The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fvck, Mark Manson- A Book Review.

I started out not liking this book at all. Every word seemed to be getting on my nerves, I didn’t like the tone, and honestly the reason why I got through the first few chapters was to see why it’s so highly rated, out of curiosity and with a slim to none expectation of there being anything life changing to take away from it. This is what I mean…

I went on after I developed the tolerance to hear the word fucks once too many times. This one definitely taught me patience, allowing myself to sit through and listen(read). Just listen without criticizing too much. It has some nice pointers, but I’m still of the opinion that the message would have been delivered in a different and much better manner – but well, not my fuck to give. The book is an Anti hero self help book on prioritizing few things ie giving few fucks, prioritizing better values and choosing better things to give a fuck about. Generally, better fucks, better problems therefore better life.

Here goes my take aways…

We are always choosing. Even our problems. But when we feel we’re choosing our problems, we feel empowed. When we however feel they’re being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable.

Victimhood. People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high, being self-righteous and superior feels good. The outrage as a result, is even more insidious than most vices because we don’t even consciously acknowledge it’s a pleasure.

Accepting you are wrong. Growth is an endless iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from ‘wrong’ to ‘right’. We go from ‘wrong’ to slightly wrong, and then to even less wrong than that and so on. There is no perfect ideology. There is only what your experience has shown you to be right for you – and even then, that experience is probably somewhat wrong too. Many people become so obsessed with being ‘right’ about their life that they never end up actually living it. Being wrong opens us up to the possibility of change and an opportunity for growth.

Architects of our own belief. Once we create meaning for ourselves, our brains are designed to hold on to that meaning. So our brain is always trying to make sense of our current situation based on what we already believe and have already experienced. As a result our brain is always biased towards what we feel to be true in that moment.

This took me back to a podcast I listened to recently that resonated with me and somehow relates to this, it said “When you ask for someone’s advice, what you’re going to receive from most people unless they’re trained is a projection of their own limitations and possibilities. It has nothing to do with you. So you have to recognize that it is impure or it is affected by the bias that we all have and that we struggle to remove when we give advice. “

Give up your sense of entitlement and belief that you’re somehow owed something by this world.

Be a little certain about yourself. As Aristotle wrote, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ” Being able to look at and evaluate different values without necessarily adopting them is perhaps the central skill required in changing one’s life in a meaningful way.

That simply, if it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really just you versus yourself.

Pain is part of the process. Fear, anxiety and sadness are not necessarily always undesirable or unhelpful states of mind. They are representatives of the necessary pain of psychological growth. And to deny that pain is to deny our own potential. Just as one must suffer physical pain to build stronger bone and muscle, one must suffer emotional pain to develop greater emotional resilience, a strong sense of self and increased compassion. Learn to sustain the pain you’ve chosen. When you choose a new value, you are choosing to introduce a new form of pain into your life. Welcome it, then act despite it.

… And then you die. The realization that if there really is no reason to do anything, then there is also no reason to not do anything ;that in the face of the inevitability of death, there is no reason to ever give in to one’s fear or embarrassment or shame. That we are driven by fear to give way too many fucks about something as it’s the only thing that distracts us from the reality and inevitability of our death. By spending the majority of life avoiding what is painful and uncomfortable, you avoid being alive at all.

It is generally an eye opening read, but I wouldn’t say I give too many fucks about as it shows on my Goodreads. It goes to my list of things I don’t hate. Nevertheless, you can get a copy of your ebook or audiobook here. (I hear the audio version is less unpleasant.)

Thank you so much for passing through this blog.

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