The rude awakening

Updated: Dec 08, 2019, 08:20 IST | Jane Borges | Mumbai

In his new book, YouTuber Shwetabh Gangwar offers practical advice to snap you out of bullsh*t that love, career anxiety and obsession with happiness could leave you in

Shwetabh Gangwar runs Mensutra, an online self-help community for men
Shwetabh Gangwar runs Mensutra, an online self-help community for men

Youtuber Shwetabh Gangwar who runs Mensutra, an online self-help community for men, dislikes the label 'men's rights advocate'. "Men don't need rights, they have plenty," he states, "But, they seriously need help." The video channel, which has over 1.5 million followers, mostly male, has him talk about everything from how to stop chasing women to fighting porn addiction, and ways to be less of a loser. If he sounds harsh, it is because his idea of self-help is to get you to think, rather than have you think like him.

His new book, The Rudest Book Ever (Westland), is written in the same vein. Calling it a collection of practical ideas to "free your mind of bullsh*t," Delhi-based Gangwar writes for everyone—not just men—caught in the web of their own doing, and he doesn't mince words. "Your parents possibly messed up," he says to his reader, for having picked up the book in the first place. "Parents are important teachers, and they play an important role in preparing you to face challenges. But the problem is that most parents tell you what to think, instead of equipping you with tools to use your mind. What they are doing is killing your imagination."

Here, he offers a quick guide to dealing with the daily anxieties of being human.

Disassociate yourself from everything you believe in We tend to latch on to views about people and things, without realising how or who shaped these beliefs. It could be that you were indoctrinated without realising it, or that you were exposed to something—a book, film or experience—that influenced the thought. Without understanding the root of your beliefs, it is impossible to disconnect from them.

In the book, Gangwar writes that a person who knows how to think, tends to "question, filter and may abandon ideas, ideologies and ways of living" that echo a relationship with familiarity. This makes them feel less threatened by alien ideas or people, and they in turn, take an interest in understanding and figuring them out. "They also try to find solutions to problems by thinking on their own," he shares.

Rejected? Great, now move on "The greatest failure of parenting is the inability to teach the child quite early on in life, that rejection of any kind is normal. And that they shouldn't worry about it," Gangwar adds. When you are rejected in love, you either make it about the ego, or undermine your own worth, by calling yourself a loser. Devoting time to blame-game, hate or spreading toxicity, only implies that you are motivated by rejection, Gangwar explains. "And here's the fatal flaw behind this motivation: the desire to prove something to others requires that these 'others' actually care, which they don't. You are the only one invested in what becomes of you," he writes.

Love is like solving a math sum While attraction is key in any romantic relationship, Gangwar says that what is also crucial is being with someone who is on your wavelength. "Love can actually be found mathematically," he quips. "In maths, you need to know the values before you solve a sum. When looking for love, you replace that with 'data'. And this data, should not be about somebody else, but you. You need to understand who you are as a person, what you are socially, your current goals and how you see your future. Once you list all this down, you look for a person who shares the same views on life. However, most importantly, you need to be aware of how they live their life currently and the decisions they have taken in the past, because that will shape your future together," he adds.

Screw happiness Happiness is a grossly misunderstood word, Gangwar thinks. "It's impossible to be happy all the time. The chemicals in the brain just doesn't allow it. It's a feeling that comes and goes, and nothing can be done to fix it. So, just chuck the word [happiness]. Instead of being happy, strive to be satisfied, because that allows you to be content with yourself."

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