My 2018 Book Recommendation
Every once in a while we come across an interesting book that questions your assumptions, derails your beliefs and yet in a profound way affects your thoughts. Last year I picked up this innocuous looking, although bold book “Courage to be Disliked – The Japanese Phenomenon that shows you How to change your life and achieve Real Happiness” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Kaga. The title itself is quite a mouthful but the book is a light read of around 288 pages written in a conversational manner between a philosopher and a student. Whole book talks about Alfred Adler’s Teleology (study of the purpose of a given phenomenon rather than cause as believed by Freud)
The important thing is not what one is born with but what use one makes of that equipment – Adler
While the Freudean Idea believes that a person’s past psychic wounds (traumas) cause present unhappiness, Adler proposes that we don’t suffer from traumas but we make out of them whatever suits our purposes. We lack courage to change our lives and find excuses in our past. No matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it should have no bearing at all on how you live from now on. Attributes all problems to interpersonal relationship problems.
Here are some other ideas:
- It’s enough to move forward and no need to compare with others. Try to strive for your better self than trying to “keep up with the joneses”
- Human beings are not the same but are equal. Concept of promoting horizontal hierarchies (equal) rather than vertical hierarchies (hierarchical)
- One must not seek recognition which promotes vertical relationships. When one person praises another, the goal is to manipulate someone who has less ability than you not due to gratitude or respect. Encouragement enables one to complete their tasks.
- Identify your tasks from others’ tasks and ensure you don’t trample on others’ tasks and don’t let others trample on yours
- Happiness is a result of feeling of contribution to the society, i.e., by doing your job that indirectly helps others or doing social service or anything else
- Life is always simple not something one needs to get too serious about
- Greatest life-lie of all is not to live here and now
- People are comrades, and the world is a wonderful place
- Do not look at the past, and do not look at the future, live in the earnest
- If “I” change, the world will change
- and many others ….
I had to read twice to make sense out of this simple narrative. It certainly helped me put things in perspective and highly encourage you to read it.