The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Book Review
I feel like I give way to many fucks simply by buying this book in the first place to try to learn some strategies to compartmentalize what I care too much about!
Now I’m of the belief that caring deeply about things, and even the little things, is what makes you successful as a business person. But there are some things that I struggle to let go of even though they’re not my problem to carry. That’s why I bought this book.
When I started reading it, all of the language was jarring me a bit and it seemed like it was actually trying to hard in the ‘don’t try’ chapter. But, as I read on, I fell in love with the whole thing.
It made me question my assumptions and beliefs and I think anything that gets you to further question the way you live you life is a good thing.
There was heaps I agreed with like that we spend far too much time worrying and not living our full potential based on fear when we’re all going to die and then none of that matters. There was also lots I disagreed with like that if you want to be successful and happy you should not try to be successful. He contradicted this when he said he straightened his life out by applying himself at college and getting good grades so maybe I missed the point a little.
I did love the sentiment in the opening chapter with “Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied, and more admired. Be perfect and amazing and crap out twelve-karat-gold nuggets before breakfast each morning while kissing your selfie-ready spouse and two and a half kids goodbye” That made me giggle. It was what so many of us are trying to achieve and constantly falling short of.
The message is not so much to not give a fuck about anything, but more to reserve your cares about what you choose to be immediate and important based on the values that you have chosen to live your life by and not necessarily what the mainstream messaging tells us to.
The book supports the notion (which I strongly agree with) that life is based on problems and happiness directly correlates with our perceived ability to solve those problems. When we’re unhappy, it’s because we feel like those problems are out of our control. “When we feel that we’re choosing our problems, we feel empowered. When we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable”.
I am a firm believer in the benefits of the struggle. Most, of the wonderful things that have happened in my life, would not have occurred if not for the struggles that I have gone through and the lessons that I have learnt. We should try to stop avoiding the struggle and embrace and dance with it a little more because it’s going to happen anyway. I have never met anyone that’s got through life without a major struggle or two or fifty, and why would you want to?
I’d definitely recommend a read of this book. It can be a bit of a mind challenge but that’s always a good thing for growth.
Thanks Mark Manson.