Everything Is F*cked (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)
Author: Manson, Mark
Notes by: Jacopo Perfetti.

Part I: Hope
Chapter 1: The Uncomfortable Truth
Page 8 · 102
being heroic is the ability to conjure hope where there is none.
Page 8 · 103
show us a possibility for a better world — not a better world we want to exist, but a better world we didn’t know could exist.
Page 8 · 107
are so desperate for a hero today: not because things are necessarily so bad, but because we’ve lost the clear “Why?” that drove previous generations.
Page 9 · 110
We are a culture and a people in need of hope.
Page 12 · 153
Our psyche needs hope to survive the way a fish needs water.
Page 12 · 157
the opposite of happiness is not anger or sadness.
Page 12 · 160
the opposite of happiness is hopelessness, an endless gray horizon of resignation and indifference.
Page 12 · 164
Hopelessness is the root of anxiety, mental illness, and depression. It is the source of all misery and the cause of all addiction.
Page 14 · 189
When people prattle on about needing to find their “life’s purpose,” what they really mean is that it’s no longer clear to them what matters,
Page 14 · 193
This is why a lot of people flock to religion, because religions acknowledge this permanent state of unknowing and demand faith in the face of it.
Page 14 · 194
This is also probably partly why religious people suffer from depression and commit suicide in far fewer numbers than nonreligious people:
Page 15 · 196
But your hope narratives don’t need to be religious. They can be anything.
Page 15 · 200
For some people, the before / after story is raising their kids well. For others, it’s saving the environment
Page 15 · 202
Whether we realize it or not, we all have these narratives we’ve elected to buy into for whatever reason.
Page 15 · 205
our lives are made up of the endless overlapping of these hope narratives.
Page 15 · 209
successfully argue against nihilism, you must start at nihilism. You must start at the Uncomfortable Truth. From there, you must slowly build a convincing case for hope.
Page 16 · 218
An irrational sense of hopelessness is spreading across the rich, developed world.
Page 16 · 219
It’s a paradox of progress: the better things get, the more anxious and desperate we all seem to feel. 9
Nota - Pagina 16 · 220
Mdb che k note
Page 18 · 252
we are the safest and most prosperous humans in the history of the world, yet we are feeling more hopeless than ever before.
Page 18 · 253
The better things get, the more we seem to despair. It’s the paradox of progress.
Page 18 · 253
the wealthier and safer the place you live, the more likely you are to commit suicide. 30
Page 18 · 259
Hope doesn’t care about the problems that have already been solved. Hope cares only about the problems that still need to be solved.
Page 19 · 261
Because the better the world gets, the more we have to lose. And the more we have to lose, the less we feel we have to hope for.
Page 19 · 262
To build and maintain hope, we need three things: a sense of control, a belief in the value of something, and a community.
Page 19 · 265
Without a community, we feel isolated, and our values cease to mean anything. Without values, nothing appears worth pursuing. And without control, we feel powerless to pursue anything.
Chapter 2: Self-Control Is an Illusion
Page 26 · 360
To generate hope in our lives, we must first feel as though we have control over our lives.
Page 28 · 397
when Egas Moniz lobotomized his first patient in 1935, I’m sure he thought he had just discovered a way to do what, for more than two thousand years, philosophers had declared needed to be done: to grant reason dominion over the unruly passions, to help humanity finally exercise some damn control over itself.
Page 29 · 409
We see a lack of self - control as a sign of a deficient character. Conversely, we celebrate people who beat their emotions into submission.
Page 29 · 415
This is why we often develop the false belief that we need to change who we are.
Page 30 · 419
The constant desire to change yourself then becomes its own sort of addiction:
Page 30 · 421
Each cycle refuels you with the hope you’re looking for.
Page 30 · 429
We want to believe ourselves to be the masters of our own destiny, capable of anything we can dream.
Page 31 · 434
But lobotomies don’t work,
Page 31 · 435
The fact is that we require more than willpower to achieve self - control. It turns out that our emotions are instrumental in our decision making and our actions.
