As promised last week, I will be reviewing Everything is F*cked: A book about hope. Just like in his previous book, Mark Manson brings his world view and sense of humour to create a unique book that does two seemingly incompatible things. It teaches you about the world in a fundamental yet unorthodox way, while keeping you interested.
As with his first book, Mark teaches you deceptively important messages, filled with his use of language and laughter. He brands it ‘a book about hope’, and defines hope in part 1. In these chapters, he talks about the uncomfortable truth, talking about how he would talk about it as a Starbucks barista (chapter 1). He then transitions into the thinking brain versus feeling brain, and how our assumptions about the two are wrong (chapter 2).
He talks about how hope, something seen by many people purely as positive, has many negative connotations (chapter 5). Chapter 4, however is my personal favourite, in which he talks about how major philosophies and following trick us into following them, while disguising it as a how-to guide. He talks about spiritual organizations (such as religions), ideological (several “isms”) and interpersonal (such as sports teams and organizations). You will truly believe at this point that yes, indeed, everything is f*cked.
In part 2, he talks about the state of humanity. He discusses the role of the child, adolescent, and the adult in chapter 6. These are not the roles of people who are physically in these stages of life, but mentally in them. This is where he describes our growth and maturity. We go from people who pursue pleasure for pleasure’s sake (child) into someone who does the right thing just because (adult). Chapter 7 discusses the ‘blue dot effect’ and how our past shapes our expectations in scary ways. Chapter 8 is a must read for any marketer, talking about how Edward Bernays created modern marketing and PR. Bernays, the nephew of Freud, knew about the difference between the thinking brain and feeling brain mentioned in part 1.
Overall, if you enjoyed Mark’s first book, I would recommend this one for you, as it is quite similar in both tone and lessons learned.