’t matter, you make time for all the things which matter. Unlimited freedom doesn’t take you anywhere. It is the freedom through commitment helps you narrow down on what is important to you in life.
Ch9 ….And then you die

You live your life fully doing what you need to do than live like you have forever. When you know that you are eventually going to die, make the most of it by focusing on where you want to reach.
Read this book if you want an entertaining way to learn self-help concepts. Skip this book if you have read enough number of self-help books already.
Happy learning the art of saying no!

Book Review – Find Your Why

Author: Simon Sinek
Print Copy | Kindle
In my previous office, during an all hands session, they showed us the TED Talk of start with why. I was so intrigued by it that I went back and watched it again. It was a mind blowing concept which I hadn’t thought of till then. The book ‘Start with Why’ has been on my to read list forever but haven’t found the motivation to read it as I already knew the concept. This book ‘Find your why’ is a follow-up of start with why where the author tells you how to find the why to lead a more fulfilled life.
In the beginning of the book, the author talks about how fulfillment and happiness are different. The concept is so relatable that I started using it in my daily conversations. Happiness is fleeting but fulfillment is what brings a smile on your face at the end of a tiring day. I could very well relate why I was searching for happiness day after day when I had everything. The answer was simple. I spend majority of my day at work and the work doesn’t make me feel fulfilled. Just like how I feel that every book I read, I read it at the right time. This book also gave me insights on what is wrong with my present life and how I can lead a life which is fulfilling.
When a person says, “I want to do what I love,” there is a majority which opposes that it is only for the privileged. But this book shows that even a common man, if he can figure out his why, he doesn’t have to work for the rest of his life. He needs to keep living his why. On his deathbed, he will be proud of the life he lived than die with regrets of just focusing on making money.
The story doesn’t end at fulfilling individuals why. He also talks about how organisations with why are valued more than the ones without it. I could relate to this as I remember how Satya Nadella repeatedly talks in ‘Hit Refresh’ how he decided to work on the why of Microsoft when he became CEO.
The concept is great. But the book lacked in practicality of implementing it. It asks you to get an interpreter. It is difficult to find one who can align with the concept and bring out the right theme. It doesn’t have enough prompts for the stories. It doesn’t have enough examples of themes. A wrong interpreter might cause more damage than self interpretation.
At the end of the book, there is a FAQ. The concepts mentioned in that part of the book should have been in the chapters as they are mainstream ones. It added a lot of value and made the concept much clearer.
Overall, it is a mind opening read. But it would have been great if the book would have been easily implementable. 
What are you waiting for? Rush, ‘Find your why’ and lead a more fulfilling life.
Happy finding your why!

2019 August Goals

The best part of the month was that I published a book along with my sister. It was a tribute to my dad.The worst part was I was sick for almost half of the days which killed the productivity.

July Review

1.Sleep by 11
I could do this only on half of the days. But that itself is an achievement to get back to normal life. In august, sleeping before 11 on 20 of the 30 days will be a reachable target.
2.Expressive writing
From the lost habit of writing a diary, this month I made 21 entries. Even if it is not perfect, it is again better than before. Now I need to push it to more than 25 entries a month.
Even though it started off on a great note, by the time it came to the middle of the month, I lost the streak. It was difficult to practise daily again. This is one habit I had been struggling, I am struggling and don’t want to struggle the next month.
The best thing about photography this month is getting a new phone and doing a full-fledged macro photography. I clicked bees, ants, housefly and spiders. They had been well received by a lot of people.
Even though I wrote a few articles, I could not bring them to completion. I wrote a few answers on Quora. But I spent my time majorly on writing the book on my dad.
I read ‘Deep work’ and ‘The underage CEO’ with full enthusiasm. I am stuck with Hit refresh which I will complete soon.I tried reading 3rd alternative and Winning in between these but realised that they were not my type of books and abandoned them soon.
I did a landscape photography course on Udemy which I felt was quite useless. It let my spirits down but the food photography course was interesting where I learnt a few tricks which I can’t start implementing today but can keep in mind when I update my gear and start shooting food.

Plans for August

1.Spanish on Duolingo
I miss learning something new daily. My sister had been talking how Duolingo has been making it a lot more easier to learn a new language. To be a loyal user of Duolingo, I want to learn Spanish also on it just like the way I learnt French. Just a bit daily and in a year, I will know the basics of Spanish.
2.MA Psychology second year
I couldn’t write my exams in June due to other commitments. I want to start preparing for my December exams by studying my subjects at least twice a week.
3.An Idea a day
It can be how to make my existing books better. It can be a marketing idea or an idea to start a business. The ideas may be viable or may not be viable. But generating ideas will exercise the creative muscle. I want to generate as many as possible this month.
4.What you focus on, expands
I want to focus more on what I want to do and keep moving in that direction. The more I focus on what is not working, I will be held back in life. Instead of spending time on worrying, I will use it to move towards my goals.
How was your July? What are your plans for August?
Happy August!