Books I give a fuck about

So I have just read the book ‘Subtle art of not giving a fuck’ by Mark Manson, which is all about saving your ‘fucks’ for things that really matter.

A great read to set the mindset to doing really important stuff in your life and not getting wrapped up in caring about all the trivial things that really don’t matter.

It is a laugh out loud funny book, which is great because life is about fun and having a good laugh not being too serious and giving a fuck about every single thing, especially as most of them are outside of our control.

For me learning and consequently books really matter, so along with the above-mentioned book, I thought I’d list a few of the books that recently have hit the spot and why. Strangely a few of them have the word ‘fuck’ associated with them, sorry!

If any of you are familiar with ‘Coffee with Dan’ then you may well have read one of the best in class books on how to get really ace at being ‘you’ and getting things done titled ‘How to be fucking awesome’ by Dan Meredith.

Dan not only nails it in terms of how it’s written, simple, very funny, easy to follow and with very clear actionable steps, added to the fact, for me the content is very smart. He also, which is rare in some of these styles of books, recommends not being a ‘dick’ and treating people well.

Here’s Dan’s plan for getting the fu!% on with stuff and launching a new business idea, or ‘just fucking ship’ as Amy Hoy would say:

1. Find a group of people who have a pain or need.
2. Spend time interacting with them and research the shit out of it.
3. Go away and find a solution.
4. Then sell it to them.

There are so many great things to take from this book that I filled 14 pages of handwritten A4 notes from the ideas in the book, another idea that Dan suggested, have a tome for placing notes in from books that you give a fuck about, so when you need them, like for writing blogs such as this, you can refer back to the things you loved about the books you read.

Dan actually reads the Audible version of the book, which I strongly recommend getting, even if you’re like me and you like to have the physical copy to read. He presents it so well and it just adds massively to the whole experience.

I am a huge fan of ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport and I am have been helping people go deeper for some time, and Dan is a fan too and he talks about putting the important stuff, i.e. not work reference yesterday’s blog, into the time plan first.

Next up would be the book that was clearly written with me in mind. It is a male thing particularly, the gender brainwashing that we all suffer, that men have to know everything or they are weak. For most of my life, I have been the ‘answers’ man or less politely a fucking know it all, when in fact, I didn’t know it all. I felt the pressure to always provide the answer.

So since listening to Stephen Covey’s utterly brilliant ‘seek first to understand, then to be understood’ book and taking note of the native American phrase ‘listen or your tongue will make you deaf’, I’ve finally been learning to shut up, listen empathetically and ask questions.

However, this next book takes it to a whole new level!! The book is ‘Change your questions, change your life’ and I thought Marilee Adams must have been stalking me all my life.

The book teaches you techniques to move from being stuck in ‘judger’ mode in the pit of despair to being a learner and ask questions.

One of my favourite human beings is Amanda ‘FUCKING’ Palmer and I love her book ‘The art of asking’. She is a huge fan of Brene Brown who ranks easily in my top 5 best humans on the planet for all her research on vulnerability, shaming, daring to be great, being you and all her amazing books. So this alone makes me feel connected to Amanda.

Amanda teaches you the difference between begging and asking, how to build a real community (I hate that ‘C’ word too as in community, but it’s the best word here), she is an incredibly genuine person and considering her fame, very down to earth and with values I share.

We are all bad at asking and the book helps you to realise it is ok, in fact, more than OK, it is essential and what we could all choose to do, ask others for help.

‘The Power Of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle has to go on this list for the simple thing that it has helped me to do. I now spend less time in my mind, which enables me to concentrate on living in the now and being more conscious, more focused and much happier. It is a spiritual book and maybe not for all, but if you have a growth mindset instead of a fixed one, you’ll get masses out of it. Not being a smart arse here either as it has taken me a lot of my 52 years to get to a growth mindset. I would have laughed 5 or 10 years ago if you’d suggested meditation to me and now I meditate most days.

Before I go here is a link to 11.5 books that changed my life. This a wrote a while back but there are for some real gems in that list.

I hope you enjoy some of these books or even all of them.

Acceptance

Often we are in denial about things as they are sometimes too painful to accept.

Moving from denial to acceptance is a difficult journey and one that requires vulnerability and courage.

It takes us from a place of safety into the unknown.

However, real change and self-development can only be effective if we are able to be brave enough to accept.