The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
“Giving too many fucks is bad for you.” This is one of the best lines from the book; The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck and another one being “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”
The book is by far the second best self-help book I’ve read. The best one would be Courage: The Joy of Living Life Dangerously by Osho.
When I first heard the title of the book, I thought it was something related to click-bait or a publicity stunt. But later on, one of my close friends recommended this book and I am grateful that I was able to read it.
As the title suggests not to give a fuck but there are few things which you need to give a fuck about and this surely is one hell of a post. If you’ve not read the book until now, go through this post and you can thank me later 😉
Let’s start the review of the book with the author;
Mark Manson (born on 9th of March, 1984) is the author of the book; The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck. I have huge respect to this young guy for publishing this amazing book who’s not just limited to being a self-help author, but also a thinker, life enthusiast, entrepreneur (CEO and founder of Infinity Squared Media LLC) and blogger (www.markmanson.net) as well.
Started as a marketing channel for his dating advice business in 2009, Mark Manson later shifted to being a full-time blogger as a digital nomad. In his blog, Mark writes about topics which are related to culture, love & relationships, psychology, life choices and “personal development advice that doesn’t suck” which is a very powerful thing indeed.
Later on, his book The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck is one of the best selling books within a short duration of time of being published in 2016.
Mark Manson’s articles have been published and quoted in CNN, BBC News, Business Insider, Yahoo! News, Time, The Huffington Post and many others.
Find Mark Manson on;
Mark Manson blog: www.markmanson.net
Further reading: 12 tips on how to overcome Breakup!
Review; The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
Like I mentioned above, the book is one of the best self-help books I have read so far. I’d rate this book 9 out of 10. The reason why I loved this book is because of its simplicity, non-preachy and most important of all; authenticity.
Mark Manson has provided the readers with ample space to think deeply and critically about the situations in life rather than just going with the crowd. In the book, the author mentions the practical and real-life situations in which readers can totally relate with.
In most of the self-help books, the readers are preached to be positive all the time. But Mark says that the desire for more positive experience in one’s life is itself a negative experience.
And interestingly, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience. The author stresses on the fact that even though we’ve been told every once in a while that key to a happy and prosperous life is being positive, dealing with whatever we go through is the best way to live it.
At times, it can be hard for the readers (it was for me as well) to comprehend the ideas put forward in the book as they are presented in a simplistic manner which most of us normally haven’t thought of. Or let’s say they are the things which are too simple and obvious to think of. A perfect demonstration of staying, thinking and taking actions with simplicity.
I have felt a lot better and lighter after reading this book.
Further reading: Why am I not a nationalist?
As a person who’s a tendency to overthink and be stagnant with thoughts at times, I have become less anxious about past.
One of the best things about the book is it’s not sugarcoated. Honesty is presented at its best. It allows the readers to question themselves and their current life situation as well.
After reading the book which is honest, raw and refreshing at the same time, what I’ve realized is I have been getting a lot of fake appreciation. This gives a temporary feeling of pride but in the long run, harms to a great extent.
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck Quotes
“Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes. Even when you’re happy. Even when you’re farting fairy dust. Even when you win the lottery and buy a small fleet of Jet Skis, you still won’t know what the hell you’re doing. Don’t ever forget that. And don’t ever be afraid of that.”
“Everyone and their TV commercial wants you to believe that the key to a good life is a nicer job, or a more rugged car, or a prettier girlfriend, or a hot tub with an inflatable pool for the kids.”
“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change.”
“We all get dealt cards. Some of us get better cards than others. And while it’s easy to get hung up on our cards, and feel we got screwed over, the real game lies in the choices we make with those cards, the risk we decide to take, and the consequences we choose to live with. People who consistently make the best choices in the situations they’re given are the ones who eventually come out ahead in poker, just as in life. And it’s not necessarily the people with the best cards.”
“No truly happy person feels the need to stand in front of a mirror and recite that she’s happy. She just is.”
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“Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing.”
