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.