The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (A review)

Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.

― Albert Camus

Alright, so there has been radio silence for a while but I have been taking some time to kind of focus on some things that I have needed to focus on in terms of some courses that I have been taking.

I’ve also been continuing to try to get through my reading list. This time I read “The subtle art of not giving a f*ck” by Mark Manson.

I had been looking at this book for some time now and it was a perfect time to pick it up. This book is exactly what it says it is. A counter intuitive way to live a good life.

I think this book should be mandatory reading for anyone that would like to graduate to becoming an adult. Without revealing too much, because I think that everyone should actually sit down and read it, there are a few things that he touches on that are some of life’s truths, that we all as a society, need to come to terms with.

  • Life sucks sometimes: Yep, sometimes life sucks and sometimes life hurts. This is an unavoidable fact and something that we need to stop trying to avoid at all costs.
  • You are entirely responsible for how you react to life: This is a point that is so lost on most people and society that it might as well be hanging out with Atlantis. It doesn’t matter whether something is your fault or not. How you react and handle the situation is entirely your doing. You are responsible for your own situation and no one else. One example that Mark uses is perfect. Basically it might not be your fault that someone left a baby on your doorstep, but it is now your responsibility to handle the situation.
  • Certainty hinders progress: Once you let yourself become certain in something it allows you to completely dismiss the need to improve or learn something. Take a cruise through your Facebook feed, look at the posts by people who are absolutely, blindingly certain of these posts and their beliefs, what is the pattern you notice?
  • You are not special: While you may feel like you are the only person on the planet going through what you are…. odds are you’re not. You’re not even close tot he only person. This is not the first time. So you are not special or entitled.

One thing Mark talks about as well, which the main point of the book centers around, is making sure that we have good values. This is a project that I have been working on for the last little while and something that I am still working on, because after all, none of us are perfect and I am not certain that I have entirely succeeded in achieving them.

An example of a bad value, would be one that compares your successes to other people, such as “I want to be more famous than so and so” or “I want to have more money than so and so” or “I want to be popular or liked”. These are bad values because they rely entirely on other peoples opinions of you and other peoples actions. They will only lead to feeling like you have failed and the failure is entirely out of your control.

Some examples of good values might be that you want to be kind, be humble, be honest. These are values that are harder to achieve but they are absolutely worth working towards. They will grant a longer life time contentment.

The trick here is not to give zero fucks, but to learn what is worth giving a fuck about. That hair cut that you missed this month? Probably not worth it. Taking this time that you will likely never have again and use it towards improving a skill or picking a new one up? Probably worth it. Using this time to reach out to loved ones? Probably worth it as well.

Being in isolation sure has a way of making you look at your inner self a little more deeply and it is really a perfect opportunity to start trying to shift your thinking or your habits. As a part of myself trying to grow, I am going to start tomorrow putting a constistant effort into this blog and I will be making a post daily during this lock down and there will be more on that tomorrow as well. It may be interesting, it may not be, but that is up to you all to decide.

To wrap up, this book is an excellent and fairly easy read so it won’t take long to get through. There are some very excellent points that Mark makes and some good lessons to take from it.

If you want to pick up your own copy, it is available on Amazon here.

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