Posted in book review

Subtle art of not giving a fuck

“We are all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by life’s trivialities; we are eaten up by nothing.” Bukowski

Mark Manson is one funny author. His style of writing this book makes you always want to be alert as he explores different parameters of living a good life. He isn’t the type to tell you how to be happy or how to make a million dollars in just a week! Nada. All that to him is exaggeration that stresses us for nothing. He ain’t here to sugar coat and this ain’t your ordinary self help book. He twists the negative, bad and ugly in our life’s and makes something meaningful out of it. Some of his lessons go like:

  1. The world is constantly telling you that the path to a better life is more-buy more, own more, fuck more, and be more. You are constantly bombarded with messages to give a fuck about everything all the time. The problem is that giving too many fucks is bad for your mental health. It causes you to become overly attached to superficial and fake, to dedicate your life to chasing a mirage of happiness and satisfaction. The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true, immediate and important.
  2. Then he explores The Feedback Loop from Hell where we are constantly told fear, guilt, anger etc. is not okay but hey it is alright to feel bad so as to short-circuit the loop and stop hating yourself for feeling bad about these negative forces.
  3. Backward law is a dynamic many will not apprehend but looking at it from a 450 angle it is quite possible to accept that positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. The more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. You will never be happy if you continue looking for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you constantly looking for the meaning of life. Ever notice when you care less about something, you do better at it?
  4. Don’t hope for a life without problems. Instead hope for a life full of good problems. Happiness is achieved by solving problems.
  5. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.
  6. If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head. Do something principle.
  7. Freedom grants the opportunity for greater meaning, but by itself there is nothing necessarily meaningful about it. Ultimately, the only way to achieve meaning and a sense of importance in one’s life is through rejection of alternatives, a narrowing of freedom, a choice of commitment to one place, one belief or one person.
  8. Rejection makes your life better. Failure is the way forward.
  9. Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from wrong to right. Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that….we are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.
  10. You are great because even in the face of endless confusion and certain death, you continue to choose what to give a fuck about and what not to. This simple optioning for your own values in life, already makes you beautiful, already makes you successful, and already makes you loved. Even if you don’t realize it.

So what really is not giving a fuck;

  • Being comfortable with being different
  • Giving a fuck about something more important than adversity
  • Choosing what to give a fuck about.


PS: Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy.