The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson

We are constantly reminded of people’s opinions of us. It can be well-intentioned expectations from our family and friends or non-constructive criticisms from complete strangers. With the prevalence of social media, it not only opens up a floodgate to others’ opinions of our publicized thoughts but it also shows a glimpse of how others are doing in their lives. The effects of this can be harmless and at times even beneficial, however, it is when we give others’ opinions too much weight or use people’s life updates as a measurement to compare ourselves against where it can become extremely detrimental.

Focus on What’s Meaningful to You

To not give a fuck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action.

There are always things that can be better, which naturally means there are always problems that we can solve. With all the problems that we have, it can feel overwhelming at times with our limited time and energy. So narrow down on what is important and meaningful to you for you to focus on.

Another key to getting less bothered by problems is the ability to put things into perspective. Many problems we face are upgraded problems that other people are dealing with. Not having healthy food options can be seen as an upgraded problem of not having enough food to eat. Not having enough food to eat can be seen as an upgraded problem of struggling to find food to stay off of starvation. These are all very important problems that are worth solving, but the point is that the mindset you have can greatly affect your experience in working through that problem.

The more things that you care about, the more things that can affect you. So make sure to “give a fuck” to what is truly meaningful to you.

Our Struggles Determine Our Success

Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can bench press a small house.

This is my favorite line of the book. To be great in any industry, the work is done in your preparation. For example, to be an NBA star player, it’s not only about enjoying playing basketball games. There are numerous people in the world that not only enjoy playing basketball but also have the talent to go along with it. However, the NBA players that stand out in the league are those who are willing to struggle through the process of dedicating thousands of hours in the gym to perfect their craft and their conditioning, analyzing game tapes to see what can be done better, studying and understanding plays, and the list goes on.

The work involved in the preparation is oftentimes redundant and even boring. You don’t have to enjoy every or even any part of it, but you need to be willing to sustain it. So if you want to be great at a given profession, it’s not only about considering the performance aspect of it but also thinking about whether you are willing to put in and sustain the work required. The work you put into night in and night out will determine who you become, so choose and develop the habits that will lead you to where you want to go.

Summary

Mark Mason teaches important lessons on how to focus on what’s meaningful to lead a happier life. I didn’t enjoy the book because I was already familiar with the key takeaways. However, Mark is engaging in the way he writes and the content can be very beneficial for those who feel overwhelmed by the problems they are facing. Here’s where you can get the book if you are interested.

Have you read this book? And is there any book you would recommend? I’ll love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

I’m currently reading Upheaval by Jared Diamond.