As a new attempt, I want to review the books I’ve read. My main reason for doing this is reflecting a bit more on what I read, and by reflecting, getting more out of the books I read. I read 2-3 books a month, track the whole progress on Goodreads, and feel I get a lot out of the books I read.

However, recently, I’ve started to “read” lots of audiobooks on Audible. This is a great gift as I get to read MUCH more books: I read while running, cooking, cleaning and every time I have a few spare minutes. DOWNSIDE is the books seem a bit easier to forget than when I read.

However, enough talk, let me dig into the first book I want to review: “The Courage to be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi

“The Courage to be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi

Stars: 5 / 5

Very interesting book. The format is a conversation between a whiny teenager-gone-collage-student and a philosopher. Throughout the book, the boy undergoes a transition and gets a new outlook on life based on the philosophy of the book.

Turns out, it’s really great.

Key concepts of The Course to be Disliked

Some of the key takeaways I got was:

  • You care too much about everyone else. As I grow older (28 years right now), I seem to care less and less about what people think about me. This book just re-confirms that in reality, it’s so seldom that people care about you.
  • Your excuses suck & you need courage. It’s so common to have excuses why we cannot do something, and those excuses are outside our control. Like “I cannot do XYZ at work, because my boss won’t allow me”. This book has a different take on it: you make up this excuse because you don’t want/don’t have the courage to do it. The book argues at length about this and the more I read, the more I agreed.
    Takeaway here? Never have excuses that are outside your control. If they’re outside your control, it’s very likely you’re fooling yourself
  • Separation of tasks. I found this quote on another blog that reviewed the book: “The example given is a child who needs to study. No matter what the parents do, it is ultimately the child that has to do the learning, the parents can’t study for the child. So in this case, studying is the child’s task. Learning to separate your tasks from other people’s is key to finding a bit of freedom, and living a little more true to yourself.” I can’t say this much better. You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot force it to drink.
    How is this relevant to lifeSo often we take other peoples tasks. It’s not our task to care about what people think of us, it’s not our task to do our childs homework .. 
  • All problems are relationship problems. This one I had a tough time to swallow. However, it argues that ALL problems in life are “interpersonal relationship problems”. Now, the whole argument is long & took a lot of time to process, but the result is a slight change in how I see relationships. It’s not my task to decide what someone else thinks of me, nor should I be judgemental of others. (Jesus, while writing this it feels so generic and bullshitty – difficult to explain!!)
  • Horizontal vs vertical relationships. Most people, including myself, see relationships as vertical relationships. When I talk to someone I really think is cool & look up to, I behave in one way, if I talk to someone who is the opposite, I can sometimes be a bit arrogant.
    The book argues that everyone is equal, but not the same. Instead, we need to build horizontal relationships – see every relationship you build as something that is equal.. I’m not better or worse than the other person.

 

Okay, so looking back.. VERY VERY hard to review this book without sounding like a generic book you’ve heard a billion times before. Maybe I need to re-read it and reflect some more. It was honestly a GREAT book & one of the few that will change how I think.

5/5 Stars. Sorry for the generic summary 😉