Page 31 · 437
You Have Two Brains, and They’re Really Bad at Talking to Each Other
Page 31 · 440
a Thinking Brain and a Feeling Brain.
Page 31 · 441
The Thinking Brain represents your conscious thoughts, your ability to make calculations, and your ability to reason through various options and express ideas through language.
Page 31 · 442
Your Feeling Brain represents your emotions, impulses, intuition, and instincts.
Page 32 · 452
the Classic Assumption, the belief that our reason is ultimately in control of our life and that we must train our emotions to sit the fuck down and shut up
Page 32 · 456
Lobotomy patients had their Feeling Brains tied up and thrown in the car’s trunk, and that merely caused them to become sedated and lazy,
Page 32 · 459
Here’s the truth: the Feeling Brain is driving our Consciousness Car.
Page 33 · 462
because, ultimately, we are moved to action only by emotion. That’s because action is emotion.
Page 33 · 471
Self - control is an emotional problem;
Page 33 · 472
This sucks. Because emotional problems are much harder to deal with than logical ones.
Page 34 · 478
emotional problems can only have emotional solutions.
Page 34 · 481
If the Feeling Brain is our driver, then the Thinking Brain is the navigator.
Page 34 · 484
As Daniel Kahneman once put it, the Thinking Brain is “the supporting character who imagines herself to be the hero.”
Page 34 · 486
The Feeling Brain generates the emotions that cause us to move into action, and the Thinking Brain suggests where to direct that action.
Page 36 · 504
It’s incredibly easy to let your Thinking Brain fall into the trap of merely drawing the maps the Feeling Brain wants to follow.
Page 36 · 505
This is called the “self - serving bias,” and it’s the basis for pretty much everything awful about humanity.
Page 36 · 506
the self - serving bias simply makes you prejudiced and a little bit self - centered. You assume that what feels right is right.
Page 36 · 513
Your Consciousness Car becomes a Clown Car when your Thinking Brain has completely capitulated to your Feeling Brain, when your life’s pursuits are determined purely by self - gratification, when truth warps into a cartoon of self - serving assumptions, when all beliefs and principles are lost in a sea of nihilism.
Page 37 · 526
In the Clown Car, the Thinking Brain has been bullied and abused by the Feeling Brain for so long that it develops a sort of Stockholm syndrome — it can’t imagine a life beyond pleasing and justifying the Feeling Brain.
Page 37 · 532
people are always mistaking what feels good for what is good.
Page 38 · 536
Both classical philosophers and the Church had seen the destruction wrought by narcissistic and megalomaniacal men in power. And they all believed that the only way to manage the Feeling Brain was to deprive it,
Page 38 · 538
This thinking gave birth to the Classic Assumption: that the only way to be a good person is through dominance of the Thinking Brain over the Feeling Brain, the championing of reason over emotion, duty over desire.
Page 38 · 542
For most of history, the world has not been a pleasant place to live, and that was largely because everyone’s Feeling Brains were running amok.
Page 38 · 545
Then something happened in the last couple of hundred years.
Page 38 · 546
Life was more comfortable and easier
Page 38 · 548
As a result, several movements arose in the late twentieth century championing the Feeling Brain.
Page 39 · 551
The problem was that people began to go too far the other way. They went from recognizing and honoring their feelings to the other extreme of believing that their feelings were the only thing that mattered.
Page 40 · 571
this is the whole problem: speaking to both brains, integrating our brains into a cooperative, coordinated, unified whole.
Page 40 · 572
Because if self - control is an illusion of the Thinking Brain’s overblown self - regard, then it’s self - acceptance that will save us — accepting our emotions and working with them rather than against them.
Page 41 · 582
the only language the Feeling Brain really understands: empathy.
Page 41 · 584
Instead of bombarding the Feeling Brain with facts and reason, start by asking how it’s feeling.
Page 42 · 595
once you feel you’ve reached a point of understanding with your Feeling Brain, it’s time to appeal to it in a way it understands: through feelings.
Page 42 · 599
you need to bargain with your Feeling Brain the way you’d bargain with a Moroccan rug seller: it needs to believe it’s getting a good deal,
Page 43 · 610
whatever you do, do not fight the Feeling Brain. That just makes things worse.
