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A Paradoxical Way to Live Happily
The first of the subtleties of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” is a title that lures the reader with the hope of fashionable trash in the spirit of “do not care about problems and the opinions of others, each of us is super-cool, know yourself to live and have fun.” In the meantime, the reader will realize that it would be correct to call this book “Learn to distinguish true values, throw out of your head the glossy shit about your uniqueness and the right to enjoy life, accept responsibility, rejoice in the lessons learned from failures and pain, and remember – a person is mortal” (it can be shorter, but it will not become more tender from this) – he is already quite at the mercy of Mark Manson, his crude directness, sincerity and life experience, and longs to assimilate the promised “paradoxical way to live happily” in the subtitle.
“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” is very subtle – the author does not call for spitting on everything but strongly advises regularly reviewing the values and criteria on which we set goals for ourselves, build relationships, consider ourselves losers, or well done.
Our own beliefs because among them, on close examination, there will be many stereotypes. The subtle art separates the genuine from the substitution, the right for me personally from the imposed “generally accepted,” the pleasure of happiness.
Written in the genre of “self-help,” the book, with the usual appeal to spiritual growth, inner values, and overcoming fear, is a challenge to the modern world of consumption. The author constantly confuses the reader with a combination of sublime thoughts, crude Texas speech, and paradoxes that blossom in the place of seemingly obvious truths and make us see the obvious.
In the traditional moral system, Manson’s principles are more than familiar: take responsibility for your life, be yourself, and develop inner values. The personal experience of the author, which might seem unconvincing in a book where on every page we are told: “Everyone has their own values and their own experience cannot be raised to an absolute,” turns out to be unexpectedly clear and helpful to the reader because Mark owns a rare art of conveying not the result, but the process. He focuses not on how he eventually succeeded but on two – or eight! – years when he was in despair, revising his values, overcoming himself.
This is the book’s main point: the pursuit of happiness makes us unhappy; the meaning of life is a process, not a result – a process of growth, revision of values, and rejection of egocentrism. Growth occurs through pain, and pain and even the fear of death is a blessing.
The pursuit of happiness
a) Many of the ills of the modern world stem from the bloated clause of the Declaration of Independence on the right to pursue happiness. First of all, this right has been turned into a duty, and every person dwells on super-expectations – he must be successful, wealthy, famous, sexy – he must be more successful than others. External goals replace individual internal values.
b) The attitude to the positive forbids us to admit our failures and troubles and, therefore, to change anything in ourselves. The ego remains untouchable in all its greatness and right to universal attention. You need to push to make everything more fantastic, better, more than others.
A person who thinks about whether it is worth ruining their life for the sake of a career, a positive attitude tells him to look at himself in the mirror, see a tough guy there and buy an expensive wheelbarrow.
c) Thus, this eternal desire for happiness fuels the attitude to the positive. A person cannot stop and think whether he needs it. He can’t accept failure as a sign that he is going in the wrong direction. No, still push. Positivity multiplies our worries, and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” eliminates unnecessary concern. You should only worry about the genuine, significant, dear to you.
d) The Law of Reverse Effort (Alan Watts): The harder you strive to get something, the less chance you have, and the more painful the failure. Another philosopher, Albert Camus, warned that chasing the elements of happiness will never be happy, and you will not begin to live while looking for life’s meaning.
e) Stigmatization of negative experiences creates a vicious cycle.
Stigmatization – the assignment of characteristics based on external signs and branding.
If a person believes that anxiety is a bad sign, then, noticing the symptoms of anxiety, he is already worried because of this and feels like a complete loser since he cannot suppress the annoyance of failure.
That’s where the “not given a fuck” comes in. Yeah, you. And the world is full of shit. Has it gotten easier?
f) And if you don’t give a damn, remember: we are all mortal. What will the significance of this cool wheelbarrow or your sexuality and even Enlightenment half a century later?
g) Three subtleties of the art of “I don’t care”:
“not given a fuck” is not indifference. Pofigist doesn’t give a damn about why people are killed “in pursuit of happiness.” But to give a damn about it, you need to have something else that you don’t give a damn about.
Don’t give a damn about your values. Don’t give a damn about the values imposed by consumption and positivity. I don’t give a damn about failure. I don’t give a damn about other people’s opinions.
There’s no hiding from shit. Pick your shit to taste. Speaking beautifully: your battles.
To avoid worrying about nonsense, you need to have more important concerns.
When a person has nothing to do, he swears because of the queue at the cash register.
