Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How and why "being your best self, playing your best game" is where it's at...and where all of us should be, 17 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination (Hardcover)
"Evil" was the word the Anglo-Saxons used where we would use bad, cruel, unskillful, defective (adj.), or harm, crime, misfortune, and disease. Of course, this is not the meaning of evil that Hugh MacLeod had in mind when he formulated his concept of a plan so forget about the word and focus on the valuable insights that his counterintuitive mind offers. As he explains, people need a plan guided and informed by "that crazy, out-there idea that allows them to actually start doing something they love, doing something that matters. Everybody needs an Evil Plan that gets them the hell out of the rat race, away from the lousy bosses, away from boring, dead-end jobs that they hate. Life is short."

MacLeod speaks from extensive personal experience as he discusses his struggles years ago the lessons he learned from them. He has paid a hefty "tuition" to obtain the real-world knowledge he gained and now shares, as he did in an earlier book, Ignore Everybody. In that book and in this one, he provides an abundance of his brilliant illustrations. Some are hilarious. Some have the impact of an ice pick stuck in the ear. All are precious gifts. They remind me that, long ago, Oscar Wilde offered this admonition: "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." MacLeod presumably agrees but, I suspect, would cite another admonition from the Gnostic Gospels, part of the New Testament apocrypha: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

In other words, MacLeod is affirming the importance of having personal authenticity while making and then sustaining a full commitment to doing whatever we love most. It took him years to develop what Ernest Hemingway once characterized as a "shock-proof, built-in crap detector." It takes courage to acknowledge one's own crap and then eliminate it. Life is short and our most precious resource is time. So, MacLeod insists, feed the hunger that, paradoxically, "will cost you your life" in order to save it from the forces that feel threatened by anyone who has "crazy, out-there ideas" and evil plans to make them a reality.

Consider this brief passage in The Book in which Alan Watts observes, "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego." Evil plans eliminate all masks. That is one reason why they terrify those who wear them.

MacLeod believes that "evil plans are not products; they are gifts" and that is what this book is, a gift from him to each reader and offered with love. He acknowledges, "I'm not the world's most talented person at what I do. Neither are you. That doesn't make the gifts we have any less valid. Giving the gift is an act of love. And love is the only thing that matters. That's why we have an Evil Plan...Because it matters. Because love matters. What else is there to say?..."

Hopefully, Hugh MacLeod will respond to that question in his next book.

In other words, MacLeod is affirming the importance of having personal authenticity while making and then sustaining a full commitment to doing whatever we love most. It took him years to develop what Ernest Hemingway once characterized as a "shock-proof, built-in crap detector." It takes courage to acknowledge one's own crap and then eliminate it. Life is short and our most precious resource is time. So, MacLeod insists, feed the hunger that, paradoxically, "will cost you your life" in order to save it from the forces that feel threatened by anyone who has "crazy, out-there ideas" and evil plans to make them a reality.

Consider this brief passage in The Book in which Alan Watts observes, "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be 'I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego." Evil plans eliminate all masks. That is one reason why they terrify those who wear them.

MacLeod believes that "evil plans are not products; they are gifts" and that is what this book is, a gift from him to each reader and offered with love. He acknowledges, "I'm not the world's most talented person at what I do. Neither are you. That doesn't make the gifts we have any less valid. Giving the gift is an act of love. And love is the only thing that matters. That's why we have an Evil Plan...Because it matters. Because love matters. What else is there to say?..."

Hopefully, Hugh MacLeod will respond to that question in his next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Aug 2013 14:47:45 BDT
Arnaud033 says:
Its all very well, but bills HAVE to be paid. Isn't all this just stating the obvious - finding the 'real me' and all that is all very well, and that's what I want to do - BUT without paying the bills we face an abyss - and no book and smart talking will help us then. Becoming disgruntled with things is itself a state of mind, and maybe a bad and even dangerous habit. In this life what you've got is what you've got, a few may make money doing something creative and expressive, but most of us have as much chance of winning the lottery as achieving that.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Aug 2013 17:38:33 BDT
Arnaud: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Paying bills and self-fulfillment are not mutually-exclusive. However, we would be well-advised to remember the old farmer in Concord (MA) who, after Ralph Waldo Emerson's lecture on transcendentalism, asked, "How do you transcend an empty stomach." I wish you great success in all dimensions of your life. Best regards, Bob

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Aug 2013 18:39:12 BDT
Arnaud033 says:
Good quote Robert - exactly my point. Exactly how much of our time can these people completely waste I shudder to think about.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Aug 2013 19:40:20 BDT
Here's some sound advice from Mrs. Murphy: "My husband is a pathological optimist."

Frankly, I think it's a waste of time to worry about the nature and extent of our time that others waste. I now have zero tolerance of that. My inspiration? Katherine Hepburn. Years ago, during an interview, she was asked the secret to her success. "Elimination! I have eliminated everyone and everything from my life that interferes with what I want to do and how I want to do it. Even Luddie, my former husband and dearest friend still. He simply had to go!"

That's not easy, I concede, but it does work.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Dallas, Texas

Top Reviewer Ranking: 118