‘Everything Is F*cked’ told me to forget about hope
By Morgan Hannah, Life & Style Editor
The pursuit of happiness is overrated. I’m only interested in the pursuit of conquering pain. That is the only true way of finding happiness… sitting with everything, accepting it, and then letting it all go.
I was inspired to write this line after reading internationally bestselling author Mark Manson. His book Everything is F*cked has changed the way I will look at the endlessly cliché phrase “the pursuit of happiness.” I used to be obsessed with happiness and, like many other people, found myself pursuing it all the time. I would fall victim to #selfcare and YOLO, thinking that I must be the exception.
I thought that I had a life chalk full of purpose—life is short so I should do everything I can to make it a wild ride. Make interesting choices. Eat that chocolate. Take that dance class. Kiss that boy. Blah, blah, blah. All I found was myself sitting with was that impenetrable feeling of “what next?” and “there’s got to be more,” when the reality is, there isn’t more. That is hope talking. And if I’ve learned anything from Manson’s book, it is to not waste time hoping. Hope is meaningless and fabricated by us to make ourselves feel more special or powerful. A means to an end. To give ourselves a purpose. It is useless to hope for better, as Manson says, “just be better.” It really is that easy.
The main takeaways I found from his book are that as a species, we must create tools that promote greater character and maturity rather than diversions from growth, we need to learn to treat people as a means to an end, and we need to encourage antifragility rather than enabling this uber aggressive everyone’s-a-winner attitude. We are progressing the world into a bubble where we stall growth in favour of protecting everyone’s feelings. We need to cut down on that fake freedom and learn to commit to reality. Commit to our friends, family, jobs, and ourselves. And that means sitting the fuck down and dealing with our pain in order to move on from it rather than trying to numb it with all our excuses and diversions. As Manson puts it in “Chapter 7: Pain is the Universal Constant” (my favourite chapter): “When we pursue pain, we are able to choose what pain we bring into our lives. And this choice makes the pain meaningful—and therefore, it is what makes life feel meaningful.” Talk about wow. I think this makes a lot of sense.
Without pain, there is no joy, and because of that we must have a respect for the beauty of pain. If you’re interested in finally feeling content and knowing the true meaning of happiness, I highly encourage picking up a copy of Manson’s book, Everything Is F*cked. I also highly encourage looking at your life, finding those sore spots, and not hiding from them anymore. It may seem difficult or uncomfortable, but you cannot grow into the best version of yourself by remaining comfortable.