The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck! By Mark Manson is a great punch to the face. For anyone interested in looking in the mirror in a brutal and contradictory way, this book is for you. On the contrary, if you want to continue living that self-deprecating, comfortable hell you call an existence, this book is NOT for you. Mark makes sure to create as much discomfort as possible through words on paper while holding an entertaining, nail biting flow. If you are truly dedicated to living a fulfilling life, you will be biting your nails to turn the next page.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck really is a subtle art. It is also a completely and totally contradictory philosophy to your neighborhood shrink’s. Mark says to stop trying and stop giving so many fucks all the time. For God's sake, you can only care about so many things. Mark explains that our lack of ability to prioritize the fucks that we give is one of the biggest reasons for our continuous sorrow. As human beings, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others and shitting on our own self esteem. Why? Because keeping up with The Jones’s is our idea of an ideal life. What we don’t realize is that this constant chase for approval is never ending. Worst of all, when we achieve the approval from others that we so desperately desire, it only reaffirms the negative thoughts that made us want to take action. Leaving us empty and alone.
Instead of holding a value systems based strictly on material wealth, status and affluence, Mark proposes something much more powerful. Simple and Humble Values. What a radical fucking thought?! Base your values on the way you interact in your community, the type of man or woman you are, your relationship to your word, etc. Simple and humble values are endless whereas monetary and material goals are limiting. If you judge your values by the car you drive or the watch you wear instead of the impact you create and the lives you've changed, living a hollow and depressed life is almost unavoidable. This is because you now judge your self worth based on the material possessions in your world and not by your character. It creates entitlement which then leads to creating pain for you and your loved ones.
Basically this book flips your life on its head. Going over concepts like the cleverly coined, “Feedback Loop from Hell,” and using fictional characters like,”The Disappointment Panda” to get valuable lessons across in an engaging way. The value in Mark’s perspective in our opinion is massive. Especially his words about responsibility and ownership. The idea that taking ownership in and of your own life and experiences is the most powerful tool. Ownership is the concept that no matter what happens in your life, you are fully responsible for the outcome. If a hurricane hit your home in Miami, it may not be your fault that the house is damaged however it is your responsibility to take ownership of the problem and find a solution. Complaining and focusing on the hurricane being at fault will not improve your current living situation. Taking ownership allows for freedom because you are taking responsibility for the issues in your life (whether they are your fault or not) and creating viable solutions. This leads me to another massive point outlined in the earlier part of the book. Happiness is problem solving. Your problems will never disappear, they will only be exchanged and escalated. Meaning that suffering is inevitable and the secret to happiness is to suffer for the things you care about the most. If suffering is inevitable, wouldn’t you rather suffer for a person you care about or for a business that fulfills your passion every day? Suffering because you give a fuck about your priorities makes life worth living.
There are so many golden nuggets of knowledge scattered throughout the book. Too many for a couple paragraphs to cover. For those who have never done any personal development work, this is a great way to start the journey and for those who have, it is an incredible reminder of some of the work you have already done. For more information on the book check out The 52 Podcast Episode 02 available NOW on Spotify, Anchor, and Youtube! Make sure to subscribe for weekly podcast releases every Monday! Let us know how we can bring more value to your world. Follow along with us this week as we read, The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries. Podcast coming Monday September 9th.