- Dan Connors
Unfu*k Yourself- Book review
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life
by Gary John Bishop 2016
This book is a short jolt of energy that is well designed and full of encouragement for those who may be stuck in their lives and wanting to move forward. Bishop presents seven affirmations that are meant to get you unstuck and energized.
It's a small book, with some pages loaded with just one favorite quote, so it's good for brief reads and short bursts of coaching. But in those less than 200 pages the author packs a powerful punch.
Bishop is a big fan of Stoicism and Teddy Roosevelt, whom he quotes often throughout the book. Stoicism originated in ancient Greece, and is popular today among self-helpers for its no-nonsense view of being virtuous and avoiding negativity. Affirmations are preferred by the author because they are active and encourage us to immediately step into the thought and behavior that the words create.
Here are the seven affirmations:
1- I am willing. Be willing to take responsibility for what you want to create, and unwilling to devote energy to things that drain or hurt you.
2- I am wired to win. Your brain is pre-wired to create whatever you tell it to do. The life you live right now was set in motion by your brain of the past, and you won in creating it, even if your conscious mind doesn't like it. To win better, change your wiring.
3- I got this. Don't get overwhelmed by everyday challenges. Look to your past and remind yourself what you've overcome. Take a larger perspective and see how you can handle the current challenges in front of you. You've got this.
4- I embrace the uncertainty. Shake up your routines. The magic happens in the areas of uncertainty. If you settle for the routine and familiar, you rob yourself of opportunities to grow.
5- I am not my thoughts- I am what I do. Actions speak much louder than words and create your world. Our minds are unreliable and our feelings even less so. Only by taking action can you breed confidence and improve your thinking. (This goes against a lot of self-improvement talk that states your thoughts are more important).
6- I am relentless. The more uncomfortable you become, the greater your achievement will be. Keep going forward no matter what obstacles life throws in your way.
7- Expect nothing and accept everything. Expectations, especially hidden ones, are the main cause of unhappiness and misery in the world. When things don't live up to our expectations, no matter how wonderful, we feel bad. Remove your expectations and live in the moment. Accept the world as it is and plan your way with courage and integrity.
Unf*ck yourself is a tough love manual for how to stop doing what isn't working for you and start taking actions that you've been putting off. Bishop is a NY Times bestselling author and self-described "urban philospher."
My only concern about the book is that a lot of his advice would also be appropriate to those who have bad intentions, such as Isis fighters, Klansmen, evil Billionaires, and political despots. Bad people can be relentless, take action, embrace chaos, and be confident and effective. Somewhere in there you have to realize that there must be a moral center to all that you do- you can't totally create your own reality if it hurts others. (Which it often does)
The audience for books like these are those who are looking for help in their lives, and need a little nudge to take more responsibility for their happiness. That's certainly good advice and something we could all use a bit more of.