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Turn to Wisdom

If you’d liked to be jerked around less, provoked less, and more productive and inwardly focused, where should you start?

To me, the answer is obvious: by turning to wisdom. Below are three books that will help lead you to a better, stronger 2019.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Practical philosophy has always been the art knowing what to — and what not to — give a fuck about. That’s what Mark’s book is about. It’s not about apathy. It’s about cultivating indifference to things that don’t matter. Be careful, as Marcus Aurelius warns, not to give the little things more time and thought they deserved. Maybe looking back at this year reveals how much effort you’ve frittered away worrying about the trivial. If so, let 2019 be a year that you only devote energy to things that truly matter — get the important things right by ignoring the insignificant.

The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello by Anthony de Mello

It fits in your palm. But it’s an incredibly wise and helpful read. Written by a Catholic Priest who’d lived in India, the book has this unusual convergence of eastern and western thought. One of my favourite lines: “The question to ask is not ‘What’s wrong with this person?’ but ‘What does this irritation tell me about myself?’ Plan on regularly revisiting it throughout 2019.

But What If We’re Wrong by Chuck Klosterman

It’s always good to remind ourselves that almost everything we’re certain about will probably be eventually proven wrong. Klosterman’s subtitle — Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past — is a brilliant exercise for getting some perspective in 2019. Whether you think it’s going to be a year of radical change for the better or a horrible year of excesses of dangerous precedent, you’re probably wrong. You’re probably not even in the ballpark. This book shows you why, not with lectures about politics, but with a bunch of awesome thought experiments about music, books, movies and science.

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