I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate to make a post about this book, but after reading the entire book I realised the content is not in fact crude, nor is it a guide to not caring about anything. On the contrary, this book talks about defining what your values are in life and making sure that you prioritise these values.
Mark has a very realistic view on life and believes that problems are part of everyone's lives. Although these problems may not be our fault, the way we deal with them is our responsibility. He believes that pain and problems spur us into action and so we should make sure that the problems we have in our lives are the ones that are worth fighting for, the ones that we truly give care about.
"The person you marry is the person you fight with. The house you buy is the house your repair. The dream job you take is the job you stress over."
He highlights the fact that in today's society we are overwhelmed by social media posts that constantly bombard us with the the extraordinary and the exceptional. Because of this, he believes that as a society we have come to expect our lives to be just as sparkly, shiny and as exceptional as the ones we see on Facebook and other social media platforms. However, the reality is of course that most of our daily lives are fairly humdrum and normal, and that this is fine. We should take pleasure in the simple things in life.
How is this important to the field of education? I think that by identifying problems as a positive force for change, ultimately Mark Manson is reminding us about the Growth Mindset put forth by Carol Dweck. He is advocating for perseverance and resilience in the face of adversity.
"In the long run, completing a marathon makes us happier than eating a chocolate cake. Raising a child makes us happier than beating a video game. Strating a small business with friends while struggling to make ends meet makes us happier than buying a new computer. These activities are often stressful, arduous, and often unpleasant. They also require withstanding problem after problem. Yet they are some of the most meaningful moments and joyous things we'll ever do. They involve pain, struggle, even anger and despair - yet once they're accomplished, we look back and get all misty-eyed telling our grandparents about them."
En Attendant Bojangles by Olivier Bordeaut is one of the best books I have ever read. It tells the story of a young boy and his unorthodox childhood with his somewhat unconventional parents. Essentially, the mother has mental health issues and the father The story jumps back to the initial meeting of his parents at a party and intermittently shows excerpts of his father's diary as an insight into his relationship with his wife.
I am currently reading Mémé dans les Orties by Aurélie Valonges and thoroughly enjoying it! The book, which translates into English as Out of Sorts, is about a cantankerous old man who is fed up with everything and everyone in life. Ferdinand Brun takes poor care of himself and his daughter has resolved to send him to a retirement home if there isn't an improvement in his living conditions. The book humorously recounts Ferdinand's interactions with his neighbours and the ongoing battle between him and the caretaker of his apartment block Madame Suarez who he refers to as la veille dinde. The chapters are short and witty and easy to read. The book is full of idiomatic expressions and it has been great to refresh my memory of these turns of phrase. Here are some of the expressions found in the book:
You can find the book at Amazon here.
This summer I was very lucky to visit Ibiza for the first time and it was beautiful. At the airport I was delighted to see a bookshop selling lots of Spanish fiction. I often find it difficult to research and find Spanish fiction titles that I will enjoy, as many of the bestseller websites list classic or historical novels that have sold well historically in the Hispanic world. Whilst I enjoy classic literature, I do prefer a more light-hearted read before bedtime, and I took the liberty of taking photos of the current fiction titles in the bookshop. I plan to check out the reviews and slowly make my way through as many on the list as I can. See the photos and books below.
I have been teaching French and Spanish for 13 years. I qualified and started teaching in the UK, and I currently work at Shanghai Community International School, China. I have experience teaching GCSEs and IB DP and MYP. Find out more about me within these blog pages or below at Linked In.