Notes On A Nervous Planet Review For #Careerlions
This week, my order from Amazon arrived with a bunch of fabulous of books. Among them was a copy of Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. A number one bestselling author, who wrote Reasons To Stay Alive and How To Stop Time among others. It was such a good read that I was not able to put it away. I finished the book in less than two evenings after work. The book addresses psychological issues as a result of the modern world. How everyone in these circumstances is prone to psychological issues with the demands of the modern world. Today, I will share with you my thoughts on this book and my favorite insights from this book.
Haig with this book seeks to recognize the importance of mental wellbeing. That your mental wellbeing is just as important and part of your physical wellbeing. To answer the question: How can we live in a mad world without ourselves going mad?
Well, let me tell you he does an incredible job trying to answer this impossible question. The book is written as a bundle of notes. Some longer than others. Some more of a story, others more of a poem. This makes the book such a nice read. The diversity in the book really makes you want to continue reading, wondering what will come next. One of my favorite kind of notes are the ones on how to deal with modern life. For instance, a list of how to stay sane of the internet. Not googling your symptoms obviously is one, but more importantly that nobody really cares what you look like as they only care what they look like themselves. Other how-to-lists include keeping up with the news while not losing your mind, stop worrying about ageing, being lonely, getting out of bed, and ways to work without breaking down.
What truly elevates this book is Haig’s personal experience with mental issues and his witty way of making you understand how others deal with these issues. By sharing his personal struggles, the way anxiety would take over his life you start to understand how stressful even the smallest things can become. How doing groceries in fact does start to feel like the end of the world if you are suffering from anxiety and depression.
Interesting Quotes From the Book
My favorite quotes from the book are:
- “It sometimes feels as if we have temporarily solved the problem of scarcity and replaced it with the problem of excess.”
- “As Montagine put it, ‘He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.’”
- “We are mysterious. We don’t know why we are here. We have to craft our own meaning.” – Such a nice way to look at it. Instead of trying to answer it, to decide for yourself what you want your life to mean.
- “Sex isn’t really what sells. What sells is fear.” – Haig is referring to all marketing actually making us feel inadequate and that we might be missing out on something. Selling a product/service that will make you will that you will look better, cooler, and so on. As Haig puts, why in the world would you spend money otherwise if you were already good enough?!
- “We have more food for our nightmares.”
- “Change may be a constant, but the rate of change is not.”
- “Change doesn’t just happen by focusing on the place you want to escape. It happens by focusing on where you want to reach.”
- “It seems that worrying about growing old is a sign that you are young.”
- “A completely connected world has the potential to go mad, all at once.”
- “It sometimes feels like society operates like Apple, as if it doesn’t want us to get a screwdriver and look inside to see what the problems are for ourselves.” – this one makes me feel great personally. As I did open up my old MacBook myself multiple to fix what was wrong with it. I cannot encourage you more to do the same, not just with your Apple products that is of course.
- “In a world that can get too much, a world where we are running out of mind space, fictional worlds are essential.” – So true! While I mostly read non-fiction, by Amazon order also included a fiction book. I started reading it and it is such an amazing book. Be prepared for a review on How to Be Happy in the next few weeks!
- “We need to carve out a place in time for ourselves, whether it is via books or meditation or appreciating the view out of a window. A place where we are not craving or yearning, or working, or worrying, or over-thinking. A place where we might not even be hoping. A place where we are set to neutral.”
Interesting Insights From the Book
Some of my additional insights from the book that I am pondering:
- That with the internet we are encouraged to stay in our safe zones. Spotify, Google, Facebook, Instagram etc. all know what we generally like (you name it, they know it). They will provide you with links to songs, advertisements, people, and so on that match what you liked before and what other people who like those things enjoy too. In the past we had to deal a lot more with things and people that were less like us, but in the modern world there staying in your own bubble has is stimulated. In such a way that difference is becoming something people will fear more and more, instead of celebrating our differences.
- My ultimate favorite note from the book: A note from the beach. It is all about how the sea doesn’t care if your body is bikini ready or not. It has seen 200,000 generations of human beings; the sea has seen them all and will see all the generations to come. Where the sea lets you in on a little secret: “Even the other people on the beach don’t care about your body. They don’t. They are staring at the sea, or they are obsessed with their own appearance.” Absolutely brilliant, when the sea says: “Why don’t you do what I do? Let is wash all over you.”
Do plan to get your copy of Notes On A Nervous Planet? How do you stay sane in this mad word, keeping up with the demands of modern life? Share it with us!