The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck:

A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life

             by Mark Manson
Mark Manson is a superstar blogger with 90.9 K followers on Twitter. I am now one of them. When I read this book I thought that finally someone is making sense. The title kind of turned me off because I am not a fan of the F -word but I had heard so many good things about this book that I decided to try it on audio. The F-word is used a lot in the beginning of the book and at one point I thought I would have to stop listening. I kept with it and I’m so glad that I did because the word isn’t used as much after that. Manson calls this the anti self-help book. Most self-help books focus on what people perceive their shortcomings to be and then laser in on them. Some examples are, I’m not pretty enough, I am too fat, I don’t make enough money and self-help books are very eager to tell you how to make more money become prettier, lose weight. These books are reinforcing your perceived shortcomings.

Manson feels that the media is constantly bombarding people with the message that the key to a successful, happy life is more: more money, more things and then we get into what he calls the Feedback Loop From Hell. We don’t make enough money so we are upset, then we are upset that we are upset about that and then we get anxious and then we are anxious about feeling anxious and the loop goes round.The author feels that the key to a happier life is to be honest about your life. The popular focus on being positive all the time is doing more harm then good. Life sometimes stinks and we need to face this fact and learn to deal with it. The feel good mindset isn’t helping anyone. We need to learn to deal with the bad things that come our way because doing that makes us better. We all have limitations and once we know our limitations and accept them, we can be successful in life. Someone will always make more money than we do, have a nicer car or house or job and we have to let all of that go. Failure is inevitable and we need to accept it and take action. Manson feels that shielding kids from adversity is a huge mistake. If children are constantly shielded from adversity, when it comes, they won’t be able to deal with it. He also feels that giving a child a participation medal, just for showing up, is wrong too. It doesn’t work that way in real life.

Fear of failure holds a lot of people back from pursuing their dreams. Manson uses some real life examples, including himself. He had failed at a lot of things and was basically living with various friends and sleeping on their couches. He wanted to start an Internet business but was afraid of failure. But he thought, I am already a failure so what do I have to lose.? He proceeded and he has become wildly successful.

This book isn’t about being apathetic and not giving a F*ck  about anything but rather that we need to choose what we are going to give a F*ck about.  Don\’t get upset over the little things but give a F*ck about what is important.

There is so much in this book and it is difficult to  review because of that. Here are some of the things that struck me:

  • We must know our limitations and accept them.
  • Choose what you give a F*ck about.
  • Live with some negatives things because we learn from them.
  • Accept failure and take action.
  • Don’t shield children from adversity because they won’t be able to deal with it when it comes.
  • True happiness comes from solving problems
  • We are not entitled or special, so get over it.
  • Suffering has value and we can learn from it.The language in this book might offend some people but I agree with so many of the points that the author makes. I listened to it on audio and Roger Wayne\’s narration is fantastic.

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