Page 44 · 624
Self - control is an illusion. It’s an illusion that occurs when both brains are aligned and pursuing the same course of action.
Page 44 · 626
The only way you consistently nail that illusion is by consistently communicating and aligning the brains around the same values.
Page 44 · 628
here’s what you do have, Thinking Brain. You may not have self - control, but you do have meaning control.
Page 44 · 633
Instead of justifying and enslaving yourself to the impulses, challenge them and analyze them. Change their character and their shape.
Page 45 · 648
The Thinking Brain makes associations among facts, data, and observations. Similarly, the Feeling Brain makes value judgments based on those same facts, data, and observations.
Page 46 · 651
The Thinking Brain is objective and factual. The Feeling Brain is subjective and relative.
Page 46 · 658
This is the fundamental problem of hope — not an uneducated Thinking Brain, but an uneducated Feeling Brain, a Feeling Brain that has adopted and accepted poor value judgments about itself and the world.
Chapter 3: Newton’s Laws of Emotion
Page 50 · 705
We lie constantly and habitually.
Page 50 · 706
we lie to others because we’re in such a habit of lying to ourselves.
Page 51 · 719
For Every Action, There Is an Equal and Opposite Emotional Reaction
Page 51 · 726
Pain causes moral gaps.
Page 52 · 731
When confronted with moral gaps, we develop overwhelming emotions toward equalization, or a return to moral equality.
Page 52 · 732
These desires for equalization take the form of a sense of deserving. Because I punched you, you feel I deserve to be punched back or punished in some way.
Page 53 · 753
As with the negative moral gap, with the positive moral gap you will feel indebted to me, that you “owe me” something, that I deserve something good
Page 53 · 755
It’s our natural psychological inclination to equalize across moral gaps,
Page 53 · 756
The forces that impel us to fill those gaps are our emotions.
Page 53 · 757
In this sense, every action demands an equal and opposite emotional reaction.
Page 55 · 781
Our Thinking Brain thinks horizontally (how are these things related?), while our Feeling Brain thinks vertically (which of these things is better / worse?).
Page 55 · 782
Our Thinking Brain decides how things are, and our Feeling Brain decides how things ought to be.
Page 55 · 789
This is essentially what “growth” is: reprioritizing one’s value hierarchy in an optimal way.
Page 58 · 809
NEWTON’S SECOND LAW OF EMOTION Our Self - Worth Equals the Sum of Our Emotions Over Time
Page 58 · 818
If someone hits us and we’re never able to hit him back, eventually our Feeling Brain will come to a startling conclusion: We deserve to be hit.
Page 59 · 827
it is Newton’s Second Law of Emotion: How we come to value everything in life relative to ourselves is the sum of our emotions over time.
Page 59 · 830
Of course, the reverse moral gap must be true as well. If we’re given a bunch of stuff without earning it (participation trophies and grade inflation and gold medals for coming in ninth place), we (falsely) come to believe ourselves inherently superior to what we actually are.
Page 59 · 833
Self - worth is contextual. If you were bullied for your geeky glasses and funny nose as a child, your Feeling Brain will “know” that you’re a dweeb, even if you grow up to be a flaming sexpot of hotness
Page 60 · 839
A person who believes he deserves special treatment because of how great he is isn’t so different from someone who believes she deserves special treatment because of how shitty she is. Both are narcissistic. Both think they’re special. Both think the world should make exceptions and cater to their values and feelings over others ’.
Page 61 · 851
The more insecure you are about something, the more you’ll fly back and forth between delusional feelings of superiority (“I’m the best !”) and delusional feelings of inferiority (“I’m garbage !”)
Page 61 · 853
Self - worth is an illusion.
Page 61 · 857
The nature of our consciousness dictates that everything happen through us.
Page 61 · 857
It’s only natural, then, that our immediate assumption is that we are at the center of everything — because we are at the center of everything we experience.
Page 61 · 866
Persistent low - level narcissism is natural, but it’s also likely at the root of many of our sociopolitical problems.
