Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig takes a look at how the various social, commercial, and technological “advancements” that have created the world we now live in can actually hinder our happiness.
The societies we live in are increasingly making our minds ill, making it feel as though the way we live is engineered to make us unhappy.
Haig examines everything from broader phenomena like inequality, social media, and the news; to things closer to our daily lives, like how we sleep, how we exercise, and even the distinction we draw between our minds and our bodies.
Keep scrolling to read 40 great quotes on life from Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig.
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40 Life Quotes from Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
The problem is not that the world is a mess, but that we expect it to be otherwise.
Remember no one really cares what you look like. They care what they look like. You are the only person in the world to have worried about your face.
Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given.
Reading is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Reading is love in action.
We might have to, sometimes, be brave enough to switch the screens off in order to switch ourselves back on. To disconnect in order to reconnect.
Happiness is not good for the economy. We are encouraged, continually, to be a little bit dissatisfied with ourselves.
And besides, libraries aren’t just about books. They are one of the few public spaces we have left which don’t like our wallets more than us.
We often find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day, but that wouldn’t help anything. The problem, clearly, isn’t that we have a shortage of time. It’s more that we have an overload of everything else.
Living with anxiety, turning up, and doing stuff with anxiety takes a strength most people will never know.
It sometimes feels as if we have temporarily solved the problem of scarcity and replaced it with the problem of excess.
Be a mystery, not a demographic. Be someone a computer could never quite know.
Never be cool. Never try to be cool. Never worry about what the cool people think. Head for the warm people. Life is warmth. You’ll be cool when you’re dead.
The sky, like the sea, can anchor us. It says: hey, it’s okay, there is something bigger than your life that you are part of, and it’s – literally – cosmic.
How much extra happiness am I acquiring? Why am I wanting so much more than I need? Wouldn’t I be happier learning to appreciate what I already have?
Maybe the point of life is to give up certainty and to embrace life’s beautiful uncertainty.
Don’t compare your actual self to a hypothetical self. Don’t drown in a sea of ‘what ifs’. Don’t clutter your mind by imagining other versions of you, in parallel universes where you made different decisions
It might be a strange irony that the cure for worrying about aging is sometimes, well, aging.
One frustration with anxiety is that it is often hard to find a reason behind it. There may be no visible threat and yet you can feel utterly terrorized.
Accept feelings and accept that they are just that: feelings.
There is no panacea, or utopia, there is just love and kindness and trying, amid the chaos, to make things better where we can.
The whole of consumerism is based on us wanting the next thing rather than the present thing we already have. This is an almost perfect recipe for unhappiness.
If you’re feeling bad about yourself, stay away from Instagram.
There is no shame in not watching news. There is no shame in not going on Twitter. There is no shame in disconnecting.
I sometimes feel like my head is a computer with too many windows open.
Don’t do the work people expect you to do. Do the work you want to do. You only get one life. It’s always best to live it as yourself.
Be the complex elegance of a melting candle. Be a map with 10,000 roads. Be the orange at sunset that outclasses the pink of sunrise. Be the self that dares to be true.
Don’t let anyone or anything make you feel you aren’t enough.
Love now. Love right now. If you have someone to love, do it this instant. Love fearlessly.
Employment is becoming a dehumanizing process, as if humans existed to serve work, rather than work to serve humans.
Better to be disliked for being you, than being liked for being someone else.
An online profile of your best friend is not your best friend. A status update about a day in the park is not a day in the park. And the desire to tell the world about how happy you are, is not how happy you are.
Facebook is where everyone lies to their friends. Twitter is where they tell the truth to strangers.
Be less robot, more human. Be more imperfect. Evolution happens through mistakes.
Change doesn’t just happen by focusing on the place you want to escape. It happens by focusing on where you want to reach.
There are billions of different versions of an older you. There is one version of the present you.
The challenge is to find who we are amid the crowd of ourselves.
The world is real, but your world is subjective. Changing your perspective changes your planet.
A human being is complete just being human. We are our own destination.
Life isn’t a play. Don’t rehearse yourself. Be yourself.
Don’t spend your life worrying about what you are missing out on. Life isn’t about being pleased with what you are doing, but about what you are being.
Which quote from Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig is your favorite?