The courage to be disliked


I would say this a book that contributed to my recent change in perspective on life. So here I want to summaries the book for for my future self.

  • Every one can change
    Some of us wish that we are different. Like ‘I wish I have that discipline to go to gym every day’ etc. Every one can change. We don’t change because, we blame the past, we blame the environment. And we think we can not change. Actually they are all excuses not to change.
  • Trauma does not exists
    What ever happened in past does not have any bearing to what we decide to do now. Our past does not matter, what matters is what meaning we give to that past events. You have no excuse to blame any action you take now on past. You can decide to make entirely different decisions which are independent of past.
  • People fabricate anger
    Anger is an emotion, like every other emotion. Like every other emotion, it is also in our control. We get anger only because we think we can do some things when we are in anger. It is just to justify our actions.  Imagine a smiling face and breaking stuff at home because one acted against your wishes. You can not. They will think you are a psycho.
  • Unhappiness is something you choose for yourself
    You decided that being unhappy is good for you based on some unhappy circumstances or ended up in unhappy situation.
  • People always choose not to change
    Who ever you are now, it is just because you choose to be like that. You can always change. You are unable to change only because you are making the decision not to. Even with inconveniences and limitations, you probably think that the lifestyle you have now is the most practical one, and that it’s easier t leave things as they are. Change is new and unknown.
  • Your life is decided here and now
    “If only I can be like Y” is an excuse to yourself for not changing. What you do not is what matters. You need courage to be happy, and courage to make the change. What ever you decide now only matters.
  • Why you dislike yourself
    It is just a way of self preservation for you. If you are unable to achieve something, disliking yourself will give you a way to be sane and correct in the eyes of people around you. How can you fail to do something, and still happy? What kind of person are you in others minds? You see, this is why you dislike yourself. Just like every one else. So it okey for you.
  • All problems are interpersonal relationship problems
    If we are alone, and we have nothing to compare to and nothing to expect, will we have any problems? No. All our problems only comes with interpersonal relationships. Only then you have expectations, comparisons and any other problems.
  • Feelings of Inferiority are subjective assumptions
    Taller, shorter, wiser, richer, and any other such things that cause the feeling of inferiority are subjective. They are not objective facts. You can always find exceptions to any of these.
  • An inferiority complex is an excuse
    There is nothing wrong with the feeling of inferiority itself. The complex is when we start using the feeling as an excuse. “I’m not good-looking, so I can’t get married” is just an excuse.
  • Braggarts have feelings of inferiority
    Healthy way is to try to compensate the limitations is through striving and growth. Some fabricate the feeling of superiority as easy way. They associate with authority, boast about his achievements, recounting memories of time when his light shone brightest, and even bragging about own misfortune etc.
  • Life is not a competition
    Pursuit of superiority is the mind-set of taking one step forward. Not mind-set of competition with other. It is enough to keep moving in a forward direction, without competing with anyone. Healthy feeling of inferiority comes from comparing with one’s ideal self. Not with other people.
  • You’re the only one worrying about your appearance
    Most people can not enjoy their success in the eyes of society is that they are living in competition. Competition makes others rivals, enemies. Once one is released from the schema of competition, the need of triumph over someone disappears.
  • Admitting fault is not defeat
    When you are challenged to a fight, and you sense that it is a power struggle, step down from that conflict as soon as possible. Anger is a communication tool, and there are better tools to communicate like language. If you think you are right, regardless of other’s opinions, the matter should be closed. Do not make others submit to them.
  • Deny the desire for recognition
    Being recognized might bring happiness, but does not mean it is necessary.
  • Do not live to satisfy the expectations of others
    When one seeks recognition from others, and concerns oneself with how one is judged by others, in the end, one is living other people’s lives. You are not living to satisfy other people’s expectations, it follows that other people are not living to satisfy your expectations.
  • Separate your tasks from others tasks
    Who ultimately is going to receive the result brought about by the choice that is made? It is their task. We can monitor or assist in other people’s task. But we can not intrude.
  • Discard other people’s tasks
    You believe in your partner. That is your task. But how that person acts with regards to your expectations and trust is other people’s task. Intervening in other people’s tasks and taking on other people’s tasks turns one’s life into something heavy and full of hardship. Lighten your load. Only deal with your tasks.
  • Rid yourself of interpersonal relationship problems
    All you can do with regard to your own life is choose the best path that you believe in. What kind of judgement do other people pass on that choice? That is the task of other people. It is not a matter you can do anything about.
  • Desire for recognition makes you unfree
    Recognition is not being disliked by other people. It limits your choices. The more people you are trying to please, the more you have to loose your freedom. Not trying to please others is not ego.
  • What is freedom
    Freedom is being disliked by other people. It is a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles. Braking away from organizations is not freedom. Being unconcerned by other people’s judgements, and no fear of being disliked by others.
  • The goal of interpersonal relationships is a feeling of community
    The smallest unit is two people. Two people, family, office, school, collage, state, nation and total humanity. These are all communities. And all our relationships are for the feeling of those communities.
  • You are not the center of the world
    You are a part of a community, not its center. Other people does not exist to please you. We are all searching for the sense of belonging, that “It’s okey to be here”.  And you can only do that with active commitment to the community that is “What can I give to this person”, and not simply by being here.
  • Do not rebuke or praise
    Rebuke or praise unconsciously create a hierarchical relationship. Praising is done to manipulate others. It is not done out of gratitude or respect. In relationships every one is equal but not same, including relationships with children. Instead, encourage them.
  • Exist in the present
  • The essence of work is a contribution to common good
    Labor or Work is ones way to contribute to the family, organization or the society. It is not just a means of earning money.
  • Workaholism is a life-lie
    They are just trying to avoid the responsibilities by using work as an excuse.
  • The courage to be normal
    You don’t have to be the special.
  • Life is a series of moments
    Life is not like climbing a mountain to teach the peak. It is not about the goal. It is about the moments we all go through while moving forward. Enjoy going through these moments.
  • Shine a light on the Hear and Now
    Like a spotlight on a stage that gets diffused if you try to see everything but focusing on one spot makes it bright, pay attention to hear and now. Don’t spend too much time on the future and the past. You will not be able to enjoy the present.
  • Give meaning to seemingly meaningless life
    Life in general has no meaning. What ever meaning life has must be assigned to it by the individual. Let “Contribution to others” is your guiding star. You can make lot of difference to others.

I have skipped some chapters which I could not summarize. This it self took multiple hours to refer back and write this summary. I will see if I can write the summary as I read the book.

12 Rules for life

I just finished reading the book “12 Rules for life”. So here are those rules.

  1.  Stand up straight with your shoulder back
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
  8. Tell the truth – or at least, don’t lie
  9. Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
  10. Be precise in your speech
  11. Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
  12. Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Some of them are straight forward to understand. I will elaborate some of them in future posts.

It is big book, but I think it was worth for me to read. I slept a lot while reading 🙂