Page 62 · 871
Our Feeling Brains warp reality in such a way so that we believe that our problems and pain are somehow special and unique in the world,
Page 62 · 872
Human beings require this level of built - in narcissism because narcissism is our last line of defense against the Uncomfortable Truth.
Page 62 · 875
Without a little bit of that narcissistic delusion, without that perpetual lie we tell ourselves about our specialness, we’d likely give up hope.
Page 62 · 877
Whether you believe you’re the best in the world or the worst in the world, one thing is also true: you are separate from the world.
Page 63 · 880
NEWTON’S THIRD LAW OF EMOTION Your Identity Will Stay Your Identity Until a New Experience Acts Against It
Page 64 · 897
Our values aren’t just collections of feelings. Our values are stories.
Page 65 · 917
when you adopt these little narratives as your identity, you protect them and react emotionally to them as though they were an inherent part of you.
Page 66 · 933
This “snowball effect” of early values is why our childhood experiences, both good and bad, have long - lasting effects on our identities and generate the fundamental values that go on to define much of our lives.
Page 67 · 935
Your early experiences become your core values, and if your core values are fucked up, they create a domino effect
Page 67 · 941
And the worst thing is, the longer we’ve held onto these narratives, the less aware we are that we have them.
Page 67 · 945
The only way to change our values is to have experiences contrary to our values.
Page 67 · 947
This is why there is no such thing as change without pain, no growth without discomfort.
Page 67 · 948
It’s why it is impossible to become someone new without first grieving the loss of who you used to be.
Page 68 · 953
There are two ways to heal yourself
Page 68 · 953
The first is to reexamine the experiences of your past and rewrite the narratives around them.
Page 68 · 959
The other way to change your values is to begin writing the narratives of your future self, to envision what life would be like if you had certain values or possessed a certain identity.
Page 69 · 966
Fruitful visualization should be a little bit uncomfortable. It should challenge you and be difficult to fathom. If it’s not, then it means that nothing is changing.
Page 70 · 982
The stories of our past define our identity. The stories of our future define our hopes.
Page 71 · 995
Our values attract one another and cause us to fall perpetually into each other’s orbit, in a metaphysical dance of friendship.
Page 71 · 999
“This emotional gravity, I declare, is the fundamental organization of all human conflict and endeavor.”
Page 71 · 1003
“Our strongest values therefore demand either the affinity or the antipathy of others
Page 71 · 1005
People who love the same thing love each other. People who hate the same thing also love each other. And people who love or hate different things hate each other.
Page 72 · 1012
we come to perceive our differences as disproportionately more important than our similarities.
Chapter 4: How to Make All Your Dreams Come True
Page 78 · 1092
You, too, can start your very own religion
Page 78 · 1094
In this so - simple - anyone - can - do - it six - step program,
Page 79 · 1095
Belief systems. Do you want your religion to be spiritual or secular?
Page 79 · 1097
How to find your first followers. And more important: what do you want your followers to be? Rich? Poor? Male? Female? Vegan?
Page 79 · 1099
Rituals, rituals, rituals ! Eat this. Stand there. Recite that.
Page 79 · 1102
How to choose a scapegoat. No religion is complete without a common enemy
Page 79 · 1106
And finally, how to make money. Why start a religion if you don’t profit from it?
Page 80 · 1116
Paradoxically, it’s only in a group environment that the individual has no control, that he gains the perception of perfect self - control.
Page 81 · 1122
HOW TO START YOUR OWN RELIGION
Page 81 · 1123
Step One: Sell Hope to the Hopeless
Page 82 · 1146
in order to feel hope, we need to feel there’s a better future out there (values); we need to feel as though we are capable of getting to that better future (self - control); and we need to find other people who share our values and support our efforts (community).
Page 85 · 1183
starving people will believe anything if it will keep them fed. For your new religion, it’s best to start preaching your message to people whose lives suck the most: the poor, the outcasts, the abused and forgotten. You know, people who sit on Facebook all day. 13
Page 86 · 1196
Step Two: Choose Your Faith
Page 86 · 1198
Evidence and science are based on past experience. Hope is based on future experience.
