52 in 52 Book Summaries

Book Summary: This Book Is Not Required: An Emotional Survival Manual for Students by Inge Bell

This Book Is Not Required: An Emotional Survival Manual for Students by Inge Bell

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The Essence

An introductory work to learning how to gain self-knowledge. Personal reflection during our late teens to early 20s can be daunting, it is a time where we have the opportunity to begin to openly question the ideas we have been socialized into. The non-academic part of academics have no instruction manual though tend to be the most challenging part to navigate. This Book Is Not Requited urges students to take control of the formal educational by becoming more intentional about what it means to participate in that experience. What makes college a meaningful is that you are an exposed to a variety of social, personal, intellectual, and spiritual demands. Managing these demands require a level of equanimity that can acquired by seeing reality for what it is, as it is. Using Buddhist philosophy, students have the tools to cultivate awareness of their tendencies to react to life circumstances.

This Book Is Not Required Journal Entry Notes:

This is my book summary of This Book Is Not Required. My notes are a reflection of the journal write up above. Written informally, the notes contain a mesh and mix of quotes and my own thoughts on the book. Sometimes, to my own fault, quotes are interlaced with my own words. Though rest assured, I am not attempting to take any credit for the main ideas below. The Journal write up includes important messages and crucial passages from the book.

  • When you have become friends with your body and your emotions (sensations), you will begin to know who you are.
  • Accept Criticism: Approach each day with an empty cup which may be filled with new experience.
  • Wisdom: The ability to keep your emotional and mental balance in life; to understand yourself well enough to live comfortably with yourself.
  • Become solution-oriented, rather than just emotionally reactive.
  • Good writing is simple writing.
  • Become suspicious of all the information which you do not get first-hand.
  • Meditate: Seek realms beyond words and thought.
  • Break Free if inherited belief systems.
  • Meet life’s difficulties with equanimity.
  • Just about everything you need to know has been published in a book.
  • Leave your societal niche; explore the social classes.
  • Go ungraded. Imagine taking courses with no grades. For some students it is the weight of the grade that is the most emotional daunting. Strip grades of its influence and focus on the material. Coordinate with professor that you do not want any grades for your assignments to be given to you. Put your best work forward and you will see that the pressure of grades has been impeding focused work. This isn’t to say you do not get feedback from the professor on your progress. It is merely an exercise to show how the effect of grades can change how you work on assignments.
  • Best teachers > Subject Matter
  • Grades: The grading system is not a measure of your worth as a human being.
    What you don’t internalize can’t really hurt you.
    But what do you internalize can destroy you rapidly, and this holds for both low and high performing students.
  • Our expectations become self-fulfilling prophecies.
  • Expectation is the great enemy of satisfaction.
  • The fear of failure is one of the most common causes for failure.
  • The oppressed always see society more clearly than their oppressors. They have to, to survive.
  • If you want to become truly educated, you will have to educate yourself.
  • Media mediate between us and our immediate world by influencing us to define and see that world in a certain way.
  • Be a scholar who makes the effort to help students get an overall picture of the world and their place in it.
  • Two people who are lovers constantly negotiate their reality in what is a continual process of communication.
  • You cannot even know that you have a peculiar view of the world until you come in contact with differing views.
  • We are caught in illusion and it is in part due to our culture.
  • The sense of urgency which fills our days has been turned into a virtue by the folks who lead our institutions.
  • Anger and harsh words solve no problems.
  • The person who takes good sensible care of himself is also capable of giving good sensible care to other people.
  • Ask yourself: How what you are studying relates to your own life or to other subjects you have taken.
  • In order to keep reality from intruding and upsetting our ideas, our brains keep up a constant babble. Babble is designed to keep the illusion of self alive. We become too busy thinking to listen to our bodies or see the world around us as it is.
  • Psychology will make you a little saner.

If you liked what you saw. Here are 3 titles that I recommend based on what was discussed in This Book Is Not Required.

  1. Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want by Jenny Blake
  2. 101 Secrets For Your Twenties by Paul Angone
  3. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans

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