The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck — by Mark Manson

Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Mark Manson

“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” -Mark Manson

This is point blank one of the best self-help books that I have ever read. It’s so refreshing to hear (read) that being sad, angry, and even depressed is fine, and it will happen at some time in your life.

You will struggle, and you will suffer. There is going to be pain, and there is nothing you can do to avoid it. Just to choose what you’re going to bleed for. This is one of the most profound and deep lessons we can learn in life.

Mark had a crazy life, full of adventures, stories, traumatic experiences and lessons that made him realise the most important thing in life:

“You have a limited amount of f*cks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a f*ck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get f*cked.”

From the beginning to the end of the book, we learn more about Mark’s life and the process behind his profound wisdom. Part of his motivation came from sleeping on his friends’ sofas. Because if you have nothing, if you are already at the rock bottom, the only place from there is up.

In this article, I will share with you my top 3 chapters from this great book. Let’s begin!

Don’t Try

The first lesson from the book was inspired by the one and only Charles Bukowski, which refers to the fact that, in our society, we are obsessed with unrealistic positive expectations. Charles was well aware that he was a loser, and he never tried to hide it. That is the reason why people loved him; he was real, honest, and genuine.

Be healthier, be happier, be the best, be better than the rest, faster, richer, sexier, more productive,” All this life advice focuses on what we lack. They are reminders of what is missing in ourselves. Like the saying: “the smallest dog barks the loudest,” confident people do not need to prove they are confident.

Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck - by Mark Manson - KEEP FIT KINGDOM

Mark Manson – Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck

The reason behind this is to make people want more and more without ever feeling satisfied. How can we solve this? Let’s listen to what Mark has to say in “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”:

“The key to a good life is not giving a f*ck about more; it’s giving a f*ck about less, giving a f*ck about only what is true and immediate and important.”

You Are Not Special

Mark explains that in the 60s, developing “high self-esteem,” having positive thoughts and feelings about oneself, was the rage in psychology. The idea was that the better you thought about yourself, the better you would do during your life, which turned out to be quite the opposite.

When you teach people that the only feeling they should care about is to be “happy,” that everything should be praised without any reason and that there is no place for critics or failure, you end up creating people who cannot tolerate a single critic, who cannot tolerate being wrong, who at the first mistake give up, and who end up being immature and doing nothing with their lives.

This also creates another problem; people who only care about themselves and who feel threatened and attacked by others’ virtues. They cannot stand not being the centre of attention, and they end up being narcissistic and living inside their bubble. How can we solve this? Let’s reflect on the following:

“The true measurement of self-worth is not how a person feels about her positive experiences, but rather how she feels about her negative experiences.”

“A person who actually has a high self-worth is able to look at the negative parts of his character frankly, and then acts to improve them.”

…And Then You Die

An amazing title for the last chapter of the book, which talks about a concept that people try to avoid, death.

It starts with a story of how one of his best friends died when he was young during a party. After being depressed for months, and having nightmares where he had conversations with his dead friend, one of them made him change forever; the conversation went like this:

“I’m really sorry you died.” He laughed.

“Why do you care that I’m dead when you’re still so afraid to live?” I woke up crying.

What Mark came to realise was something similar to Memento Mori: we all are going to die, so why should we care about unimportant things like what others think about us, about doing what others want you to do, just to be liked by people who do not care about us?

After this, Mark changed for the better. He allowed himself to live. He started caring about what matters, like his health, relationships, and career. So, why should we reflect on death? Mark says the following:

“Yet, in a bizarre, backwards way, death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured.”

“Without death, everything would feel inconsequential, all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.”

I encourage you to check out and read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, let us know your thoughts below!

Agustin Cardone

Agustin Cardone, from Argentina, currently lives in Ireland, and studies psychology in Mexico. He fell in love with sports when he started playing rugby at 14, soon becoming team captain. He now lifts weights and practices boxing as a way to release stress. He is highly interested in the relationship between body and mind, and is curious about how the brain works and why people do what they do. He would like to help people with addiction, depression, and personality disorders. He believes we all have a story to tell and that we should express it.

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