Page 86 · 1206
Even if you’re a nihilist, you are believing, on faith, that nothing is more important than anything else.
Page 86 · 1208
The important question, then, is: Faith in what?
Page 87 · 1225
whatever it is, it is a faith - based value that this one thing will produce the best future reality, and therefore gives the most hope.
Page 88 · 1230
Evidence belongs to the Thinking Brain, whereas values are decided by the Feeling Brain.
Page 88 · 1232
people interpret the significance of their experiences through their values.
Page 89 · 1243
three types of religions, each type based on a different kind of God Value:
Page 89 · 1244
Spiritual religions.
Page 89 · 1249
Interpersonal religions.
Page 94 · 1319
the most important interpersonal religions are our familial and romantic relationships.
Page 94 · 1321
Each family is its own mini - church,
Page 96 · 1331
Step Three: Preemptively Invalidate All Criticism or Outside Questioning
Page 96 · 1333
create a perception of “us” versus “them” in such a way that anyone who criticizes or questions “us” immediately becomes a “them.”
Page 97 · 1341
These false us - versus - them dichotomies have the added benefit of always presenting the group with a common enemy.
Page 97 · 1345
- versus - them dichotomies give us the enemies we all desperately crave.
Page 99 · 1361
Step Four: Ritual Sacrifice for Dummies — So Easy, Anyone Can Do It !
Page 105 · 1434
Step Five: Promise Heaven, Deliver Hell
Page 105 · 1438
The beauty of a religion is that the more you promise your followers salvation, enlightenment, world peace, perfect happiness, or whatever, the more they will fail to live up to that promise.
Page 105 · 1439
And the more they fail to live up to that promise, the more they’ll blame themselves and feel guilty. And the more they blame themselves and feel guilty, the more they’ll do whatever you tell them to do to make up for it.
Page 106 · 1454
the more you do it, the more you’re told you need to do it to finally experience the satisfaction you’ve been promised. Yet that satisfaction never comes.
Page 108 · 1476
Step Six: Prophet for Profit !
Page 110 · 1507
This is how you go from Jesus to the Crusades, from Marxism to the gulags, from a wedding chapel to divorce court. This corruption of the religion’s original values
Page 110 · 1509
In this sense, success is in many ways far more precarious than failure. First, because the more you gain the more you have to lose, and second, because the more you have to lose, the harder it is to maintain hope. But more important, because by experiencing our hopes, we lose them.
Page 110 · 1511
We see that our beautiful visions for a perfect future are not so perfect,
Page 110 · 1513
the only thing that can ever truly destroy a dream is to have it come true.
Chapter 5: Hope Is Fucked
Page 115 · 1576
But for most of his life, his work was almost universally ignored. Then Nietzsche announced the death of God, and he went from failing university professor to pariah. He was unemployable and basically homeless. No one wanted anything to do with him: no university, no publisher, not even many of his friends. He scrounged together money to publish his work himself, borrowing from his mother and sister to survive. He relied on friends to manage his life for him. And even then, his books hardly sold a copy.
Page 120 · 1646
The scientific revolution changed the world more than anything before or since. 10 It has reshaped the planet, lifted billions out of disease and poverty, and improved every aspect of life. 11 It is not an exaggeration to suggest that science may be the only demonstrably good thing humanity has ever done for itself.
Page 120 · 1651
But science did something else even more spectacular: it introduced to the world the concept of growth.
Page 127 · 1746
it is the conflict that maintains the hope.
Page 127 · 1746
So, we’ve got it backward: everything being fucked doesn’t require hope; hope requires everything being fucked.
Page 127 · 1750
Hope is, therefore, destructive. Hope depends on the rejection of what currently is.
Page 127 · 1751
It requires us to be anti - something.
Page 128 · 1762
Amor fati, for Nietzsche, meant the unconditional acceptance of all life and experience: the highs and the lows, the meaning and the meaninglessness.
Page 129 · 1772
Everything is fucked. And hope is both the cause and the effect of that fuckedness.
Page 132 · 1817
“Man is a rope, tied between beast and Superman — a rope over an abyss. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture [to something greater.]”
