Cover Image: A More Exciting Life

A More Exciting Life

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Member Reviews

I enjoy most of the content produced by The School of Life. They often offer very nutritious food for thought, utilising lots of aspects of European culture: philosophy, psychology, art etc. The content is not always easy to consume, especially when some references are unfamiliar and some of it might be over-intellectualised for some.

I must say, "A More Exciting Life" enticed me with the title, but sadly... underdelivered. I think the title of this book is a bit misleading. If it were titled "A More Authentic Life" I would not have any issue with it. Because that is what this book is about--living more authentically in today's world that teaches us to pretend. The usual gentle approach guides the reader through various aspects of one's life that could be improved by more honest attitude: self, relationships, work...

That being said, I have not found much advice or strategies to bring more excitement to one's live, hence only 3 stars rating. Authentic life "A More Exciting Life" promotes could be the first step, but the follow up on actual excitement felt missing.
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This is a curious little books which was easy to read. I feel like I need longer to digest the messages fully but my initial takeaway is about being more accepting of yourself, which allows you to be more accepting of others and your circumstances. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an egalley.
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The name alone was enough to draw me to this little book, a more exciting life! While I think there are certainly aspects of my life that are exciting on the surface, there’s a lot underneath that’s holding me back from actually experiencing excitement and joy. This book is a guide to greater freedom, being more spontaneous, and enjoying things more. 

There’s the typical run-of-the-mill self-help books, then there’s The School of Life. I say that because there’s something about the wording and conciseness in their books that makes it all the more relatable and easier to read. I don’t need to pour over pages of repetitive content to hopefully arrive at some kind of answer in the end. With The School of Life books, they’re small, matter of fact, and contain all the information that I need on a subject. I actually find them kind of fun to read as well, whereas self-help books can be a pain in the ass sometimes, and I rarely ever finish them. These great little books also look really nice too, and make for pretty awesome gifts as well.

A More Exciting Life states that it’s “a guide to recovering some of our spirit,” continuing “this is a book about freedom.” The book itself contains chapters on: others, self, relationships, work, pleasure, and freedom. 

The 'others' chapter resonated a lot with me. It talks in depth about learning to lie less often. And don’t tell me you don’t lie, because we all do! This section addresses that we are continually lying about how we feel in areas like: hurt, guilt, tenderness, anxiety, sexuality, and pleasure. The chapter also talks about learning into vulnerability, “what we fear above all is judgement.” Being vulnerable is tough, and hearing that it’s fear that holds us (or me, at least) back is fear, seems to be true. 

The section concludes with, “There might be nothing more generous or impressive we could offer our neighbours than a tranquil disclosure of our feelings of sadness, isolation, worry and existential despair.”

I also found the 'self' chapter extremely helpful since it covers things like learning to be angry, being friendly to strangers, and dealing with depression. This chapter states that “almost half of us will suffer from depression at some point in our lives,” and continues to talk about the differences between sadness and depression, “the sad person knows what they are sad about; the depressed person doesn’t.”

I think the chapter I took the most away from (the one with the most post-it notes) was work. I really liked reading a section called 'you could finally leave school.' It’s mostly about how while we may be in our 20s and older, we still live as though we go to school, within some kind of imaginary boundaries, “a sense that there is an implicit curriculum out there - an externally mandated map of what one needs to do to succeed.” I’m a very rigid, type A person, and reading this made me realize that while I might have left school physically, ten years ago, I still live my life like I’m in the classroom. 

I took a lot away from A More Exciting Life, using a full highlighter and an entire strip of post-it notes. I also went to Indigo after and bought The School of Life: An Emotional Education because I had a craving for more of this kind of knowledge, the kind I could actually walk away from and have it resonate with me. 

There are times when I’ll go to groups and therapy appointments to hear the same thing again and again, only to walk out the door and forget the entire thing. This book is a gem and I retained a lot of the info in here, and read most of it with a smile on my face.
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A lot of people will be attracted to this title after a year that has been eventful and boring at the same time. This is an interesting and short book which you can read in one sitting. Now I just need to figure out how to apply what I read!
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