A More Exciting Life
A guide to greater freedom, spontaneity and enjoyment
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Pub Date 03 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 14 Sep 2021
A guide to achieving the more joyful and interesting life that we know is within our grasp.
One of the things we all deeply crave is a more exciting life. We know that many things have to be routine, hard and a little boring. But we also sense that, if only we could find a way, our lives could be rendered more joyful, intense, thrilling, and beautiful.
This is a guide to the more exciting life we know could be ours. It isn’t about the outward things we might do: travel, parachute out of airplanes, or learn a foreign language. This is a book of psychology, teaching us how we can nurture a sense of inner liberation, accept our desires and aspirations, and then have the courage to set ourselves free. Perhaps we have resigned ourselves to things that aren’t fair or necessary; we have felt too constricted (and perhaps unloved) to communicate well with others, and the proper expansion of our characters has been sacrificed for the sake of compliance.
Now is a chance to recover some of our spirit and become open to the full intensity, beauty, and mystery of life and to the richness of our own possibilities. Here is a guide to that more exciting life that should—and could—be ours.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
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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