Mark Manson is a superstar in the blogiverse.
The only thing that previously kept me away from picking up this book was his use of the F-word in the title – for hasn’t someone said that the use of swear words means you have run out of good arguments? I’ve always made a scattered use of swear words myself due to what I have called time and again ‘circumstances’ but have generally felt bad about it later because of my belief in what I just quoted. This actually became my feedback loop from hell. What’s a feedback loop from hell? Read the book.
So, as in this case, what do you do when an argument starts only with the F-word? You read on. Because, this book isn’t just immensely readable, it’s something I’d recommend to everyone except my worst enemies (in case they exist) – or maybe not, for I hope they learn to stop giving a fuck about me. Maybe this is getting to be too much. Yeah, maybe 🙂
Oh, and by the way, a lot of people call it a self-help book. Traditionally, the usual culprits under this section would be stuff like ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘The Secret’ and the ‘Who Will Cry When You Die’ and the ‘Monk who Sold His Ferrari’ and the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ – which was more of a tome than a book really, and the ‘Chicken Soup For The Soul’ Series. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck is so anti-self help it is the one book that might get you to stop giving a fuck about self-help books altogether. I, for one, certainly stopped giving a fuck about putting the F-word in black & white, even if it is just for this one blog post.
How is it anti-self help? Sample this: “But when you stop and really think about it, conventional life advice – all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time – is actually fixating on what you lack. It lasers in on what you perceive your personal shortcomings and failures to already be, and then emphasises them for you.”
This book is like that much-needed no-nonsense chat you get from someone who has your interests at heart, who walks into your home in the middle of afternoon to say, “look buddy, I think you should know this”. And he cuts through the fat and calls a spade a spade, which is you. It’s honest and unpretentious and somehow, just what you need.
Some of my fav passages:
Everyone and their TV commercial wants you to believe that the key to a good life is a nicer job, or a more rugged car, or a prettier girlfriend, or a hot tub with an inflatable pool for the kids. The world is constantly telling you that the path to a better life is more, more, more, – buy more, own more, make more, fuck more, be more.
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.