Books Reviews

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

I started reading this book because of the title. I kept on as it has a few interesting points.
The book tells you to get your priorities straight and base your decisions on them. It says that you aren’t special because you or your problems aren’t as unique as you think. It encourages you to choose to be responsible for the wins and losses in your life.
Today, you are under constant pressure to focus on positivity, which only serves to make you more aware of what is wrong in your life. Manson advises you to focus only on the important, urgent, true things.
I can relate to these points. When I was much younger, I was the kind of person who gave one too many f**ks about life. I often despaired of myself for not being able to be indifferent and blasé about many things. I had my first stroke when I was 21. It left me partially paralyzed. I was eventually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). From then on, life has presented me with so many challenges. My choices/decisions are heavily influenced by my illness. I thoughtfully choose what to give a f**k about.
Manson does not claim that all the ideas in the book are his own, which is just as well because they are based on Eastern philosophy, stoicism, and existentialism.
The book has one too many swear words but then what else can you expect with a title like that? Manson is also slightly off when he discusses women, victims of abuse, love, and relationships. This makes the second half weak and less interesting.
To sum up, an easy-to-read book because of the conversational tone and reasonable advice.

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