Busy Moms’ Book Club: Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson

Busy Moms’ Book Club: Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson

Every month, The Busy Moms’ Book Club meets virtually over Zoom. You do not have to read the book to join. I read the book, then will teach it to you and how to apply it. It’s the best because you can get ALL the goodness books have to offer in an hour. Because we all know you loved Cliff Notes for your book reports as a kid. 😉

Does the idea of hope both intrigue and confuse you? In Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope, Mark Manson pushes us to examine our perceptions and explore hope from a new lens, question our values, and challenge the narratives that have shaped our identities and view them in a new light.

Click HERE to watch the Busy Moms’ Book Club on YouTube.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to challenge socialized perspectives and narratives about hope
  • Manson’s view on discomfort as the path of growth
  • Why self-control is more about managing emotions than your thoughts
  • The value of working with our feelings rather than against them 

Featured on the Show: 

Click HERE to watch this video to learn The 3 Things to Avoid When Reading Self-Help Books

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Transcript:
Welcome to The Mom on Purpose Podcast. I’m Lara Johnson and I’m here to teach you how to get out of your funk, be in a better mood, claim more with your kids, manage your home better, get your to-do list done, and live your life on purpose with my proven method. This is possible for you, and I’ll show you how. You’re not alone anymore. We’re in this together. All right, so welcome everybody to the Mom on Purpose Book Club. I’m excited to be talking to you today about a really fun book. And because we don’t, we do keep this G-rated people, listen to the podcast and the car. So, I’m just going to say everything is “F’d” in the book. My daughter took off the cover because she is nine and she didn’t feel it was appropriate. And so, if you were listening to this the “U” is splotched out, but it is very clear what it says. The author is Mark Manson, and we were talking, right before I started this recording to a book club member on like her thoughts about the book. She said that she’s about 30% through the book. And it was very similar to my experience with this book, and it was that it was a very hard read. I think when I picked up the book, I didn’t anticipate reading philosophy. I felt like he was quoting a lot of philosophers. But he was putting it in his own terms. Like having Newton is what he called him like in an a parallel universe, or we’re talking about philosophy, but in a very different way. And sometimes the book in my mind felt very not connected. So, there are times where I’m reading something, and I have no idea why we’re even talking about it. So, if you were to yes, and honestly says he does use the F word a lot in the book. Maybe that’s just his style and what he’s putting out there, which is fine. Everybody can have their own style, but if you are sensitive to that word, it will probably be one that you want to pass up because it is in there a lot. Obviously, it’s in the title but he also uses it as part of his language in the book. So, as we go through this this will probably be a shorter one because there were whole sections of the book that I just skipped, and I want to really emphasize to people when you are reading a book and you know that there, there may be some good stuff in there, but it doesn’t resonate with you, it’s okay to skip it. I think sometimes we have this belief, especially in the self-help type genre, that we need to read the whole book in order to get all the goodness out of it. And if you haven’t ever looked at, I do have a free video. It talks about the three things to avoid when reading self-help books. If you go down to the show notes, if you’re listening to this on replay, you can go down to the show notes and click on that so that you can get that free video. But one of the things that I include in that is the pressure to read the entire book. Like for sure, avoid that. If there’s a whole section and it’s really not resonating with you reading it is only going to discourage you from finishing the book, it’s going to distract you and create mental clutter in your brain. So, it’s okay to skip over that. And so, I was glad, to set that example for this book club because I do try and read the whole books so that you are able to get a lot of information out of it. But I’ll be honest, like there was a whole section, let me see if I can find the whole section is how to start your own religion. I don’t really need to know that right now, maybe someday. No, I’m kidding. I’m not starting a religion even someday. But it just made me laugh that this really was a book that I was genuinely confused. For most of the reading. So, as we talk about the takeaways it’s important to recognize that you won’t take everything out of every single book. And so as much as I always want to do the entire book justice and present to you a lot of takeaways, this one has a significant. Less amount of takeaways just because there was a lot, I had no idea what was happening. So that’s where I wanted