Manson turns the usual positive affirmation gaga into something quite brilliant. He literally turns the table on its head. So if your one of those people (like me), who do love reading about life and how to live it, (self-help books supposedly) you will love this. I dislike the fact that these books are referred to as "self help" books. I would much prefer to call them inspirational guides. I know when i pick one up i don't do it to "get help." The truth is i love being surrounded by positive people. I love the energy of reading positive writing. I love the idea (however romantic it may sound) that at the end of the tunnel there is light. That even if you have nothing right now, you can write yourself a blank cheque as Jim Carrey did and one day, you will manifest all those dreams.
To some it may sound absurd, to me it does not. However rather then explaining why this is wrong, Manson has another take on it. He talks about how the opposite is also right. How running away from grief, or being unable to embrace uncertainty is actually the problem. Why? Well because its not realistic. And today with the absurd amounts of technology we are using, and the amount of media sensationalism we are bombarded with, it is near to impossible to claim we can always be in a "zen" like state. Instead Manson suggests we get comfortable with the negative. And this to me makes a lot of sense. If you take both theories and put them together, i personally feel you have a complete "art of living," guide at your fingertips.
Let me explain. So while i totally am for positive affirmations, meditating, and hustling my way to the top, despite of what obstacles come my way. I am also very much for embracing the bad days, because lets be real here, the bad days do come. One must remember that social media is simply the highlights of everybody's life. It is not a depiction of the days of struggle. It is not a display of hardships. We don't see anyone struggling to make money on there, or posting about their sickness, or quite frankly, we don't see many pictures of us women without our make-up on, or minus a pretty snapchat filter. There is however a ton of motivational speakers, a ton of positive quotes and whole bunch of opinions. Don't get me wrong, i am not complaining. I follow a lot of these people myself, because honestly they make a lot of sense. They are inspirational. They are this way because of their journey and what they have achieved. But lets also not forget, they are this way because of the hardships they got through and because of the struggle. Don't forget some wise ass did tell us it is the struggle that makes it great...wait i think that was Tom Hanks, and i lovvveeeeee Tom Hanks! (take the ass part back)
I think you get my drift now. One thing i can definitely say is i practice what i preach. I really, really bloody try. Every single day. And sometimes i fall flat on my face, because on a bad day, i let it get the better of me. I might even shed some tears. But i know one thing. I know tomorrow is a new day. And i'll be damned if i don't fight to make it better. With a little help from above, whether your thing is prayer, or affirmations, or just following people who inspire you everyday, it is only YOU who can change the way you feel. How? Well by changing your thoughts. This is so key! I cannot stress this enough. From Napolean Hill's 'Think and Grow Rich," to Manson's 'The Subtle art...' they all emphasize how important it is to change your thoughts. It's not that it will change the world necessarily, but yes it will change YOUR world. And that i can vouch for.
It's important to say however you go about it, it will be hard. Life is hard. It wasn't meant to be easy. And well if you have it easy, i am sure you also have something to complain about. They say the grass is always greener on the other side. What this highlights is perspective, because that all depends through which glass you are looking through. I believe that even if in your struggle, you are able to be grateful for what you do have, while aspiring to get what you want to have, than you have mastered the art of living pretty damn well! Even if i say so myself.
On that note, if what i have said interests you, then you will love the book. And to end this, Manson mentions that the majority of our problems are only problems because we sit and ponder on them. We evaluate how right or wrong something is, who is going to get hurt by the decision, what people are going to think etc etc while all the while we could just do it! Do the things that we keep putting off, simply do. Though i know i know, it's not simple you say, but actually maybe it is. Maybe if we didn't give such a f*ck about everything, at least we can choose better things to give a f*ck about!