Trying Not to Try: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Trying Not to Try containing key details about Trying Not to Try.

What is Trying Not to Try About?

"Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity" is a book by Edward Slingerland, a professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia. In this book, Slingerland explores the concept of "wu-wei," a Chinese term that refers to the art of spontaneous action, and how it can be applied in modern life.

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In Trying Not to Try, the author effortlessly blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to show us how we can embody a spontaneous way of being and live more fulfilling lives. What is it about a comedian whose jokes fall flat or an athlete who chokes? What if, contrary to what we have long been told, spontaneity - not striving - is the answer to success? Through stories of mythical creatures and drunken cart riders, jazz musicians and Japanese motorcycle gangs.

Summary Points & Takeaways from Trying Not to Try

Some key summary points and takeaways from the book include:

* The Concept of Wu-Wei: Slingerland explores the concept of wu-wei, which he defines as a state of effortless action that is achieved through a combination of mindfulness, understanding, and detachment. He argues that wu-wei is a key aspect of Taoist philosophy and that it can help people to lead more fulfilling lives.

* The Power of Spontaneity: Slingerland argues that spontaneity is a powerful force in our lives, and that it can help us to achieve our goals and live more fulfilling lives. He argues that by embracing wu-wei and learning to act spontaneously, we can tap into this power and achieve our goals more effectively.

* The Benefits of Mindfulness: Slingerland argues that mindfulness is a key component of wu-wei and that it can help us to achieve a state of effortless action. He argues that mindfulness can help us to develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us, and to live more fulfilling lives.

* The Science of Spontaneity: Slingerland draws on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology to explore the science behind wu-wei and spontaneous action. He argues that this research supports the idea that spontaneous action can be a powerful force in our lives.

* The Importance of Detachment: Slingerland argues that detachment is a crucial aspect of wu-wei and that it can help us to achieve a state of effortless action. He argues that by detaching from our goals and desires, we can gain a new perspective on our lives and achieve our goals more effectively.

* Overall, "Trying Not to Try" is a thought-provoking and accessible exploration of the art and science of spontaneity. The book offers valuable insights and advice for anyone who wants to live a more fulfilling life and tap into the power of wu-wei.

Who is the author of Trying Not to Try?

Edward Slingerland is a Canadian-American sinologist and philosopher. He is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, where he also holds appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Asian Studies.

Book details

  • Print length: 304 pages
  • Genre: Philosophy, Nonfiction, Psychology

What are the chapters in Trying Not to Try?

Chapter 1 Skillful butchers and graceful gentlemen
Chapter 2 Drunk on heaven
Chapter 3 Try hard not to try
Chapter 4 Stop trying
Chapter 5 Try, but not too hard
Chapter 6 Forget about it
Chapter 7 The paradox of wu-wei
Chapter 8 Learning from wu-wei

What is a good quote from Trying Not to Try?

Top Quote: “Thinking that you are good can make you bad. Talking about positive behavior can encourage negative behavior." (Meaning) - Trying Not to Try Quotes, Edward Slingerland

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: "Looks like a self-help book, but it’s actually an insightful and lucid introduction to some of the most fruitful ideas in ancient Chinese philosophy." — Julian Baggini, The Guardian

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* The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways. If you're interested in furthering your personal development, I invite you to check out my list of favorite personal development books page. On this page, you'll find a curated list of books that have personally impacted my life, each with a summary and key lessons.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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