to start today as we talk about this. So, in the beginning, he gives us a definition for hope, and it was fascinating because parts of the book, he was saying hope, here he was saying hope is the fuel for our mental engine. But in other parts of the book, he was saying, hope is just like a mental construct. It’s not real. And so, I felt like we were going back and forth between those two things, and I think it was a really good example on how maybe both things can be true at any given time, like two opposing views. So, for right now, in the beginning of this book, we are going to stay with that definition. But I am going to read what he has in the very back of the book, and I think that’s important because it was hard to get some of his definitions of things because his definitions were just, words that make sense on like he says, like hope is the fuel for our mental engine. You’re like, okay, but how are you defining hope? So, I actually went to the back of the book under notes, and he says, I don’t use the word hope in this book. In this way, it is typically used academically. Most academics use hope to express a feeling of optimism, an expectation, or belief in the possibility of positive results. This definition is partial and limited. Optimism can feed hope, but it is not the same thing as hope. I have no expectation for something better to happen, but I can still hope for it, and that hope can still give my life a sense of meaning and purpose, despite all evidence to the contrary. By hope, I am referring to a motivation towards something perceived as valuable, what is sometimes described as purpose or meaning, meaning in academic literature. As a result, for my discussion of hope, I’ll draw on research on motivation and value theory, and in many cases try to fuse them together. Had he just taken that definition, I feel like at the very beginning of the book, it would’ve really set the stage for what he’s doing. But I felt like I was constantly trying to piece together what his beliefs were about hope, and it always felt very contradictory. So, I appreciated when I went back to the notes of the book and where he was citing a lot of his academic research to where he says, what he’s looking for is something of value, something of meaning, and that’s where he’s putting in hope. It’s not just thinking for a good result in your life. So that’s where we’re going to start. In addition to that, he talks about hope the opposite of hope is hopelessness. And I think it is interesting because as he talks about this, I’m going to bring my board over. I just realized I didn’t have that ready for you guys. I apologize. But what he said is sometimes we think about the opposite of hope as being It is like love or hate. But he said if you are loving or hating then you are still giving an F. You’re still caring about something. He said in this situation, the opposite of sorry, I think I said that wrong. Hold on, let me go back. Oh, I might not be able to find it. I think he’s the opposite of love. Excuse me. Okay. Yes, I am going to read this because I did just mess up the wording on that. So, he says the opposite of happiness. Excuse me, for getting that incorrect is not anger or sadness. If you’re angry or sad, that means you still give a fuck. About give, excuse me, give an F about something. That means something still matters. That means you still have hope. The opposite of happiness is hopelessness. The endless gray horizon of resignation and indifference. And I think it’s important to recognize for all of us that when we are kind of stuck trying to figure out our happiness, that when we are lacking happiness, what we’re really lacking is hope. So, if we’re lacking that, then it’s leading to hope. So, no happiness equals hopelessness. Okay. And he said there is we get to this point where there’s an uncomfortable truth, that we are all. Coming across. And that uncomfortable truth, and he refers to this many times in the book, is that everything we care about will return to zero. And I was trying to figure out another way to word that so it would make more sense. And the way that. The uncomfortable truth. The way I interpret that is everything that we care about will disappear. It will cease to exist. That is the uncomfortable truth. Okay, so uncomfortable truth equals cease to exist. It will return to zero. Now, when we’re looking at. Hope in a religious sense. For example, he talks about how what we’re actually doing is we’re creating hope that it doesn’t cease to exist, that there is something in the future to hope for. But when we just sit with the uncomfortable truth outside of any spiritual beliefs, and I will be very clear that. He challenges a lot of spiritual beliefs in this book as well, a lot of religious beliefs. He presents a lot of spiritual beliefs as a construct for hope. What he’s saying is that we’re really trying to confront the uncomfortable truth, that everything at some point will cease to exist. Develop your own beliefs around that as you read the book. It did challenge my mind in a lot of ways. So, it’s not one that I can highly recommend, but it is one that still taught me some things. And as we’re recognizing our hopelessness, oftentimes we’re confronting the uncomfortable truth that something will not work