The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F…. A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. The title alone is enough to make someone want to either cringe or say “Oooo! This sounds like fun!”. Put me in the fun crowd. Mark Manson is a genius for writing this book. It is a short read with little to no fluff.
I don’t know if you have ever seen the movie Office Space but this book reminds me of it. [SPOILER ALERT] Depicted is a character who at one point stopped giving a f… and became someone who is the least invested in success and ended up achieving it. It is a hilarious take on “The Subtle Art”.
Mark captures this in a very real way that relates to society as it is today. Not giving a f… is definitely a subtle art and he explains it very well. So let’s jump right in.
Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.
This quote is preceded by writings explaining that “being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others”. I have a lot of insecurities that I don’t like to face. Honest confrontation of such is a hard thing with respect to your relationships. It is painful but yields the greatest trust and respect.
In the first few chapters, Mark talks very candidly around the thought process and feeling around not giving a f…. Do not worry he doesn’t get all deep to where the reader gets depressed and throw the book out of the window. Explanations are all laid out in small, digestible, and easy to swallow life pills.
What does it mean not to give a f…?
Subtlety #1: Not giving a f… does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable being different.
I was completely on the train of thinking it meant being indifferent. Mark then explains his thoughts around people who are indifferent and how they are lame and scared. Pretty frank explanations follow. It gets even more interesting.
Subtlety #2: To not give a f… about adversity, you must first give a f… about something more important than adversity.
Don’t forget the little things! The explanations and stories around this are very interesting and relatable, to say the least.
Subtlety # 3: Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a f… about.
Now, THIS is where the book starts to become more focussed. It’s the whole idea of his writing! We are always giving a f… about something. At times we will give a f… and times we won’t! Hence the title of the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F…”.
The Deep Stuff
In later chapters, the author get’s really deep. He discusses Failure, Building Trust, Boundaries and a host of other good topics. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is fed up with something. It could be anything! That probably includes you.
I am on my second time reading this book now and as always there are new things that pop up. New ways to think about life and the distractions that come along with it. There is definitely a subtle art to this thing and Mark did an outstanding job laying it out.
Time to get real with yourself and have some definition around your decision making. It will challenge your thinking and in some cases immediately change your life for the good. Yes, it happened for me. To add to your life change experience, there is a book called Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant that will help level set your career. That coupled with this book will help put your career in perspective as well.
You can thank me later.