It’s up to us to choose what to worry about.
In childhood and adolescence, we depend on people and worry about everything. Maturity (if it comes in an infantile world of solid positivity) brings knowing who we are — our strengths and weaknesses — and what not to give a damn.
h) Life consists of problems. You will not see happiness if you deny or hide from problems. If you consider your problems unsolvable, you can only feel sorry for yourself. Happiness is a problem-solving process. This process always creates new problems, but sound problems differ from bad ones in that you choose them. Happiness is determined by freedom of choice.
Young Mark considered himself an unattractive suffocation. He was unhappy as long as he felt sorry for himself, blamed the woman’s demands, or tried to instill a positive attitude in front of the mirror (that is, denied the problem). When he chose another problem – physical fatigue, muscle pain, wasted time – and went to the gym, he found happiness (not because he became handsome and all the ladies fell at his feet, but because he chose the problem himself).
i) Failures, disappointments, and pain are necessary elements of life (and happiness). Don’t worry about them being in your life. Suffering is an important survival mechanism. And negative emotions are also a survival mechanism built into us by evolution. This is a signal indicating that there is a problem.
The positive side of negative emotions
a) “not given a fuck” may seem similar to the attitude to the positive because he also sees “good in bad.” A significant difference is that “not given a fuck” according to Manson, does not call to look for the positive in a situation of failure or disappointment but teaches us to see the benefits of negative emotions, that is, from experiencing these situations. When we look at our negative emotions, we become aware of our values, adjust them, and begin to grow. Without the pain that negative emotions cause us, growth is impossible.
b) The cardinal problem of modern man is the inability to understand himself. Mostly, “self-knowledge” and “self-improvement” courses exacerbate this problem. You must remove many layers to know yourself, repeatedly asking the same questions. First of all, “How am I feeling right now?”
Identifying a negative emotion is difficult because we were set up for a positive. Many people find it challenging to admit resentment, disappointment, or anger – it’s like admitting they are a failure. Often we replace “bad” emotions with those that present us in a better light.
c) When an emotion – grief, anger, dissatisfaction with oneself – is correctly named, it is necessary to ask a question about the source of the feeling, and when the head is established, ask yourself why this situation causes such emotions that are, based on what values and criteria I define it as negative.
The founder of a startup diagnoses disappointment, a sense of failure. Where does this feeling come from? The company’s profit was lower than he expected, judging by other people’s success stories. That is, the criterion of success for him, in all likelihood, needs to be corrected: profit, and not the quality or novelty of the product, his interest in the business, the benefits brought to people, etc.
In addition, the relative criterion – comparison with someone else’s success – is dangerous and leads away from individual assessment and from what is controlled by us. The value behind his emotion is success, and this value can also be revised. The value should be a success rather than an opportunity to be realized. Or the priority should be relationships with people, time spent on family, scientific research, etc.
d) Main problems with our values and criteria:
• We are not aware of what values we are striving for.
• We do not understand the criteria by which we judge our (un)success.
• Our values are not ours (we want “like everyone else,” “what everyone wants”).
• Our criteria are neither absolute nor individual; we do not so much assess our situation as compare ourselves with other people.
• Our values and criteria are beyond our control; we are at any time losers “for reasons beyond our control.”
Having found a “negative emotion” in yourself, you need to search for the source, realize your values and criteria, adjust the values, move from “generally accepted” to personal, and criteria – from comparative to absolute.
e) The same situation can be perceived as positive or negative depending on our values and the criteria we evaluate ourselves. Problems are inevitable, but the meaning of the problem can be controlled and corrected. Many problems stem from the wrong values — I want to be someone I don’t need to be, I want to have something that doesn’t make me happy — and I feel like a failure if I can’t achieve what I want. Until I understand: this is the goal I do not need to strive for. The wrong values are compounded by comparison.
Manson cites the true stories of two musicians: both were kicked out of the band when it began its ascent. He first created his successful group, and all his life felt unhappy because, having earned millions, he still did not surpass his “enemies.” The second achieved little but got a family, a home, spent leisure time with children and friends – and was completely satisfied.
f) Most false values are instilled in us by the modern world.
•Pleasure. Advertised as a source of happiness, something we “deserve”; in different forms (alcohol, sex, shopping) is used as an analgesic. But pleasure is a byproduct of happiness, not its source. The law of reverse effort reminds us that the pursuit of pleasure or the requirement to enjoy every minute is a sure way to lose pleasure. And when pleasure drowns out the pain of failure, they deprive themselves of the right way to gain value and grow.
