On values

19/02/2018: First reading reflection on Mark Manson's self-help book that in retrospect helped me set some things straight but didn't protect me from the abyss.

Recently, I have started reading a self-help book with a well put name, The Subtle Art og Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. He hasn’t really been known much until authoring this book, even though it wasn’t his first. He runs a dating advice business, which sort of justifies the hilariously inappropriate language in the book.

It stresses the point that there are many things in life drawing our attention at an increasing rate, especially while social media deliver new enviable and upsetting news every second. Unless, of course, you are like me and carefully pick the people you follow on facebook and all that stuff. And that’s the point. The book isn’t really written for people like me, who have gone through the Four Agreements, Waking the Tiger, an adaptation of this crap, in addition to spending two years of high school studying psychology.

Regardless, I do like the book, especially in comparison to the competition out there. The authors often drift beyond their ability to sensibly explain the underpinning subconscious processes of their advice to an average Joe or worse - themselves. Using metaphors is a smart way of dealing with it, while attributing sudden life change to supernatural entities, when the main force is change in perspective, is outright stupid. Mark did it right. Simple standpoint, simple language, concisely put and well exemplified on more or less real stories.

Anyway, one of the ideas coming out from the book is self-assessment of personal values. Roughly a year ago, I had made mine on a whim. Actually, it was a list of things that make me happy, or better phrased, that can make me satisfied. Not surprisingly, most of them reflect my personal values or standards. Some only vaguely, through a set of associations, which may escape the mind of others but work for me, while some literally. My list of pleasurers

I decided to take that list and expand on it a bit using reflective questions from the book. First of all, I just copied the list I have written on a couple of post-it notes and photographed with my phone, assigning broader values. Value achievement metrics

These values, I have organized into yet another table, assigning targets and answering whether they are reality based, socially constructive, and controllable by my own actions. In the last column, I put an estimate of the degree to which I periodically meet the set target.

So yeah! I guess I have my stuff fairly sorted. And will reflect on this at some point in the future. I must say that it was actually a pleasure, to work with Mark’s book, to the extent that I consider actually paying for it.