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Friday, February 21, 2014

The Nerd's Guide to Being Confident by Mark Manson | Book Review

First off, I chose this book among several others about sappy love stuff because Audible was cool enough to give me the pick of a free audiobook for Valentines Day. Most of them were love stories which I'm not really the target audience for but I am a nerd so I figured I'd choose this book. Turns out I wasn't the target audience for this book either, especially since I'm a Christian, but hey, it was free so I read it.

There were a few good things in this book that I gleaned from it but most of it wasn't for me. It was well written, though I think it was just a bunch of blog posts made into a book. You can tell but it lends itself well as the tone is less formal and made for a nice authorial voice has. That said it was a very hard book for me to read as a Christian. Several times it goes off the rails and in subtle and not subtle ways just bashes Christianity. It gets into a lot of Eastern religion stuff and pscycology with I very much disagree with, but like I said I got a few good things out of this short book. Here are some of them.

There were a lot of cool statistics and studies that showed me just how privelaged I am and how I should always try and be thankful instead of complaining. If you went to college you are part of the lucky 7% worldwide elite. You're unlikely to live at a subsistance level like almost 60% of the world population, or to be starving like 25% of people in the world. That kind of stops and makes you think. One thing that stood out to me was when it said:
"For decades research has tied gratefulness and appreciation to happiness. People who are happier tend to be more grateful and appreciative for what they have. But what they've also found is that is also works the other way aroud. Consciously practicing gratitude makes one happier. It makes one appreciate what one has, and helps one to remain in the present moment. Practicing gratitude leads to increasing accountability which directly leads to higher self esteem and happiness, not to mention it makes one more pleasant to be around and creates a more magnetic personality."
"Choose to be greatful. Remember who it could be worse. It could always be worse."
Those were things I was happy to hear in a book about confidence. The author made some good points. Okay now for some of the stuff I didn't care for.

Much of the rest of the book was about loving yourself first and condoning sex outside of marriage as a great thing. Those are two things I completely disagree with. I didn't like hearing about them or the reasoning behind why they're good. If you're a Christian I would not recommend this book. If you're looking to find confidence, read bible stories about men like King David. Check out the book of 1 Samuel chapter 30 where in verse 6 it says this:

Image by Jason Engle:
"6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God."

I don't know about you, but if I heard an army of men talking about stoning me, I think I'd get a little weak in the knees. David knew, however, that you don't go inward and love yourself first etc. to gain confidence, you get it from a greater power outside of yourself and for me that's God. Okay I'll get off my soapbox now. Thanks for stopping by! Next review is a book I really enjoyed: The Things They Carried by Tim O'brien read by Brian Cranston.

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