Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
My rating: 5/5
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger 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.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Mason doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
He wasn’t kidding about this book having the power to look you square in the eyes and be brutally honest and realistic. I’ll be real, I was nervous to pick this title up from BookExpo this past May. I thought it was going to be a humorous book of satire for pessimists or realists. However, I didn’t know it could give so much truth to what I have personally experienced. I’m not sure if this book intended to be a game changer, but it is definitely one that has left a lasting impression on me and how I approach problems and challenges. His narratives and personal examples can be relate-able to all types of scenarios life throws our way. I highly recommend this book if anything to give a fresh perspective on how to approach life.
“Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore” (8-9)
“They say, ‘Fuck it,’ not to everything in life, but rather to everything unimportant in life. They reserve their fucks for what truly matters. Friends. Family. Purpose” (16)
“(w)hen a person has no problems, the mind automatically finds a way to invent some. I think what most people – especially educated, pampered middle-class white people – consider ‘life problems’ are really just side effects of no having anything more important to worry about” (18)
“What determines your success isn’t, ‘ What do you want to enjoy?’ The relevant question is, ‘What pain do you want to sustain?’ The path to happiness is a path full of shit-heaps and shame” (38)
“As a rule, people who are terrified of what others think about them are actually terrified of what others think about them are actually terrified of all the shitty things they think about themselves being reflected back at them” (86)
“Without conflict, there can be no trust. Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits” (182)
What are thoughts on not giving a f*ck?