•The money. Of course, for those living in poverty, material security would not hurt. But in the countries of the first world, an extra million does not add happiness – but it breeds envy, encourages to work for wear and tear, replacing human values with status ones.
• Constant correctness. First, it is human nature to make mistakes and strive to be always right; you will deceive yourself and spend all your strength on it. Secondly, it is a false need for superiority over other people. And finally, whoever is always right stops growing.
• Positive attitude. Yes, we are taught that. Failures, betrayal of loved ones, losses – there is a good side to everything. But in fact, negative emotions are a healthy reaction. Hiding from problems, maniacally invigorating when you feel bad – and not growing, because a person grows only through pain – is a positive attitude.
Clinging to the positive, we deny problems, depriving ourselves of genuine happiness – to solve a problem and overcome difficulties.
Negative emotions indicate that we cannot realize our values or have chosen the wrong ones.
g) Correct values are based on reality, socially constructive, and verifiable. If any of these conditions are missing, the value is false.
Popularity is a false value because it is not controllable, does not correlate with reality (not connected with a person’s real qualities), and does not give anything to society. Bad values include power for the sake of power (based on manipulation or violence), sex for the sake of sex, constant rightness and constant positivity, and wealth for the sake of wealth.
False values are the absolutization of something good in itself. Sex, rightness, popularity, and money are not bad at all – until it becomes an end in themselves. Usually, false values depend on external conditions, and to achieve them, it is necessary to use bad means.
h) Calling for the abandonment of false values of rightness, positivity, and status, “not given a fuck” offers in return the difficult and underestimated values of responsibility, uncertainty, pain, self-restraint, and human mortality.
Responsibility: Selection and Control
a) Responsibility is at the heart of all values, as true values are verifiable. If we claim that some value is beyond our control, we are witnessing that this value is not true (or ours). From this, it follows: you must take responsibility for your problems. People often evade responsibility by confusing it with guilt. The problem may not arise through your fault, but you are responsible for what you do with or out of it.
Even in such extreme situations as congenital disability, when a person can not be “guilty” if he takes responsibility for his life, he can be happy (and famous and help many people) like Nick Vujicic.
b) It is not a person’s fault that he was born with a disease, had a difficult childhood, belongs to an oppressed minority, was in an accident, was attacked, and lives in a poor country with a bad government. But the modern fashion for the victim position encourages blame-shifting, and social networks play a significant role here. This brings relief and strengthens the sense of being right.
Journalist Ryan Holiday created the term “pornography of indignation”: instead of real problems, the media throw provocative newsbreaks, causing anger among some readers, and secondary resentment in others, dissatisfaction with their indignation. “Throwing shit on the fan” increases the polarization in society and the willingness to grieve.
d) Responsibility covers not the external (which does not depend on us) but what depends on us and what can only be considered true value. We are responsible for choosing how to treat the situation and what to do. Choice and responsibility are mutually implicit in each other: we are responsible only for what we have chosen, and if we accept responsibility, we have the freedom of choice.
The choice is difficult, but it brings true happiness. Any objectively useful and reasonable thing loses its attractiveness without free choice. The same child who weeps over a math assignment enthusiastically solves puzzles in a computer game. Sports, relationships, work – all this is our choice (and if not ours, then you can not count on either success or happiness).
e) Often, the difference between a good problem and a bad one is reduced only to a choice: we choose a good problem for ourselves, and a bad one is imposed on us from the outside.
f) Awareness of one’s responsibility for the attitude to the situation and choice is frightening: a person understands that many of his values were false, he built wrong relationships with people and the world, it is necessary to live differently – but how to change? How do you learn to choose?
The answer is simple: every minute, we choose what to take care of and what to strive for. We need to change the object of care.
The answer is complicated because changing the object of care, that is, the system of values, abandoning what we valued only yesterday, we will undoubtedly feel like losers (why did we waste so much time in vain?), we will lose friends and quarrels in the family, we will lose self-confidence (if the old values turned out to be false, suddenly the new ones are also not the same?).
Such disorientation is very painful, mainly because we used to consider self-confidence one of our values. It turns out that uncertainty is another paradoxical value of “don’t give a fuck”.
