First of all, I love books that challenge my way of thinking. Books that make me stop and think: “What if I’ve been wrong all this time?” I don’t normally read self-help books but something (the title?) tells me that this book is different, so, mainly out of curiosity, I decided to read it. After finishing it I can conclude that it is more than just a book with a catchy title. It’s got so many good points that I’ve lost track of how many lines I highlighted. Below I break down some points that I’ve considered important from this book:
- This book is about choosing what to give a fuck about—because there is no such thing about not giving a fuck about everything, we all must give a fuck about something. It’s essentially about learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively—how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values.
- Choose your values and metrics of success wisely. Good and healthy values are achieved internally: things like honesty, innovation, self-respect, charity, humility. Meanwhile, bad values are generally reliant on external events—like being Instagram famous, hanging out at a trendy place every weekend, or just being told that you’re right all the time.
- The vast majority of your life is unextraordinary, and that’s okay. The flood of information in recent technology allows this new “condition” that being exceptional is the new normal, while the vast majority of life is quite average. People who truly are exceptional at something are not so because they believe they’re exceptional—it’s because they realize that they are indeed mediocre and average and they could be so much better—and to achieve that they need continuous improvement.
- Rather than striving to be “right” all the time, we should seek to chip away at the ways that we’re wrong so that we can be a little less wrong tomorrow. Improvement is not going from “wrong” to “right” but from wrong to slightly less wrong, day after day.
- Embrace pain and failure because not only they are inevitable, they are also necessary for life.
- Don’t be afraid to fail—if we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed. We are constantly exposed to success story after success story in the mass media, but they do not show the thousands of hours of dull practice and tedium, and the amount of failures—that were required to achieve that success.
- True happiness comes from caring about and contributing to something greater than yourself.
“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.”
If anyone asks me who recommended this book to me I’d answer: it was Chris Hemsworth. He did recommend this book via an Instagram post. That COUNTS. Haha.
I like the examples the author provided to help him explain his points, especially when they are derived from history. There are some parts of the book that I found inapplicable to my own life, which is understandable because of the social, economic, and cultural differences between the author and me. Do I think this book necessary? Yes. Because we need the brutal honesty it offers, in order to be honest to ourselves—to get rid of all the entitlements and the pressure from mass media and our surroundings, and only then we can do the actual work.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
224 pages, published 2016 by HarperOne
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