out. Some, we, there’s some kind of thing in the future that we value that is outside of us, outside of our control. So, he said in order to says That hope creates for us some kind of solution to a problem said. But the interesting thing is the better that the world gets, the more we have less to hope for because those problems are being solved. And he said, in order to build and maintain hope, and this is the tricky part, is the more that we start to solve some of the world’s problems. The more we don’t need hope. But remember, if we have no hope, then we’re not happy. So, this is like the thing that he’s talking about that’s really contradictory that exists in our world. And so, in order for us to still have things to hope for, it’s important for us to create a sense of control and to have a belief in the value of something he does. Excuse me, he does add the third one in community. Maybe that’s where he was talking about creating your own religion. I’m not sure, because that was the section I skipped. So, we’re not going to spend a lot of time on that Third one on how to build and maintain hope. The third thing was community. We are going to focus on the first two, like the sense of control and the belief and value. So, he shares an example. Of a man named Elliot in the book, and he went into a lot of details about Elliot. And there were some other stories that, we’ve talked about that in past book clubs where if they present so many stories within one paragraph, it’s actually hard for my brain to grab onto any of them because it’s too many. So, I did appreciate the fact that when he presented a story, that was the sole story that he was talking about. So, I did appreciate that. So, in talking about like our sense of control, he was discussing this man named Elliot. And Elliot was a very successful executive at a very successful company. He was liked by everyone. He was a wonderful husband, a father, and a friend that loved to take beach vacations that says, but he regularly had headaches that were happening. So, he couldn’t figure out why he was having these headaches. Eventually he went into the doctor, and they found a baseball sized tumor in the front of his brain, and it was important for them to cut this out of his brain, obviously, get this tumor out. And so, they did. And then he went to go return back to work. And everything seemed very fine and normal, but there were some things that were seriously wrong. And so, it, he then goes on the author Mark Manson goes on to describe some of the choices that Elliot began making and some of these choices were. That instead of what were some of them that, like they were really funny. Like he wanted to sit on the couch and watch Family Feud reruns, and he didn’t want to go to his children’s games anymore. And I think at one point it was talking about how he wanted to pick out a pen instead of going to an investor meeting. Like it was something so ridiculous sounding that instead of attending an investor meeting, for this very successful company, he was doing like some very small task that made no sense. So eventually it got to the point where he was fired from his job, he wasn’t doing his job. Anyway, but then problems started happening at home where he wasn’t attending any of his kids’ games. His wife was really frustrated because he wasn’t doing anything. He could clearly see that there were things going wrong, but he lacked any empathy and responsibility for the decisions that he was making, or lack of decisions that he was making. So, then he became, after a series of very bad choices, he got divorced, he lost his family. He was basically homeless, lost almost all of his money in bad decisions that he made, and he was homeless and finally moved in with his brother to care for him. And so, at one point, this brother has taken him back to the doctor and they’ve tested him, and he is sharp as an attack in his brain. And he kept going back to the doctor saying, but there’s something different about my brother. Something is not working. So, he continued on to meet somebody else who was, let’s see if I can find his name. He went on to talk with Antonio DeMaio and they did a lot of psychological testing and what they found was that Elliot, his ability to reason and to think was still highly intact. But the thing that was damaged was his ability and capacity for emotion and all of this like drastically changed the way that we’ve been thinking about control and it was not that Elliot couldn’t think his way through things, but Elliot couldn’t feel his way through things. He couldn’t feel that there was a difference between an investor meeting versus some like insignificant things like picking out a pen. And so, what happened at this point is this is where they illustrated that Elliot had lost his self-control. So, he presents that, and because he lost his ability to feel, he lost his ability to make decisions, like good decisions in his life, and then to be able to control his life. So, then he presents another bit of information. So, remember Elliot, and now think about this … He said back in the 1950s there was somebody that perfected what they call the lobotomy, the frontal lobotomy. Excuse me. I think this was the end of the 1940s. And this doctor ended up going and winning a