The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck: A Counter-intuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

TGTAC / Sunday, March 3rd, 2019
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A Non-fiction, How-to, Self-help book

This book speaks to the idea that happiness is not a destination, nor should it be a goal, or even something that people should waste their time trying to achieve. It approaches the journey to “a better life” in a profound way using negativity and profanity, but that’s OK! The book carries the idea that all the negative events in one’s life have greater impact than the positive events. Mark Manson shares experiences from his own life and from some of his friends’ lives to prove his points. Manson also stresses the importance of prioritizing things, people, and emotions and not giving a f*ck about the rest.

Before ordering my copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck from Amazon, I heard and saw a lot of great reviews from friends and social media. I was seeing the book everywhere and noticed it was making top-seller lists. I was excited to start reading the book and learning how to “not give a f*ck.” That feeling quickly vanished after I started reading. I know how some books can be- you have to get through the first few chapters before it gets interesting- unfortunately, for me, it never got better. I’m not saying it’s a bad book or shouldn’t be on the top-seller lists. I understand why some people love the book and what all the craze is about. Manson writes in an unconventional way, sharing a contemporary outlook to “finding happiness.” The book simply just did not hit home for me.

In my “subtle” opinion, this book speaks to those who feel like life has taken a giant shit on them and they’re never going to be happy. This book is for the those “glass half empty” people. You know who I’m talking about… those people that think they got dealt a crappy hand and there’s no trading in cards. I’m not one of those people. Not saying my life has been a cake walk, but it hasn’t been a nightmare either. I’ve taken great things away from my negative experiences in life and my negative experiences have impacted my life in greater ways than my positive experiences. But I’m not dwelling on my past or saying “woe is me” because of the life I’ve had. Because of my more optimistic attitude and outlook on my past and my future, I just didn’t resonate as much with this book as I suspect others did. Also, I found the first half of the book to be repetitive. It says the same thing over and over again in slightly different ways.

We hear people say “zero f*cks given” all the time, but how many people really mean it? Yes, there are times when I truly just don’t give a f*ck, but usually that comes after I actually did give a f*ck about it. Not giving a f*ck from the start actually takes practice, some mental preparation, it really can be described as ‘a subtle art’. The thing is, I truly don’t give a f*ck about too many things, I prioritize the things that are going to make ME happy, and I don’t have a chronic pessimistic attitude. So while I feel this book is an amazing resource for a lot of people out there, it might be dull for others that don’t constantly struggle with past hardships.

Now here is where our man Mark and I agree: In his second to last chapter (Chapter 8), he talks about COMMITMENT. He’s committed to his job, his spouse, and where he lives. Manson writes, “And what I’ve discovered is something entirely counter-intuitive: That there is freedom and liberation in commitment.” His message is to commit to what’s important and to not be distracted by what’s not. Decide what things are most important to you and commit.

Author: Kelsi Andersen / February 28, 2019

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