Street-smart, foulmouthed blogger Mark Manson reinvents the self help genre by simultaneously mocking it while re-writing the rules. A Bestseller, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is for people seeking radical change in their lives who do not feel they are best served by conventional self help books. It is a vulgar, but well researched appeal for those struggling to get the most from life to re-frame their thinking so they can focus on what truly matters.
My key Takeaways from “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counter Intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life" by Mark Manson
Takeaway #1 Focus Only On The Important Things In Life
When we live in an era of opportunity how is it possible that we can be so stressed and unfulfilled? It's because we're trying to do too much, we have a fear of missing out and therefore spread ourselves thin by trying to be, do, have everything.
Life is always going to be a struggle, there's no getting around it, but how much of a struggle you make it is up to you. You need to find out what you want in life and focus only on that. Being happy, wanting kids, wanting to meet Mr/Miss Right are all too vague and don't make you strive for success. Find something that you like doing, that makes you happy, that's worth the struggle. Whilst you say yes to the things that fill you with you, you have to be ruthless and say no to everything that doesn't make you happy.
Takeaway #2 Choose Good Values & Don't Measure Your Success Against Others
Comparing yourself to others, and your success against others is the fastest route to disappointment and unhappiness. At the same time, everyone knows that it's bad to try to keep up with the Jones's and use material possessions as a measure of their success – Money doesn't buy happiness. So how can you choose good values? You might think that choosing pleasure over fame and fortune is a good value but it's actually not as chasing pleasure can end in addiction, anxiety, and depression. Good values are based in reality, they're helpful to society, and are immediately controllable examples include living a life of honesty, being generous, being creative, and being humble.
Takeaway #3 Take Full Responsibility For Your Life & Let Go Of Your Identity
It's easy to shy away from why our life isn't how we want it by putting the blame on other people and circumstances – I had a rough childhood, my partner left me, I wasn't given the promotion... Stop playing the victim game and take 100% responsibility for your life! Take responsibility for how you played a part in not getting the job or the relationship breaking down – It's difficult but by admitting where you went wrong you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Most of us avoid the discomfort of reaching for the stars when risk is involved, it's not so much that we don't want to risk everything we have (the job, the house, the friends) but more that we don't want to risk our identity. When you practice Buddhism you learn that identity is an illusion – whatever label you have put on yourself be it good or bad I.e poor, unlucky, a failure, happy, rich, successful is just a mental idea we hold about ourselves and is not real. When you let go of those labels you can turn your life around.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Chapters
Chapter One - Don't Try
Chapter Two - Happiness is a Problem
Chapter Three - You are Not Special
Chapter Four - The Value of Suffering
Chapter Five - You Are Always Choosing
Chapter Six - You're Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)
Chapter Seven - Failure is the Way Forward
Chapter Eight - The Importance of Saying No
Chapter Nine - ...And Then You Die
Best Quotes from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”
“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.”
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience. (p.9)”
“Unhealthy love is based on two people trying to escape their problems through their emotions for each other—in other words, they’re using each other as an escape. Healthy love is based on two people acknowledging and addressing their own problems with each other’s support.”
“Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another.”
“To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is, therefore, a form of action;”
“This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.”
“Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.”
“Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy. As”
“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.”
“In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And like the road not taken, it was the fucks not given that made all the difference.”
“The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.”
― Mark Manson - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Editor and Founder
Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. 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 most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating the next generation of leaders to their true potential.