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

I rarely pick up self-help books for reading but a colleague in the office recommended this one as an interesting and funny read and I must agree. It’s witty and it had enough psychiatric research in it to make it interesting.  It tackles issues from self-esteem, self-value, morals, goal setting and ambition and has a great take on today’s snowflake culture of entitled children.

Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied, and more admired. Be perfect and amazing and crap out twelve-karat-gold nuggets before breakfast each morning while kissing your selfie-ready spouse and two and a half kids goodbye. Then fly your helicopter to your wonderfully fulfilling job, where you spend your days doing incredibly meaningful work that’s likely to save the planet one day.

I loved the non-conventional approach and explaining why you shouldn’t give any f*cks to anyone and anything for a better mental health and low levels of anxiety.

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 and immediate and important.

I’ve given this book to my best friend who is struggling with a lot of issues at the moment and I can’t wait to hear from her whether it worked or not. It tackles organising time, arranging your priorities and slashing out all the negativity our of your life. But keep the challenges in!

We joke online about “first-world problems,” but we really have become victims of our own success. Stress-related health issues, anxiety disorders, and cases of depression have skyrocketed over the past thirty years, despite the fact that everyone has a flat-screen TV and can have their groceries delivered. Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore.

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I loved it! I think it triggered a lot of moms with bad haircuts and special snowflakes and possibly some female might feel offended by his constant mentioning of his sexual prowess and his bad-assery in middle school. I liked it. It brings a personal touch to what would be otherwise a long and dreary do-s and don’t-s of our modern life. And it did make me laugh so kudos for that!

Now, I know what you’re saying: “Mark, this is making my nipples all hard, but what about the Camaro I’ve been saving up for? What about the beach body I’ve been starving myself for? After all, I paid a lot of money for that ab machine! What about the big house on the lake I’ve been dreaming of? If I stop giving a fuck about those things—well, then I’ll never achieve anything . I don’t want that to happen, do I?”

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Most of the advice is quite reasonable. All the same, I feel most of the problems we face as humans are to do with the fact we are social animals and our lives are becoming increasingly insular – not least due to various forms of technology – and this is making us feel pretty awful about ourselves. We need to find ways to rebuild communities and meaningful human interactions.

The best bits: He talks about happiness and how to achieve it

To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; it’s an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you, not something that you magically discover in a top-ten article on the Huffington Post or from any specific guru or teacher. It doesn’t magically appear when you finally make enough money to add on that extra room to the house. You don’t find it waiting for you in a place, an idea, a job—or even a book, for that matter.

The bad bits: It gets a bit repetitive but hey, it’s only to nail the message down. Plus sometimes it gets a bit dark…

You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon.

But manages to save it quickly by telling you why you spent money on the book.

In my life, I have given a fuck about many things. I have also not given a fuck about many things. And like the road not taken, it was the fucks not given that made all the difference.

All in all, a good borrow (not purchase) 4/5

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