Nobel Prize for this discovery. And what he discovered was that he could heal mental health issues, and he says, in the book that mental health issues, or what we call like the crisis of hope, like if you are very anxious and very depressed, you have a hard time struggling with hope. And so, what they did is they decided to drill like it’s so crazy. This is what won a Nobel Prize. Okay, so they drilled into someone’s skull and scraped off some of their brain. It sounds so ridiculous. There were very few negative side effects as far as their thinking patterns go. But in the process of quote-unquote curing the patients, it says what happened is they turned them into basically potatoes that they became like void of any emotional affection, but they also didn’t have the mental health issues. So, this is where, by, I think in 1967 this was like totally outlawed. Nobody was allowed to do this anymore because, clearly it did have negative side effects. It was just not in the way that they thought. So, both of these things presented together is what the author says really confronts and challenges what he called the classic assumption. And the classic assumption says that if a person is undisciplined, unruly, or malicious, it’s because he lacks the ability so to subjugate his feelings and that he is weak-willed or just plain ed up. And so, he goes on to say that there is an assumption, the classic assumption that someone that is in control of their thoughts enough will create enough willpower to do whatever they want to be very successful in their life. So, a couple of examples that he presents, and I want you to consider this for yourself. If you have also found. That you fall into this classic assumption. So, he said, an assumption is that obese people are obese because they have a failure of self-control, that control over their thoughts and to get control over their feelings. Like they should know they should be thin. So why do they keep eating? So that’s another example of the classic assumption and he has I’m trying to see if he has a couple of others, but all of this is the problem that comes back because it’s not a problem of being in charge of our thoughts and having our thoughts rule the roost over our feelings. Because without feelings, we are nothing. So, Elliot, for example, had the ability to control his thoughts, but he had no feeling that motivated him to take any course of healthy action. Same thing with the lobotomy where they’re drilling in. Yes, they cured mental illness because they took away the pain of the mental illness, but then they had no passion for anything in their life. And I think that’s such an important thing for every one of us to recognize is so often we think we just need to get control of our thoughts. If we can just willpower our way into losing weight, if we can just get our kids on board, think the way that we do and. Then everything would be okay. But what’s really important is to recognize that it is well beyond just our thoughts, but it’s our feeling that gives us life. And I do appreciate that he spent a lot of time talking about this because when we think about self-control, we think about our being in control of our thoughts. Think about it also in terms of Our spiritual side of things, we should be managing our mind, but it’s more than that. And so, we’re going to talk about what that means, to go to be more than that. Okay. So, then I also wanted to illustrate, he said also within the classic assumption, it’s that we’re succumbing to our emotional impulses as a moral failing. He says we see a lack of self-control as a sign of a deficient character. We celebrate people who beat their emotions into submission. And I think that’s such an important thing because if any of us feel like we want to reach our goals, oftentimes what we’re doing is we’re grinding, we’re working harder, we’re will powering our way. We are beating our emotions into submission, and that’s not what self-control is, and that’s what he presents as a way to heal our hope. We do need self-control, but not in the terms as we have classically assumed it to be. So, he goes on to explain, of course that this classic assumption is wrong. He says the fact that we require more than willpower to achieve self-control. It turns out that our emotions are instrumental in our decision-making and our actions. We just don’t always realize it. So, what he then presents at this point is the analogy that he calls the conscious car. As you all know, I cannot draw, and so we’re not even going to try to make this look any better. Okay, so here is our car and this is our conscious car. So, he says, for the most part we assume we have two sets of brains, and we assume that one brain is the one driving the car. And we think that’s the thinking brain. And then in the back seat, is our feeling brain. So, he said, for the most part, all of us, if our feelings are creeping up and trying to take control over the wheel, it’s our thinking brain that needs to push them back to the backseat. And he said, what’s important to recognize is both of these have their strength and weakness, but it’s not actually our thinking brain that drives our car. And I thought this was really interesting. So, he says let’s see. Yeah, so our belief is our belief that our reason is ultimately in control of our life and that we must train our emotions to sit down and shut up while the adult is driving, but our conscious car doesn’t work this way. He said when the tumor was removed from Elliot’s brain, Elliot’s feeling brain got thrown out of the moving vehicle and nothing got better for him. And so, it is it, he then goes on to say the actual truth is it’s our feeling brain that is driving the car, not our thinking brain. And I think this is really important because especially where I work in the mindset-type space, with my life coaching this was one of the. The biggest aha moments I had was I was always trying to think thoughts that would produce the result I wanted, but oftentimes it was never about the thoughts I was thinking, but more about the feelings I was having. And when I started putting the two together, that’s when I became more successful. Before that, I was doing exactly what he described. I was thinking, my thinking brain was in charge and trying to submit my feelings to whatever I wanted to think, and that just led me to a lot of disastrous results. Not disastrous, like that sounds so dramatic, feeling brain, but it didn’t feel good in my body, and I started having a lot of health complications because my feelings were showing up in other areas. All right, so he then goes on to say, why do we not do the things that we know we should do? And I love his response because we don’t feel like it, ultimately that’s what the answer is. That’s how we know the feeling brain is driving the car because we’re only moved into action because of an emotion. And an emotion is the biological hydraulic system that pushes our body into motion. And so, he said it’s really important for all of us to recognize that no matter how many times you’re trying to force yourself to think a different way until you start working with your feeling brain, nothing will happen, and your car will just stall out. So, he goes on to say that He. He talks about the strengths of each and talks about some of the weaknesses. The feeling brain is very stubborn, and it will only go in the direction that it wants to. However, the thinking brain really likes to collect all the facts and data and wants to know where to go. But here’s the tricky part. Is if the feeling brain starts going in a specific way that it wants to, because that’s what it does. The thinking brain starts getting mad and will then start creating reasons and justifications for why you deserve to go in that way. So, it’s really interesting to think about this in terms of ice cream, and this is the example he used in the book where if you want ice cream, your thinking brain will now come up with reasons on you actually worked really hard today. You ate really good all week; you deserve to have this ice cream. And suddenly, your brain is getting on board to wherever the feeling brain is driving. This is very complicated when you’re trying to lose weight, for example, because suddenly everything that you were feeling, your thinking brain is supporting. And this is where a lot of the complications, as I’m working with clients, comes into play because then they’ll go back to, no, we have to think different thoughts. But really, it’s just you’re, if you really don’t want to like, and that’s just the way it is. So, at this point, this is where the two can start fighting with each other. And I like that as he talks about this, he starts, he mentions something that, like I say to my clients all the time, and what he talks about is that it’s not about one of them winning over the other. It’s that you’re learning to accept and work with your emotions and your thinking brain instead of working against each other. So, work with each other versus against. And when you start working together, then it’s really, that’s where the car really starts going at almost lightspeed, bringing this back down to hope, he says it’s really important. He said, the overindulgence in emotion leads to a crisis of hope. And the repression of emotion also leads to a crisis of hope. He says the person who de denies his feeling brain numbs himself to the world around him. By rejecting his emotion, he rejects making value, judgements, he becomes indifferent to life and the results of his decisions. He struggles to engage with others. His relationships suffer. That’s all you know, by rejecting these emotions. And I will say that this is one of those, I don’t know, like common patterns I see in my coaching with a lot of Christian women. And it could be women in general. I just coach more Christian women than not. Where we do not give space for our emotions, we are very skilled at repressing them because we have been told, contention is not of God, and loving one another, serve one another. And what we interpret that is if we feel negative emotions, we need to get rid of it very quickly. And oftentimes the way we do that is to repress them because we’ve never really been taught how to health, like in a very healthy way, communicate a negative emotion. And that’s where I wanted to, spend a moment on that is really recognizing that there will be a crisis of hope. If you are continually repressing your emotions, your relationships will suffer your job, your relationship with your children, like all of these