Well here we go again, another book making use of the word Fuck. You might remember another book review I did on Unfu*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop. This book The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson was a book I read partially a couple years ago. More recently I ran into a review of this book on YouTube by the author and decided to give it another try. It turns out this book is pretty good and kind of got me out of a funk I was feeling.
Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not about meandering your way through life and not giving a shit about anything, far from it. One of the key messages is stop giving a fuck about everything. When you give a fuck about all the little things in life, you lose focus on what is really important. The author encourages you to seek out your values and ruthlessly give a fuck about them, but stop giving a fuck about all the other bullshit that is occurring around you. In the span of a few sentences I have said the “F” word way too many times. Let’s take this in another direction and substitute care for fuck.
These values may relate to some aspect of your work, spending more time with your family, a hobby your are passionate about, or anything you consider important, with the caveat that it cannot be everything. That’s the problem if you care about everything you drive yourself and everyone around you crazy.
Another key concept in the book is this idea that we are all pursuing happiness often via pleasurable or hedonistic experiences. You know spending time on vacation, drinking, smoking pot, chasing men or women, or buying shit. All of these things seem fine for a while, but ultimately leave us feeling somewhat empty and consequently we really aren’t all that happy. The author contends it is the challenges in life that present us with problems to solve that truly makes us happy. It’s not that happiness is bad, but the fact that we value it so much and we orient our lives to try to achieve some constant state of happiness that is the issue. Maybe it’s really those times where you achieved something like getting that job you wanted, pursuing a degree, starting that business that took 2 years to become profitable, or any other goal you had set that aligned with your values that really brought you a sense of satisfaction. It was the struggle, overcoming the problems, and this is where you look back and say this thing I achieved brought me happiness.
There are some other interesting topics explored in this book that reinforces the two concepts we just explored, like you are always making choices, suffering is underrated, failing is good, your not really that special, and we all die in the end. Listen, I don’t want to spoil things for you by reviewing every chapter, so I’m going to leave the rest for you to discover.
If you can get by the first couple chapters of using the “F” word in mega doses then I would recommend you read this book. I have the hardcover version and the type is decent size and the book itself is of high quality. Mark Manson interjects a fair amount of humor in his writing, so not only are you learning, also but being entertained at the same time. Here’s the thing he is brutally honest about the fact that we seem to be seeking a life of bliss, when in reality life has way more suffering and overcoming obstacles in store for all of us. This is not a self help book to help you make more money or reach Nirvana, but instead kind of a kick in the ass to help you set your priorities and determine what the hell is important to you. Once you have done this you can truly not give a fuck about some of those things that annoying the hell out of you on a day to day basis.
If you have read this book, I would love to hear your take on it, so just drop me a comment.