“Certainty is the enemy of growth; we should be in constant search of doubt.”

This is a quote from Mark Manson’s sensitively (but unambiguously) titled book on ‘a counter-intuitive approach to living a good life’.

I found it a stimulating read offering so many avenues for further reflection. My favourite takeaways were:

  1. Life’s grand lesson is prioritising what to care about and what not to. A simple concept yet not always easy to implement in the midst of a storm or to overcome long-term programming of engaging emotions without filtering whether a person or topic is worthy of our energy.
  2. Happiness is not a pursuit but a journey of fulfilment while solving good problems. The question for me becomes whether we have spent enough time curating the problems we want to solve and the experiences that they imply. It is a question I ask myself almost daily.
  3. Instead of searching for what feels good, you should ask yourself, “What are you willing to struggle for?” He shares compelling arguments for the value of ‘suffering’: in the unfolding of personal growth, the reframing of perspectives and the weight we choose to attach to the situations we encounter.

I am taken by the idea of living a better life by defining values to determine what you should care about – ditch values that are focused on external circumstances and embrace those that are process-oriented and focused on the internal. We could all take a leaf out of this book (pun intended).

If you can get beyond the provocative title, this is a great read for those contemplating ways to put life’s challenges in perspective.

For those interested in an extended review.

Leadership and Life Coach South Africa

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