Disclaimer of Confidence
a) People have been taught to believe in themselves since the Enlightenment. Without self-belief, success is supposedly impossible. And even those values that “I don’t care kind of people” recognize – self-realization, for example – how can we do without faith in ourselves? The trouble is that self-belief, the ability to listen to yourself, is not identical to constant rightness.
b) Our perceptions may well be erroneous (and they are not always ours). The human mind is inclined to look for meaning and system in everything and therefore complements what is seen or remembered with details, completing the picture and adjusting the facts to the theory.
A few centuries ago, it was believed that the Sun revolves around the Earth and believed in favor of bloodletting. Which of our truths will seem equally strange a century later?
c) One of the most dangerous tricks of the mind is the bias error: facts are colored by the current point of view. It’s easier to think that our beliefs and attitudes have “always” been like this. If experience and present conflict, our brain generates false memories to hold on to the meaning found.
My husband should have run the errand. Depending on the family dynamics, this is interpreted as “the egoist does not think about me and the children at all” or as “the poor guy was tortured by the boss, because usually he does everything for us.”
Society imposes on us a specific system of ideas and even memories: another flash mob encourages us to “remember” the violence experienced.
d) Life is a growth process; we move from wrong to less wrong. Growth is done through pain. Negative emotions encourage us to reconsider our values, take responsibility, give uprightness, and change something. It’s like a scientific search: we will never find the ultimate truth. Our values are not absolute; they can be compared with hypotheses and choices with an experiment, but if in science we come to general conclusions, then in life, we come to an individual result.
From childhood, we learn that “life is arranged in a certain way” affects our values and choices. If a woman is convinced that the main value is to marry successfully, and they take marriage only with certain external data, losing these beliefs will be very painful, but only this will give her freedom. If a man is convinced that happiness is in career growth, and for this, you need to plow around the clock. The pain of a lost relationship awaits him – then he may reconsider his values.
e) The law of reverse effort also works here: pursuing confidence drives us into uncertainty and despair. Opening up to our ignorance, we gain at least one confidence: we cannot be sure of anything. At the same time, we gain humility, abandon stereotypes, and stop judging ourselves and others. Other people have every right to be “not like that” because we are “not like” what we were and will be.
Our values are not absolute, not perfect, and not final. When I realize this, instead of guilt and self-condemnation, there is freedom of choice – to reconsider values and understand that personally, it is not success in work that is more important to me, but travel.
f) Uncertainty is the first step to growth. We will only find new values once we doubt the current ones and do not gain freedom until we realize that we can be mistaken about the values that have been so dear to us. It hurts because doubts about one’s rightness and values undermine a jealously guarded identity.
Manson’s Law: The more something threatens your identity, the more desperately you resist it.
Identities are threatened not only by failure. Suppose a person accustomed to considering himself an unpretentious hard worker receives money that provides luxury and leisure. In that case, he faces no less breakdown than if he had to doubt his conscientiousness.
g) Methods that call for “looking for oneself” and “knowing oneself” are dangerous precisely because they consolidate a hard-won and narrow definition of oneself. You can not freeze in some once and for all accepted role – the search and struggle with yourself continues throughout life. “not given a fuck” calls to renounce the image of your “I” from the usual “story about yourself.”
The image of a selfless wife makes it difficult to think about whether it is necessary to save the marriage. The habit of being a party-goer stifles the dream of a family. Having “known himself” as an unrecognized creator, a person will not dare to bring his creations to the public – failure and success are equally painful since they destroy the narrow and fragile identity of the “unknown to the world.”
h) Nothing is unique about our problems – this knowledge is liberating. Believing in one’s uniqueness— in both the good and the bad (“all the bumps fall on my head”) is narcissism, one of those mind tricks that need to be overcome. Look for the broadest possible definition – “wife,” “friend,” “writer” – and not “a selfless wife whom no one appreciates, “a friend who can cheer up a dead company,” “the author of such and such masterpieces.” The broader the definition, the easier it is to correct it, and believing in one’s uniqueness turns into the same drug as resentment.
i) Test your confidence by asking yourself the following questions:
• What if I’m wrong?
What is the nature of my mistake, and what does it say about me?
• Will admitting I’m wrong to exacerbate the problems, or will it partially remove them?
These questions correlate with the criteria of true values.
I Accept You, Failure!
a) The main lesson of “I don’t give a fuck” is: failure is a chance to gain true values. We live in a society set up for “glossy” success – while overlooking that success is the fruit of a thousand failures.
Without referring to the textbook examples of the Edison light bulb, the invention of which took thousands of experiments, it is enough to look at how the baby learns to walk. No matter how often he falls, he won’t say, “No, walking upright is not for me.”
b) To make sense of failure, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my values true?
