The Subtle Art of . . . (2016) by Mark Manson. I have given just part of the title here:)
I just finished reading this book through for a second time. Manson reminds us that "death is the light by which the shadow of all of life's meaning is measured."
"Once we become comfortable with the fact of our own death - the root terror, the underlying anxiety motivating all of life's frivolous ambitions - we can then choose our values more freely, unrestrained by the illogical quest for immortality, and freed from dangerous dogmatic views."
Death confronts all of us with the only truly important question: "What is your legacy?"
Manson believes that "The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself; to choose values that stretch beyond serving yourself."
Manson's main point is this: "There is nothing to be afraid of. Ever. And reminding myself of my own death repeatedly over the years. . .is the only the thing that has helped me hold this realization front and center in my mind. This acceptance of my death, this understanding of my own fragility, has made everything easier. . . . "
Manson encourages one "to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values." It's what Manson calls "practical enlightenment." He believes that "happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress."
Many want the rewards without the struggle - the results without the process. Alas, as Manson reminds us, life doesn't work that way. "Who you are is defined by what you're willing to struggle for. . . .our struggles determine our successes. . .and the joy is in the climb itself."
And guess what? You are responsible for your life. Really. No matter how hard the hand you have been dealt. And so what do you do if you're stuck? Something. Take action. Action leads to growth.
And action over time - commitment - is where the gold is buried. "You have to stay committed to something and go deep to dig it up. That's true in relationships, in a career, in building a great lifestyle - in everything."
Got it? :)