May 17, 2023

Stay cautious of extreme ideologies

 I'm currently reading "The subtle art of not giving a F**k" for the second time and I'm amazed by the sheer volume of takeaways from this book.

I'm struggling to pick and mindmap the key points to discuss for this week's book discussion hour :-) 

The chapter on the tyranny of Exceptionalism hits the nail right on the head.

The author Mark Manson says, "It's a statistical improbability that any single person will be an extraordinary performer in all areas of life, or even in many areas of their life"

His reasoning on why extreme ideologies grab hold of our attention is so true!

Given the enormous amount of information that comes our way every single day AND the fact that our attention span is limited, only the extreme and exceptional catches our eye. It's not surprising that the vlogs with the following headlines get the max views.

"I did 108 Suryanamaskars for 30 days and here's what happened"

"I lost 30 kgs in 8 months following this special diet"

"My morning routine from 3:45 AM"

"I switched to a raw vegan diet and healed all my health issues"

Such information received through social media, workshops and courses (though may sound inspiring and aspirational) makes us loathe our current state and puts us in a state of self-criticism and guilt.

Instead of being in a state of self-acceptance and discovering our true journey, we end up fixating on our lack and emulating someone's journey.

The other issues that Mark  brought out:

"This flood of extreme information has conditioned us to believe that exceptionalism is the new normal".

"This deluge of exceptional information drives us to feel pretty insecure and desperate"

"The inundation of the exceptional makes people feel worse about themselves, makes them feel that they need to be more extreme, more radical, and more self-assured to get noticed or even matter"

You don't need extreme ways of living to lead a healthy and content life. 

Getting information and inspiration from outside sources is akin to eating.

How you process the information and imbibe it for your lifestyle and situation is akin to digestion.

"You are not what you eat; You are what you digest" - is equally applicable to our thoughts.

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