I read this book a in one sitting and it took me 5 hours. Yup, all 260+ pages in one-go.
This book makes you think about life from a completely different perspective. Written in a socratic dialogues, it is easy to understand and feels like you are listening to an insightful conversation.
The Courage to be Disliked made me ponder about life and what it means. I wanted to share with you my The Courage to be Disliked Book Review. Perhaps this book will resonate with you!
Timing is Everything
I downloaded a trial of this book on my kindle a few years ago. I remember taking a bath, taking my kindle, and reading the first 10 or 15 pages. I wasn’t impressed. I felt confused about the way the book was written and none of it really made sense.
I deleted the book off my kindle and never thought again about it.
Fast forwards to 2 months ago: I had relocated from New York City to the Netherlands, and I was going to the bookstore to get my friend a birthday present. As I was making my way to the check out line, I saw a bookshelf of ‘top 5 books to read this month’ and The Courage to be Disliked was sitting there.
I picked it up, turned it around, and read the back of it. ’hmm…’ I thought. ‘Perhaps I should give it another shot.’
2 days later, on a Saturday, I picked up the book and began to read it. I was about 30 pages in when I realized that this might be the greatest book I have ever read.
I continued to sit in the same spot on the couch for the next 5 hours until I read it cover to cover. It’s crazy to think that just a year ago, I had deleted the book because it didn’t resonate with me. Now, I couldn’t imagine not reading it.
I believe that I wasn’t in a place at that time where I needed to hear all of these things. I wasn’t ready, you could say. However, when I finally did read it — it was EXACTLY what I had needed at that moment in time.
Written in a Socratic Dialogue
The book is written in a Socratic dialogue: it means that the style is in the form of an argument — using the question and answer method employed by Socrates.
I can’t even tell you how much I loved this style. It truly made me feel like I was observing a conversation between 2 people and it made me understand the information that much better.
Since I’ve never read a book in this style of writing, my first try reading this book felt confusing. However, after reading a whole book in this style, I now absolutely love the Socratic dialogue!
It makes it easier to understand the information and allows room to shift between the two individual perspectives.
The Youth and the Professor
There are 2 main characters in the book: the Youth and the Professor. The Youth approaches the Professor in hopes of discovering happiness and satisfaction in life. He asks the Professor a series of questions about fulfillment, changing yourself and your life, and happiness.
It’s pretty funny because the Youth challenges the Professor and disagrees with practically every single thing that the Professor says. It made me laugh a few times because it made me think of all the people who could easily put themselves in the shoes of the Youth.
I’ve read a lot of personal growth books in my life, and since I’m a life coach — all the things that the Professor talks about resonate with me completely and there’s a lot of truth and wisdom in his words.
However, I know a lot of people who reminded me of the Youth — argumentative, stuck in their old habitual thoughts and wanting to challenge new information.
So whether you’re someone who’s open-minded and have read a lot of personal growth, spirituality, and self-help books, or you’re someone who’s pretty cynical and closed-minded — I promise you that this book will definitely have something in store for you.
Freedom is Being Disliked by Other People
Philosopher: In short, freedom is being disliked by other people.
Youth: Huh? What was that?
Philosopher: It’s that you are disliked by someone. It is proof that you are exercising your freedom and living in freedom, and a sign that you are living in accordance with your own principles.
Youth: But, but…
Philosopher: It is certainly distressful to be disliked. If possible, one would like to live without being disliked by anyone. One wants to satisfy one’s desire for recognition. But conducting oneself in such a way as to not be disliked by anyone is an extremely unfree way of living, and is also impossible. There is a cost incurred when one wants to exercise one’s freedom. And the cost of freedom in interpersonal relationships is that one is disliked by other people
I wanted to share this particular part of the book from page 144 because it blew my mind.
I had never thought of being disliked by other people as me exercising my freedom and living by my own values. This created a complete shift in my mind about doing what I want and not caring about what people think.
More importantly, understanding that being disliked is actually a good thing.
If you were trying to please everyone — you wouldn’t be standing up for something. You wouldn’t be committed to something that is important to you, and you wouldn’t be fulfilling your heart’s desire. When someone dislikes you, it’s a sign that you’re being and living in a way that is true to you.
Kind note: this doesn’t mean that you should be rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful to others.
That’s not what we’re talking about! We’re talking about following passions that are important to you, having a lifestyle that is meaningful to you, and doing whatever it is that you want to do. Don’t be an a** to other people. That’s not cool.
The Courage to be Disliked Book Review Rating
I rate this book a 10/10 without a shadow of a doubt. I loved it and I shared it with so many people and they loved it just as much as I did.
I want to re-read it once again and do it at a slower pace. Taking in every single page and giving myself some time to ponder & wonder. I truly cannot recommend this book enough!