things will start to suffer. But he then goes on to say that the person who denies his thinking brain, meaning that you’re overindulgent in feelings and you are denying your thinking, you become impulsive and selfish and warping reality to conform to your whims and fancies. And I think this is also very important because for the most part, the women that I coach are so afraid of becoming selfish and impulsive and like acting on all of their whims and fancies, as he says. Because they don’t know how to work together with the thinking and the feeling brain. So, in an effort to avoid the overindulgence of emotions, they go so far, the other way and just repress all of them. So, he again goes back to that it’s important to recognize that both have strengths and weaknesses, and the more that you work together with them, the more your conscious car is able to move forward in a very healthy way. How do we actually go about doing that? And I think this is really important for us to recognize that in order for the two to work together, it’s important to learn how to talk with the feeling brain. And I love that he says this, there is no fighting with the feeling brain. And I’m going to repeat that. And if you have something to write down, write it down. There is no fighting with the feeling brain. You will lose. Plain and simple, and I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, I want you to think about those times when you felt like you are at war with yourself over something. Should I do this? Should I not? And you go back and forth, and it feels you just want to rebel. You want to rebel against the things you know you should do. What is happening is you’re fighting with your feeling brain, and then it becomes very rebellious feeling inside of you. Forget it, I’m not going to do that. Nobody can tell me what to do. I call it like my internal teenager. She’s very rebellious. Okay, so the way that we were, we work around this because remember, if you start going in one direction, your thinking brain will justify. Why you should keep going in that direction. So, when we start seeing that we’re going in a direction that we don’t want to, and we’re trying not to fight with our feeling brain, that’s where you can start creating an internal dialogue with it. And, the whole purpose is to train the thinking brain, to speak up and talk to the feeling brain. That’s the purpose, not to fight with it. So, when that starts to happen, you can really give yourself a chance to imagine it as an actual person driving a car and be like, wow, feeling brain, why are you going in this direction today? And you just wait and let it talk back to you. And you’re what, as you start doing this, you’ll start having this conversation on oh, that’s really interesting that’s what you’re wanting to do today. What else do you want to do today? And it might tell you a few more things. Okay. So, what are some of the things that you value today? Like what are some of the values and start having this conversation where you’re able to really bring the feeling brain so it feels heard and seen and for all that it wants. Okay, so then he goes on to say where it gets so hard because he is talking about how you have to have a sense of control in order to have hope. But then he specifically says, you don’t get to control your feelings. Self-control is an illusion. So that’s where it gets like really fun in this book, I feel like for every five words he says he’ll contradict it with one. Okay. So, the biggest thing as you move forward in all of this is to recognize that these two are to work together. And the more that they work together, the more that you’ll start feeling and progressing towards the things that you want. So, the last thing that I wanted to talk about is what he calls the laws of emotion. Now this is another funny example where he creates his own stuff and it’s a little hard to follow. So, he talks about, in this parallel universe, imagine that there’s another Newton. I do appreciate the history I like learning about stories and the history of people. Isaac Newton did not have an easy childhood. I think his mother left him, I think he said his dad died at a young age and he bounced around from many family members and was also like physically abused by some of those family members. Getting hit in the face if he wasn’t listening because he was too busy calculating the projection of the moon or All, like a lot of the science stuff, obviously. So instead of him having a lot of self-confidence and being able to see that he was a prodigy, he was just not working hard enough and was punished accordingly. So that really left an interesting mark. As I think about that. He also talked about I’m going to pronounce it wrong, Friedrich Nietzsche? He was another really famous philosopher, Emmanuel Kant is another one. All of these are like big philosopher names that you’ve probably heard of. And he really presents a unique perspective on their life Nietzsche, for example, as he goes on. We’re not going to dive into that, but he talks about how his life was a walking contradiction, that he was very misogynistic. He relied on strong, independent women to care for him. He was not self-reliant by any means. He was horribly weak and sickly. But yet those were the things