- Are the criteria by which I measure my progress true?
If the answer is no, then failure is a failure only in terms of false values or inaccurate criteria that must be corrected. If the answer is positive, then failure prompts you to reconsider your beliefs, make a choice, and continue the process.
c) Chasing goals that lie beyond our control only torments with anxiety. Like the pursuit of worthy goals if we expect to “achieve and calm down.” True values are not the outcome but part of the process.
Good values are internal and controlled by a person. That is a matter of choice. But the choice is not a one-off. If a person is realized in creativity, the value is not in reaching the top but then hacking. At each stage, the realization is again chosen.
d) We encounter something heavier than failure – suffering and loss. You can’t hide from the pain and silence it with the drug of resentment, shifting guilt. First, you need to take responsibility – not for the cause of the pain, but for your position and choice. Even tragedy is a lesson if we accept suffering as part of growth rather than as a senseless punishment.
The father of ancient Greek tragedy, Aeschylus, argued suffering is a lesson. Through pain, a person knows himself, his place on Earth, and his responsibility.
e) With new values comes a new pain. What to do with the pain? Embrace it, cherish it, learn its lesson, and grow —and act despite the pain. One of the problems of pain is fear and inertia. A person is inactive because he is afraid of even more pain.
Young Manson’s experience: Left unemployed after college, he revised his values and realized he wanted to work independently outside someone else’s system. But acting on these values and criteria — building his website — was hampered by fear of pain and “lack of inspiration” until he remembered the advice of a high school math teacher: “If you don’t know how to solve a problem, do something.”
f) “Doing something” is the key to restoring motivation. Failure will lose power over you if the main criterion for success is to do something today. You will overcome procrastination and gain new values (the value of your daily choices, the ability to revise your beliefs and adjust your path).
Action is not only a consequence of motivation but also its source. You can start from anywhere in a continuous motivation, action, and inspiration cycle.
Freedom and Death
a) Another deception of modern society is “freedom.” Pursuing happiness is understood as a refusal to limit oneself, as a “right” to receive more and more. But there is no sense in this and very little happiness.
An excess of opportunities turns even shopping into a torment. And how do you choose a job, a place of residence, a wife – after all, you must abandon all other options?
b) The “pursuit of happiness” makes a person unhappy, not allowing him to stop at any choice. But to add something else to the abundance – to see a hundredth country, to sleep with a hundredth woman, to buy another villa – does not mean to become happier. It’s time for radical self-restraint — one wife, one country, one thing.
Freedom is ensured by fidelity to one’s choice. We give up on the superfluous – and our chances of achieving true personal values increase. At the same time, we eliminate the fear of missing out on a more profitable option: if you have found a good one for yourself, why miss it in the pursuit of “even better”?
c) A special case of self-limitation is relationships. It is important not only to find lovers and friends but also to abandon all others. Only complete honesty and mutual trust give meaning to the relationship, and close relationships should be limited, preventing codependency from escalating into codependency and destroying boundaries.
It’s easier to give in to a dominant partner to avoid conflict. It’s easier to hide some of your sins. It’s easier to tell your wife that the outfit is to her face than to upset her and wait for her to change her clothes. But these trade-offs provide momentary “pleasure” – at the expense of long-term “happiness.”
d) And finally, our main limiter is death. Unlike animals, man can abstract and imagine himself in other situations, including imagining his death. The fear of non-existence prompts us to create certain “projects of immortality,” as psychologist and thinker Ernest Becker called it. We live in eternal anxiety; we suppress each other with our “projects of immortality” and fight over them; we create masterpieces, give birth to children and accumulate wealth for them – and when the next “project of immortality” collapses, we fall into despair.
e) In the terminology of “not given a fuck”, “projects of immortality” are “values.” The very values that are subject to revision. At the end of his life, Becker concluded that “projects” are a problem, not a solution. The solution is to get used to the inevitability of our death. This “bitter antidote” will restore our freedom and allow us to choose values without being guided only by the instinct to “prolong ourselves” and not impose them on the world.
Mark Manson faced the experience of death at the age of 19: his closest friend Josh drowned during a party, saying before that: “Look for the truth yourself, and there I will meet you.” It was a joke — a parody of thoughtful statements. But the joke turned into a parting message.
