The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Nonfiction | Self-Help | Personal Development
Published by Harper Collins
Released September 13th, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon
“In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And like the road not taken, it was the fucks not given that made all the difference.”
Self-help books have become a staple of my TBR, primarily because, despite being almost 33, I’m still trying to figure my life out. As are many people. A lot of self-help books are all the same: manifesting good vibes, having faith in something, etc.. For some people that’s fine, and sometimes, depending on where I’m at in my life, it’s fine for me as well. More often than not though, it’s not enough.
I DNF-ed The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck last year because I was turned off by the edginess/cringiness of the author saying “fuck” in every sentence. Cursing in no way bothers me, but it’s obviously a ploy to stand out and catch people’s attention for this book.
I recently gave it another shot, listening to the audiobook on Scribd. Once I got through being annoyed with the style of Manson’s words and all the “fucks,” I ended up having an amazing experience with this book. In fact, I’m planning on buying a physical copy soon just so that I can read it again.
The thing that I like about The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, especially as compared to a lot of the other personal development and self-help books that I’ve read, is that it focuses on taking personal responsibility for your actions and how you respond to difficult and stressful situations. Most of us are guilty of, at some point in our lives (and some more often than others) of blaming the world or someone else for everything wrong in our lives. Sometimes it is someone else’s fault, but as Manson frequently points out in his book, the way you react to your problems is more important than anything else.
Manson has a way of making his points easy to understand and uses a lot of great examples from his personal experience to sell his ideas to readers. It works well. Listening to the audiobook was like having a serious, sit-down conversation with a mentor about getting my life together. I feel like so many people can benefit from an experience like that.
My absolute favorite part of the book is how he discusses in length the fact that you are not special. It’s even the name of one of the chapters. Coddling people is not good, and there are so many parts of society where that is happening. Participation trophies, thinking your problems are unique, etc. are leading to a culture where people don’t know how to deal with problems, losing, or any kind of disadvantage.
Obviously, Mark Manson’s approach will not appeal to everyone. It’s worth it to give it a read (or listen, the audiobook version is really good) if you think this book might help you.