that he preached on. Being really self-sufficient and creating liberation, except he didn’t want it for women. And so, it was really interesting to hear some of these great minds and to understand some of their background stories. So that was a fascinating thing. I did read and learn in this book. Anyway, going back to Isaac Newton, he said that there is the feeling brain at some point when you’re working with it and at some point it will turn on itself and think that there is something inherently wrong with him, with yourself. And as we start thinking about that and as we go forward, that’s where I want you to think about these laws of emotion. So, he says, in this parallel universe, instead of. Newton looking at gravity and motion and velocity and all of those things. He said, what if in this parallel universe, he was more keen to observe human nature and the emotional reactions that happened there? He takes the laws of motion and turns them into the laws of emotion and pretending that Newton came up with these. I’m telling you this book was interesting, so he said, for the first one, for every action, there is an equal or opposite emotional reaction. You see what he did right there? He said, so for every single one of us there is what we call, what he calls a moral gap. And this moral gap is the sense that there is one that is righteous and one that is inferior. And this moral gap will always cause us pain because there is a sense that if something wrong has happened to you or someone else, then you deserve to be whole again. But the pain comes in that there is always this sense of superiority or inferiority. Meaning that someone had some kind of deserving of this. Now that’s really hard to think about in terms of, someone doing harm to you, that there is someone superior, and the gap is that whatever happens, you are inferior and therefore deserved, whatever that thing is. Again, this is the moral gap that he’s presenting. So, when we’re in one of these gaps, he said that what we typically like to do is now we have to equalize or somehow bring ourselves up to that level of superiority so that we can restore hope within ourselves that we don’t feel like there is something wrong with us. So, when you receive a negative moral gap then you feel like these are very complex things to try. So, within our thinking brain, we’ll start putting things on a spectrum of how these things related. Our feeling brain will start putting things into like a hierarchy. Where something is superior, inferior, going back up and forth. So, our feeling brain creates our values around our experiences and our experiences cause pain. The experiences that cause pain create a moral gap within our minds and our feeling brain deems those experiences inferior and undesirable. So then, comes, you know the interesting thing when we’re looking at the thinking brain, we’re looking at how are we the same? What are the causes? What are the effects? But then our other brain is, okay, how is this better or worse? And how is somebody better than us and how are we worse than them? And so that’s where the pain starts to come into within this moral gap. So, he goes on to say, that when you start looking at these value hierarchies, this is where your identity is created. When you are working towards changing yourself or growing, you are living within hierarchies of values, and when you start having experiences that challenge those values, then your hierarchy starts to change within your feeling brain. So, he uses this, and this leads to the second law of emotion. Our self-worth equals the sum of our emotions over time. If you’re having these experiences that are causing you pain and those moral gaps like you’re feeling inferior, what will happen is your feeling brain will create a sum of all of those emotions where it says you deserved this. Which is very detrimental when you think about it. So, when your feeling brain starts to think that you deserve something, this is where your self-worth starts to come into play, where you don’t feel like you are valuable or worthy of something. Again, this is a crisis of hope. He says, at this point, we delude ourselves into believing that what’s good for us is also good for everyone else. Hold on. I think, again, this is where he says self-worth is an illusion. So again, like this is what your brain is doing, and now it’s an illusion. So, the whole thing, this is like the whole theme of the book. So, I think the biggest thing you know, to take away here is that whatever emotion that you are feeling over time, that will shape your identity. Okay, let’s just leave it at that and as that is shaped it will then present itself in your self-worth and your ability to express your skills and be who you are. But to remember that is, for you. And it’s easy to start judging people based on that value. If I have this skill and this was good for me to learn, then this skill and this lesson is good for everyone to learn. Okay. So that’s the biggest, thing there that our feeling brain starts to create. But then the third law, he says, your identity will stay your identity until a new experience act against it. And I think this was the one I think that stood out to me the most where he talks about, I’ll just read it. He says our values are stories. When