After going through depression and loss of meaning (if death is so close and sudden, what’s the point of doing anything), Mark suddenly realized there was no point in grieving death if you were afraid to live. And if you stumble upon the fact that there is no point in doing anything, then there is no point in NOT doing anything. And since we all die, we can treat fear, embarrassment, and shame with “I don’t Care,” avoiding unpleasant sensations; he did not live at 19. Then – as in the standard book “self-help”:
- The gym
- The rejection of weed and computer games
- An informative book daily
- Preparation for university
- The first adult relationship
Only one thing distinguishes this story from the glossy positivist mood: there was nothing good in death and fear. But they prompted the revision of all values and the rejection of nonsense.
An uninhibited book, written by a young man rebelling against an established consumer culture, takes us to a place we did not expect to be, turning the first pages. Mark concludes his narrative at the Cape of Good Hope, at the end of the world, leaning on the abyss — accepting his mortality.
One must comprehend one’s mortality to become a pofigist*– abandon superficial values from pursuing money and popularity.
To come to terms with your mortality, you need – again – to detach yourself from the inflated self, to realize yourself as part of a larger one, as part of the process. The source of happiness belongs to something outside of one’s limited life.
Self-centeredness focuses all attention on oneself. It’s even nice – my suffering or success seems unique and at the center of the universe. However, self-centeredness isolates us from others, blocking our ability to listen and be compassionate. A spoiled person, who no longer has to take care of basic needs, behaves infantilely: he refuses responsibility, imposes his views on everyone, and is ready for violence in the name of “ideals” but is offended if his subtle feelings are not spared.
The illusion of superiority is inseparable from the fear of failure. A person from a young age does not agree to be ordinary and average, but he does not dare to act: it turns out that he has claims to greatness, not hitting his finger on his finger.
But greatness is not in success, popularity, mega-fantasies, wealth, or a “positive attitude.” Each person’s greatness is not to give up a choice in the face of inevitable death. Don’t be afraid. Choose and implement your life values.
Everything else, except for shisha, is not worthwhile, so Don’t give a fuck.
* “pofigist” is a Russian slang word that comes from the phrase “мне плевать” (mne plevat’), which means “I don’t care.” It describes a person who is apathetic, indifferent or doesn’t care about things.
F.A.Q. about “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson
What is the main concept behind “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson?
The self-help book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” promotes a paradoxical lifestyle. Manson believes accepting life’s hardships and pain is more important than positive thinking and happiness. We can live happier by picking what matters and letting go of the rest.
How does Mark Manson suggest readers prioritize their values and concerns?
Manson says we only have so many “fucks” in life, so we must choose what matters. He advises readers to identify their good and unhealthy values. Unhealthy values are unreal, uncontrollable, and socially destructive. We can live a more meaningful life by focusing on healthy ideals and reducing the impact of irrelevant issues.
What is the role of personal responsibility in “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”?
Manson emphasizes personal responsibility. Regardless of external conditions, people are accountable for their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Accepting this responsibility helps us make better choices, overcome obstacles, and build resilience. Manson also believes owning our issues is the first step to fixing them.
How does the author address the concept of failure in the book?
Manson says failure is inevitable and necessary. He advises readers to consider failure a learning experience rather than a threat. We can build the abilities and resilience to thrive by accepting failure and its unpleasantness. Manson stresses that success without failure is unattainable and unsatisfying.
Can “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” be applied to relationships and personal connections?
“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” applies to relationships and personal connections. Manson emphasizes creating boundaries and assertively expressing wants and wishes. Hence, we can maintain respectful, understanding relationships. The author also believes long-term relationships must tolerate our partners’ shortcomings. Instead of seeking external affirmation, the book encourages us to prioritize our ideals and meaningful relationships.
Quotes from “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”
“Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.”
“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
“You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact.”
“We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change.”
“The person you marry is the person you fight with. The house you buy is the house you repair. The dream job you take is the job you stress over. Everything comes with an inherent sacrifice—whatever makes us feel good will also inevitably make us feel bad.”
“The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.”
“We are defined more by the sum of our choices than by our abilities.”
“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”
“The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement.”
“The ability to let go of our preconceptions and see the world as it really is, rather than as we want it to be, is key to becoming a better thinker.”
Disclaimer: This blog post is a summary or resume of the book and is not intended to dispense the reading of the original book. This post aims to provide a general overview of the book’s main ideas and themes and encourage readers to read the complete book to gain a deeper understanding of the material. The information presented in this post is intended to be something other than a substitute for the original book and should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, the entire book. We strongly encourage readers to read the complete book to benefit from its ideas and teachings fully.