Part II: Everything Is Fucked
Chapter 6: The Formula of Humanity
Page 137 · 1838
Immanuel Kant was either the most boring person who ever lived or a productivity hacker’s wet dream. For forty years he woke up every morning at five o’clock and wrote for exactly three hours. He would then lecture at the same university for exactly four hours, and then eat lunch at the same restaurant every day. Then, in the afternoon, he would go on an extended walk through the same park, on the same route, leaving and returning home at the exact same time. He did this for forty years. Every. Single. Day.
Page 137 · 1847
If you’re living in a democratic society that protects individual freedoms, you have Kant partially to thank for that. He was one of the first to argue that all people have an inherent dignity that must be regarded and respected. 2 He was the first person ever to envision a global governing body that could guarantee peace across much of the world
Page 138 · 1851
His descriptions of how we perceive space and time would later help inspire Einstein’s discovery of the theory of relativity. 4 He was one of the first to suggest the possibility of animal rights. 5 He reinvented the philosophy of aesthetics and beauty. 6 He resolved the two - hundred - year - old philosophical debate between rationalism and empiricism in the span of a couple of hundred pages. 7 And as if all that weren’t enough, he reinvented moral philosophy,
Page 145 · 1950
The most precious and important things in life are, by definition, nontransactional. And to try to bargain for them is to immediately destroy them. You
Page 147 · 1974
The difference between a child, an adolescent, and an adult is not how old they are or what they do, but why they do something.
Page 153 · 2073
To Kant, the only thing that distinguishes us from the rest of the matter in the universe is our ability to reason
Page 154 · 2078
Kant cleverly deduced that, logically, the supreme value in the universe is the thing that conceives of value itself. The only true meaning in existence is the ability to form meaning. The only importance is the thing that decides importance.
Page 154 · 2083
Kant believed that without rationality, the universe would be a waste,
Page 155 · 2090
Kant argued that the most fundamental moral duty is the preservation and growth of consciousness, both in ourselves and in others. He called this principle of always putting consciousness first “the Formula of Humanity,”
Page 155 · 2098
the problem with hope is that it is fundamentally transactional — it is a bargain between one’s current actions for some imagined, pleasant future. Don’t eat this, and you’ll go to heaven. Don’t kill that person, or you’ll get in trouble. Work hard and save your money, because that will make you happy.
Page 155 · 2101
To transcend the transactional realm of hope, one must act unconditionally. You must love someone without expecting anything in return; otherwise it’s not truly love. You must respect someone without expecting anything in return; otherwise you don’t truly respect him.
Page 156 · 2104
Kant summed up these unconditional acts with one simple principle: you must treat humanity never merely as a means, but always as an end itself.
Page 156 · 2112
end is something that is desired for its own sake. It is the defining motivating factor of our decisions and behaviors.
Page 156 · 2116
His Formula of Humanity states that treating any human being (or any consciousness) as a means to some other end is the basis of all wrong behavior. So,
Page 158 · 2146
Telling ourselves that we are worthless and shitty is just as wrong as telling others that they are worthless and shitty.
Page 159 · 2150
your improved ability to be honest with yourself will increase how honest you are with others,
Page 159 · 2160
Politics is a transactional and selfish game,
Chapter 7: Pain Is the Universal Constant
Page 165 · 2244
Developmental psychology has long argued something similar: that protecting people from problems or adversity doesn’t make them happier or more secure; it makes them more easily insecure.
Page 166 · 2248
What we find, then, is that our emotional reactions to our problems are not determined by the size of the problem. Rather, our minds simply amplify (or minimize) our problems to fit the degree of stress we expect to experience
Page 166 · 2250
by removing healthy adversity and challenge, people struggle even more. They become more selfish and more childish. They fail to develop and mature out of adolescence.
Page 166 · 2251
They see mountains where there are molehills.
Page 166 · 2253
cool Albert Einstein quote on the internet: “A man should look for what is, and not what he thinks should be.”
Page 166 · 2256
Einstein didn’t say it.
Page 168 · 2288
We are all moving, all the time, and the closer we get to the speed of light, the more time “slows down” and the more space contracts.