“I grew up in a wealthy family. Money was never a problem. On the contrary, I grew up in a wealthy family where money was more often used to avoid problems than solve them. I was again fortunate because this taught me at an early age that making money, by itself, was a lousy metric for myself. You could make plenty of money and be miserable, just as you could be broke and be pretty happy. Therefore, why use money as a means to measure my self-worth?”
“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.”
“If you live your life solely in search of pleasure, you’ll actually end up living a life full of mistakes. Conversely, if you experience the occasional instance of suffering, you’ll be equipped to lead a better, happier life.”
“Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded. Happiness comes from solving problems. The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.”
“Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier.”
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“Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life’s problems—problems which, by the way, if you’re choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you.”
“Honesty is a good value because it’s something you have complete control over, it reflects reality, and it benefits others (even if it’s sometimes unpleasant).
“Despite the book sales and the fame, Bukowski was a loser. He knew it. And his success stemmed not from some determination to be a winner, but from the fact that he knew he was a loser, accepted it, and then wrote honestly about it. He never tried to be anything other than what he was. The genius in Bukowski’s work was not in overcoming unbelievable odds or developing himself into a shining literary light. It was the opposite. It was his simple ability to be completely, unflinchingly honest with himself – especially the worst parts of himself – and to share his failings without hesitation or doubt.”
“Self-awareness is like an onion. There are multiple layers to it, and the more you peel them back, the more likely you are going to start crying at an inappropriate time.”
“Indifferent people often attempt to be indifferent because, in reality, they give way too many fucks.”
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“Our most radical changes in perspective often happen at the tail end of our worst moments. It’s only when we feel intense pain that we’re willing to look at our values and question why they seem to be failing us. We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been deriving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course.”
“There is a premise that underlies a lot of our assumptions and beliefs. The premise is that happiness is algorithmic, that it can be worked for and earned and achieved as if it were getting accepted to law school or building a really complicated Lego set. If I achieve X, then I can be happy. If I look like Y, then I can be happy. If I can be with a person like Z, then I can be happy. This premise, though, is the problem.
Happiness is not a solvable equation.
Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent parts of human nature and, as we’ll see, necessary components to creating consistent happiness.”
“People who become great at something become great because they understand that they’re not already great – they are mediocre, they are average – and that they could be so much better.”
“We feel bad about feeling bad. We feel guilty for feeling guilty. We get angry about getting angry. We get anxious about feeling anxious. What’s wrong with me? This is why not giving a fuck is so key. This is why it’s going to save the world.”
Summary of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”
Don’t get mistaken by the title of the book which might seem vulgar. Beneath the word, there are life-shocking (and then transforming) messages which (if decided to follow) will help become a better version of ourselves.
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By saying “Not Giving A Fuck”, Mark Manson means it’s not about being indifferent, but being comfortable with being different. Not giving a fuck about adversity, we need to first think about something more important than adversity. Also, we’re choosing what to give a fuck about.
Motivation is a continuous loop and not the end. Many times, we’re mistaking it. Motivation is followed by action and inspiration. The cycle continues on and on.
We’re driven by the mainstream media and which(most of the times) are misleading (backed up by advertisement from big fishes and are followed by vested interests). Because of the advertising agencies and social media influence, we’re driven towards materialistic demands.
We’re in the race of compiling unnecessary things and have piles of stuff which we don’t need at any part of our lives. The illusion of completeness through material possession haunts every now and then. The book reminds that we’re complete within ourselves. To live a fulfilling life, we can choose to live with fewer choices and it’s completely okay. The more we try to accumulate, the more miserable our life becomes.
We often try to avoid pain even though we’re well acquainted that it’s the part of the process. The more we go through pain, the more resilient and tolerant we become. It’s like going deeper like the roots of a tree. The depth of roots determines the strength and sustenance of a tree. Some of the best results in life come from the greatest adversity one faces in his/her journey of life. Similarly, pain is what teaches us life lessons.
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In a nutshell, the book can be summarized in one statement: it is crucial to living life, giving way too less fucks that truly resonate with the values that one follow rather than giving a fuck to many unimportant things.
What do you think of this book? Would you give a FUCK about it or not? 😉