I have recently finished reading The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson. For starters, I am blown away at the sheer awesomeness of this book. I honestly haven't read a book that speaks in my language like Mark's, ever.
When I read a book, I usually take notes and copy down paragraphs that I enjoy. Below, I have outlined my biggest takeaways, advice and favourite lines. Majority of the post will be direct quotes from the book and in brackets I have added my thoughts.
The bottom-lined, tactile and extremely counter-intuitive message of the book is clear; giving too many fucks, where fucks aren't meant to be given, is where we get it wrong as a society — especially us millennial's. But, this isn't just a book for millennial's — there is timeless advice hidden in it to remind the older generation to focus on whats important.
I have no doubt that you will learn a great deal just from my notes — it's basically the whole book in a blog post, enjoy.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
[On stress and anxiety] We’re too busy watching porn and advertisements for ab machines that don’t work, wondering why were not banging a hot blonde with a rocking six-pack, to notice...we have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t even know what to give a fuck about anymore
On the extremes of the bell-curve: This flood of extreme information has conditioned us to believe that exceptionalism is the new normal. And because we’re all quite average most of the time, the deluge of exceptional information drives us to feel pretty damn insecure and desperate [This is so relevant to our current society. There is so much exceptionalism going on; if you're not the richest, best-looking sports dude in the room, you're a worthless piece of shit. We are always shown the anomalies, the G.O.A.T's, but this isn't attainable for everyone, yet everyone seems to either be consumed by these falsified God's or they're chasing to be just like them]
Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing [You can be so successful at self-improvement and "finding yourself" that you lose track and eventually don't take any action towards your goal].
Ironically, this fixation on the positive — on whats better, whats superior — only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not, of what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be [it's okay to vent, to be angry — just don't let it consume you]
...by not giving a fuck that you feel bad, you short circuit the Feedback Loop from Hell; you say to yourself, “I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?” And then, as if sprinkled by magic fuck-giving fairy dust, you stop hating yourself for feeling so bad [We constantly bombarded with positive self-actualizing bull-shit, that we end up feeling worse because as Mark said, you only dwell on what you are not. See things as they are, but don't see things worse than they are -- AKA, reality-based optimism].
You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have limited amount of fucks to give...If you go around giving a fuck a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice —well, then you’re going to get fucked
Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different
[I had to scan this whole page (I really didn't want to type it out) because i couldn't help but think to myself, "fuck..this is some real stuff." There is a similar quote by The Minimalists, two guys spreading the wonders of minimalism, that goes like this:
Adversity and failure are actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults
A person who actually has a high self-worth is able to look at the negative parts of his character frankly
We’re apes. We think we’re all sophisticated with our toaster ovens and designer footwear, but we’re all just a bunch of finely ornamented apes [when faced with difficult times, I will make it my goal to read this and ponder].
Pleasure is a false god
2. Material success
[No need to explain]
3. Always being right
The fact is, people who base their self-worth on being right about everything prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes.
4. Staying positive
Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life problems
[On playing the game of poker that is life] sure, the person who gets dealt great cards has a higher likelihood of winning the hand, but ultimately the winner is determined by — yup, you guessed it — the choices each player makes throughout play.
It’s easier to sit in a painful certainty that nobody would find you attractive, that nobody appreciates your talents, than to actually test those beliefs and find out for sure [so many of us, including myself, make unjustified assumptions about ourselves that are 1) self-destructive and 2) 9 times out of 10 completely irrelevant and not true.
Certainty is the enemy of growth
Manson’s Law of avoidance:The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it [an example would be this blog and my YouTube channel. It threatens my identity in a big way because it puts me on the spot and tests my knowledge — but, it's the price I will pay for doing what I love].
There is little that is unique or special about your problems. That’s why letting go is so liberating.
If someone is better than you at something, then its likely because she has failed at it more than you have...we can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at. If we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed.
Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes. Even when you’re happy. Even when you’re farting fairy dust. Even when you win the lottery and buy a small fleet of jet skis. You still won’t know what the hell you’re doing. Don’t ever forget that
The “Do Something” Principle:
If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the tight ideas to show up in your head.
Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; its also the cause of it.
When the standard of success becomes merely acting—when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite—we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward.
I highly recommend purchasing this book. Although I have outlined my takeaways, more than likely, you will find other aspects that will influence you and (hopefully) make you a better person.