Page 171 · 2325
Most of us live much of our lives this way, constantly chasing our imagined ten. You think, hey, to be happier, I’m going to need to get a new job; so you get a new job.
Page 172 · 2338
This constancy of pain results in what is known as “the hedonic treadmill,” upon which you run and run and run, chasing your imagined ten. But, no matter what, you always end up with a seven. The pain is always there. What changes is your perception of it. And as soon as your life “improves,” your expectations shift, and you’re back to being mildly dissatisfied again.
Page 174 · 2366
Trying to eliminate pain only increases your sensitivity to suffering, rather than alleviating your suffering. It causes you to see dangerous ghosts in every nook, to see tyranny and oppression in every authority, to see hate and deceit behind every embrace.
Page 182 · 2484
Whereas a fragile system breaks down and a robust system resists change, the antifragile system gains from stressors and external pressures.
Page 185 · 2519
Meditation is, at its core, a practice of antifragility: training your mind to observe and sustain the never - ending ebb and flow of pain and not to let the “self” get sucked away by its riptide.
Page 186 · 2532
The Buddha said that suffering is like being shot by two arrows. The first arrow is the physical pain — it’s the metal piercing the skin, the force colliding into the body. The second arrow is the mental pain, the meaning and emotion we attach to the being struck, the narratives that we spin in our minds about whether we deserved or didn’t deserve what happened. In many cases, our mental pain is far worse than any physical pain. In most cases, it lasts far longer.
Page 186 · 2540
there is always a separation between what we experience and how we interpret that experience.
Page 189 · 2574
Death is psychologically necessary because it creates stakes in life. There is something to lose.
Page 189 · 2576
Pain is the currency of our values.
Page 189 · 2577
Pain is at the heart of all emotion. Negative emotions are caused by experiencing pain. Positive emotions are caused by alleviating pain.
Page 189 · 2583
Antifragility is therefore synonymous with growth and maturity. Life is one never - ending stream of pain, and to grow is not to find a way to avoid that stream but, rather, to dive into it and successfully navigate its depths.
Chapter 8: The Feelings Economy
Page 192 · 2612
In the 1920s, women didn’t smoke
Page 192 · 2613
It was taboo.
Page 192 · 2615
Here you had 50 percent of the population not smoking their cigarettes for no other reason than it was unfashionable or seen as impolite.
Page 192 · 2618
in 1928, the American Tobacco Company hired Edward Bernays,
Page 192 · 2621
Back in the early nineteenth century, marketing was seen simply as a means of communicating the tangible, real benefits of a product in the simplest and most concise form possible.
Page 193 · 2625
Thinking Brain was in charge.
Page 193 · 2625
But Bernays was unconventional
Page 193 · 2626
He believed that people were emotional and impulsive and just hid it really well.
Page 193 · 2629
If he wanted women to smoke, then he had to appeal not to their thoughts but to their values.
Page 193 · 2630
To accomplish this, Bernays hired a group of women and got them into the Easter Sunday Parade in New York City.
Page 193 · 2632
As Bernays planned it, at the appropriate moment, these women would all stop and light up cigarettes at the same time. He hired photographers to take flattering photos of the smoking women,
Page 193 · 2634
He told the reporters that these ladies were not just lighting cigarettes, they were lighting “torches of freedom,” demonstrating their ability to assert their independence and be their own women.
Page 194 · 2641
worked. Women started smoking, and ever since, we’ve had equal - opportunity lung cancer.
Page 194 · 2647
Bernays: he was Sigmund Freud’s nephew.
Page 194 · 2647
Freud was infamous because he was the first modern thinker to argue that it was the Feeling Brain that was really driving the Consciousness Car.
Page 197 · 2681
There are two ways to create value in the marketplace:
Page 197 · 2682
1. Innovations (upgrade pain). The first way to create value is to replace one pain with a much more tolerable / desirable pain.
Page 197 · 2685
2. Diversions (avoid pain). The second way to create value in a marketplace is to help people numb their pain.
Page 197 · 2690
The more you numb pain, the worse that pain becomes.