our feeling brain feels something, our thinking brain sets toward constructing a narrative to explain something. And this is where our value-based narratives create our identity. But here’s the interesting part is there’s only four ways that these narratives are constructed, okay? So, it’s bad things happen, and someone doesn’t deserve it. Good things happen and they don’t deserve it. Okay. And then good things happen, and they do deserve it, and then bad things happen, and they do deserve it. Now, when we set up these narratives, and I want you to think about this for yourself Almost always, the narratives that we’re talking about with each other falls into one of these four categories, which is really interesting to think about. But what goes on is that these narratives will shape our reality in so many ways. And it says that the longer we’ve held onto these narratives, the less aware are that we have them. If you believe that, if you are a good person or you do good things, so you are deserving of good things, what happens when you see a bad person who gets good things, but you don’t think they deserve it, and then suddenly you’re very jealous or you feel like there needs to be justice served, to this person. And suddenly all of this is brought into question. So, it’s the only way to change our values is to have experiences contrary to our values. And at any attempt to break free from those values through new or contrary experiences will inevitably be met with pain and discomfort. There is no such thing as change without pain, no growth without discomfort. And then you have to be willing to grieve the loss of who you used to be. So, I’ll share just, to wrap up an example for myself. Where, and I’ll be very honest, this is a very personal experience. With regards to race, I grew up in a middle-class Christian home with white parents. They did not attend college. They attended some college but not much, and they worked very hard for the things that they had. And what I saw was that they did good things and so they were deserving of a lot. Now, all of a sudden, I created this entitlement around, like I’m a hard worker and therefore I deserve good things. But there were people that I saw that had good things, but I didn’t feel like they were as good as me. And I didn’t understand why they had better and more than I did, and it didn’t seem like they deserved it. Okay. But then on the flip side, I started recognizing I’m like a really hard worker, and there’s a lot of. People that are out there that are better than I am, they deserve better things. And just because they have a different color of skin. They’re not getting the same kinds of things that I get even though they’re working harder. And so, I use that as just an example on that was the turning point for me to start looking at some of the systematic things that were happening within our country that up until that point, I couldn’t see because of the value-based narratives that I had, and I had to start bringing those into question and. It was a very complicated, very complex process, but the more that I did that, the more I had to grieve that I could never go back. I couldn’t unsee what I had seen, and during that time, I had to use my thinking and feeling brain together because I was confronting a lot of very uncomfortable feelings that I had within me because of the value-based narratives that I had that I no longer wanted to keep. So, as you look at this for yourself, that’s where I really want you to see is that the more, we bring these into question, the more we start growing our capacity to feel and think and hope on an even deeper level. And that’s when we’re able to achieve. Greater changes in this life. So that’s probably the first 50 pages of the book is not a lot that we covered as far as the book goes. Okay. But like I mentioned, the more you read like whole sections of stuff that I just didn’t write because it made no sense how it all fit together. I’m just going to leave it there. Honestly there are some other areas that I liked where he talks about the formula for humanity and learning how to grow up from like a childhood adolescent to adult mindset and being able to embrace principles over pleasure. Those are very important things. I will say, as he challenged a lot of my own beliefs, my takeaway from all of this regarding hope is I have no idea what he was talking about, but I will say I like having hope and at times it is much harder to have hope than others. But the more that I challenge my value-based narratives, the more I have to hope for better in the world. And that’s, where I’ll leave you, to be able to read the book for yourself and to come up with your own conclusions. But my challenge is that you take whatever your identity is, whatever value-based narratives that you have, and start really bringing those into question and start using your thinking and feeling brain to work together, not against each other and recognize that your emotions are the ones that are driving the car. So, it’s best to play nice with them. All right. I hope you have a wonderful week and I will talk with you all next month. Thank you for listening. Please share, review, and subscribe to this podcast so we can.

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