The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

by Mark Manson

Read:  2017-02-21, Rating:  10/10.

Three Sentence Summary

This book will help you think a little bit more clearly in what you’re choosing to find important and what you’re choosing to find unimportant. It’s OK for things to suck sometimes. The idea of not giving a fuck is a simple way of reorienting our expectations for life and choosing what is important. Practical enlightenment as becoming comfortable with the idea that some suffering is always inevitable, that not matter what you do, life is comprised of failures, loss, regrets and even death.

My Notes

Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: be happier, be healthier, be the best, better than the rest, be smarter, smarter richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied and more admired.

The world is consistently telling you that the path to better life is more more more.

The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experiences and paradoxically. the acceptance of onces negative experience is itself a positive experience.

To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain and contrast if youre able to not give a fuck about the pain you become unstoppable.

We give too many fucks.

Three Subtleties of Not Giving a Fuck:

1. Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent. It means being comfortable with being different.

Don’t care about adversity in face of goals, dont care about pissing some people off to do what feels right important or noble.

“We’re going to lawyer the fuck up, and go after this asshole. Why? Because I don’t give a fuck. I will ruin this guys life if I have to.”

Reserve fucks for big things that matter

You cant be a important and life changing presense to some people without also being a joke and embarassment to others

2. You must first give a fuck about something more important that adversity

finding something important and meaningful in your life is perhaps the most productive use of your time and energy. because if you don’t find that meaningful something, your fucks will be given to meaningless and frivolous causes

3. You are always choosing what to give a fuck about

Happiness comes from solving problems.

Our struggles determine our successes. Our problems birth our happiness along with slightly better, slightly upgraded problems. It’s a never ending upward spiral.

The joy is in the climb itself.

You are not special.

Entitlement plays out in two ways:

  1. I am awesome and the rest of you suck, so I deserve special treatment
  2. I suck and the rest of you are awesome, so I deserve special treatment

Our lives today are filled with information from the extremes of the bell curve of human experience. Yet the vast majority of life resides in the humdrum middle, unextraordinary, average.

The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so because they are obsessed with improvement, which stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. It’s anti-entitlement.

Knowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish, without judgment or lofty expectations.

Good values are

  1. reality-based
  2. socially constructive
  3. immediate and controllable.

Bad values are

  1. superstitious
  2. socially destructive
  3. not immediate or controllable.

We are individually are responsible for everything in our lives no matter the external circumstances. 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. Whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences.

Taking responsibility for our problems is more important because that’s where the real learning comes from, that’s where the real life-improvement comes from.

Change is as simple as choosing to give a fuck about something else. It really is that simple. It’s just not easy.

Manson’s Law of Avoidance

The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it

The real potential of becoming an artist nobody likes was far scarier than an artist nobody has heard of.

We are unfairly biased to what we already know, what we believe to be certain.

Questions that will help you breed a little more uncertainty in your life:

  1. What if I’m wrong?
  2. What would it mean if I were wrong?
  3. Would being wrong create a better or a worse problem than my current problem for both myself and others?

Better values are process oriented

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.

Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it’s also the cause of it.

In Russia, if something is stupid, you say it’s stupid. If someone is being an asshole, you tell him he’s being an asshole.

The most valuable currency to be trust and to build trust, you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology.

Honesty is a natural human craving. But part of having honestly in our lives is being comfortable with saying and hearing the word ‘no.’ Rejection makes our relationship better and our emotional lives better.

The difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship comes down to two things:

  1. How well each person in the relationship accepts responsibility
  2. The willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner.

It’s not about giving a fuck about everything your partner gives a fuck about. It’s about giving a fuck about your partner regardless of the fucks he or she gives. That’s unconditional love, baby.

Commitment gives you freedom because you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Commitment gives you freedom because it hones your attention and focus, directing them toward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy. Commitment makes decision-making easier and removes any fear of missing out. knowing that what you already have is good enough, why would you ever stress about chasing more, more, more again? Commitment allows you to focus intently on a few highly important goals and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would.

Depth is where the gold is buried.

“Seek the truth for yourself and I will meet you there.” Josh