“You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.” ― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a 2016 self-help book by popular blogger Mark Manson. This book cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”
God, I loved this book. I am grateful to all the people that have recommended it to me over the years. Thank you! Reading this just felt very liberating and the work is full of freeing little truths. Me, for example, I’m a very anxious person and I think at least 40% (probably more whom am I kidding here) of my time goes into painting these lovely doomsday scenarios of how the most common situations I’m in could go wrong somehow. And then I worry a lot and yet, those doomsday scenarios have never yet happened. So why do I care so much?
“Why? My guess: because giving a fuck about more stuff is good for business. ” ― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Book starts by describing life of Charles Bukowski. This first chapter of the book has a very simple message: Don’t Try. Bukowski tried for years to be a proper author, didn’t succeed and became best-selling author only when he really could not care less and was deeply depressed. Read more about Bukowski and the chapter here at John Michael Miguel. It apparently became so ridiculous even for the Post Office author himself that on Bukowski’s tombstone, the epitaph reads: “Don’t try.” See there’s nothing wrong in caring and being good and successful but then there’s a point where it wrecks your mental health. And that’s not right anymore and would not help you to be happier.
My next aha moment came soon after around chapter three. My realization? You are not extraordinary. You’ll never be extraordinary. You’re not freaking special. And that there’s absolutely nothing wrong being mediocre, even though society sees being average as something pathetic. And also, all 8 billion of us cannot possibly extraordinary. Like c’ mon. The vast majority of your life will be normal and boring and not noteworthy and that’s okay. It’s okay to appreciate little things in your life. It’s okay to be like everyone else.
“My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius. Choose to measure yourself not as some horrible victim or dismal failure. Instead, measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator.” ― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Lastly, I think also one of the biggest truths for me was that a happy life is not problem-free. Solving challenges is what makes us happy and gives us purpose. Without them, we are kind of stuck in a status quo where nothing changes and everything is good but we don’t really appreciate what we have anymore. All in all, for me this was one of the best reads this year and I can warmly recommend it. You can maybe guess how many stars I’m giving this.
“Don’t hope for a life without problems,” the panda said. “There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.” ― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
How-To Read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
1. Don’t get me wrong, I love self-help books and I love reading about psychology. Yet, often I feel like they’re so full of optimism that it physically hurts. It’s like I see a red door and I want it painted black but people think I’m a creep that I’m a weirdo. So if you’ve read it all and it’s not quite working out for you then read this.
2. Title kind of sounds bad right? It sounds like don’t give a fuck about anything. Quit your job, leave your partner and move to Nepal to find enlightenment. That’s not what this book is about. Giving less fucks is beneficial and you’ll be happier :) so don’t let the title mislead you
3. SHORT! 200+ pages. Won’t waste much of your precious time. I suppose if you nail it as Manson did here, then you do not need more pages.
4. Don’t take it too seriously BUT seriously follow the advice in it
5. I don’t think this is everyone’s cup of tea because of the style but hey read my review and deem by the Bukowski chapter I linked.
Have you read this? Thoughts? Is it better not giving a fuck?