The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck - No Cost Library

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck 

   Author(s): Mark Manson  
                                            Publisher: Harper, Year: 2018                                           
 Description: 


Finding something important and meaningful in your life is the most productive use of your time and energy. This is true because every life has problems associated with it and finding meaning in your life will help you sustain the effort needed to overcome the particular problems you face. Thus, we can say that the key to living a good life is not giving a fuck about more things, but rather, giving a fuck only about the things that align with your personal values.

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Book Review:

This is my book review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. My notes are casual and also include quotations as well as my own reflections from the novel. Main lessons and relevant excerpts from the book are also part of this review.

Conventional self-help advice that tells you to imagine success and think about the sort of person you want to only reinforce the belief that that thing is not you.
Everyone wants you to believe that having a nicer career or a better car or a prettier girlfriend is the key to a good life.

Not giving a fuck about more is the secret to a good life; it's giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck only about what is real and immediate and important.

We are not facing a material crisis anymore. We've got a lot of tools: TVs, clothing, and goods that we don't need. There is an existential and metaphysical dilemma that we face. We've got so many things and so many possibilities that we no longer know what to give a fuck about.

Because there's an infinite number of things that we can see or know now, there's an infinite number of ways that we can discover that we're not measuring up, that we're not good enough, that things aren't as great as they might be.

A negative experience is itself the search for a more positive experience. And, paradoxically, a positive experience is itself the recognition of one's negative experience.

Pursuing something just confirms that, in the first place, you ignore it.

Accepting your perception of life as being amazing and wonderful is the single best thing you can do for your happiness.

"If you try to strive for what happiness consists of, you will never be happy. If you are searching for the meaning of life, you will never survive.' -Albert Camus

Anything worthwhile in life is won by surmounting the associated negative experience.

If you can't give a fuck about the suffering your objectives need, then you're going to be invincible.

The occasions when we don't give a fuck and take action are always the moments that shape the course of our lives the most.

You are going to die someday. All you know will be dying soon. And in your short life you just have a certain amount of fucks to offer.

Perhaps the biggest and most significant challenge in life is learning how to concentrate and prioritise your thoughts effectively based on finely honed personal values.

Subtlety # 1: It is not about being indifferent to not give a fuck. It basically implies that you are comfortable with being different. Don't say fuck all of it in life, just the unimportant stuff.

Subtlety # 2: You must first think about something more meaningful than adversity in order not to give a fuck about adversity.

Subtlety # 3: You always choose what to give a fuck about, whether you realise it or not. The trick is to progressively prune the things you care about, so that, on the most critical of occasions, you just give a fuck.

When a person has no problems, the mind automatically finds a way to invent some.

I believe what most people think "life problems" are really just side effects of not having something more important to worry about, especially educated, pampered middle-class white people.

It is perhaps the most productive use of your time and energy to find something important and meaningful in your life.

It's all right that things suck some of the time.

The act of being relaxed with the fact that certain suffering is often inevitable is practical enlightenment.

When it is performed without intent, there's no meaning in misery.

Don't wish for a life without problems. The dream of a life full of good problems.

Problems never end. They are merely swapped or upgraded.

In addressing issues, satisfaction is sought, not avoiding them.

True happiness happens only when you find and enjoy solving the problems you enjoy having. Happiness is wanting the problems you have and wanting to solve them.

Emotions are just biological signals that are programmed to drive you in the direction of positive change.

A indication that something is going unaddressed is negative feelings. A call to action, they are. The incentive for taking the right action is optimistic feelings.

Since they are not always right, we should doubt our emotions.

Don't bother yourself exactly what you want from life. Wanting success and glory and happiness and great sex is easy. Everybody wants the stuff. A far more important question that you need to ask yourself is, "What kind of pain do I want?" A greater determinant of how our lives work out is what you are willing to fight for.

You can not actually be in love with the outcome. Everybody loves the outcome. You've got to love that method.

The climb to the top is an endless upward spiral with new concerns constantly surfacing and new techniques that you have to fall in love with. You should never quit climbing, because the whole point is to enjoy climbing. If you ever stop loving climbing, it will never bring success.

Self-esteem is, on its own, overrated. If you have a legitimate reason for feeling that way, it does not help to feel legitimate about yourself. The battle makes self-esteem, not the participation medal, useful.

In their seriousness or discomfort, the concerns are not privileged. In your pain, you are not special.

The further open we are to opposing points of view, the more irritated we seem to get that there are certain other points of view. This seems like a natural development to me because people did not have as much chance of running into ideas that clashed with their own before the internet and our hyper-connected modern world. Alternate views are much more likely to cross the radar screen today.

Most of us at most things we do are pretty normal. Even if you're exceptional at one thing, at most other things, chances are you're average or below average.

Our lives today are packed with data from the peaks of human experience's bell curve. The best of the best, the worst of the worst, and the most troubling of the worst. Since it is what generates sales, we just see the most outstanding news items. When it comes to comparison, this is a real challenge because you can only be outstanding in one thing and in virtually everything else, you would be below average. That makes playing a very dangerous game by contrast.

The issue is that the pervasiveness of technology and mass marketing is undermining many of the aspirations of people for themselves.

One of the most pervasive narratives in our society regarding masculinity is that sex is the most important thing a man can obtain, and to get it, it's worth sacrificing almost everything. (Interestingly, one of the dominant female narratives relates to this, which is that the only thing a woman can be is beautiful.)

By assuming that they are ordinary and concentrating on enhancement, people who are extraordinary become that way. By assuming that you are exceptional, you do not become exceptional.

The more awkward the answer is, the more likely it is to be valid.

Problems are unavoidable, but versatile is what they say. Based on how we decide to think about them and how we want to measure them, we are able to control what our concerns mean to us. The way we evaluate accomplishment affects how we interpret the challenges we face.

"Pleasure is a deceitful deity. Research shows that people end up more nervous, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed when they concentrate their attention on material pleasures. The most trivial type of life satisfaction is enjoyment, so it is the easiest to gain and the easiest to lose.

People who base their self-worth on being correct about something stop learning from their mistakes by themselves.

"One day, the years of hardship, in retrospect, will strike you as the most beautiful."

People who are scared of what others think of them are in fact scared of all the negative things they think are reflected back on them.

When we know like our issues are being selected, we feel motivated. We feel victimised and miserable because we feel like our issues are being pushed upon us against our will.

Whatever happens to us, we don't always manage it. But we still monitor how, as well as how we react, we perceive what happens to us.

The first step to addressing them is taking accountability for our issues.

Many people refuse to take responsibility for their problems because they think it is also the fault of your problems to be responsible for your problems. It's not real. We are responsible for interactions which, all the time, are not our fault. It's part of living here.

People will also argue for who is responsible for happiness and prosperity. But it's much more important to take responsibility for our concerns, because that's where real learning comes from.

Development is a process that is endlessly iterative. We do not go from "wrong" to "right" when we discover something new. Instead, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. We shouldn't try to find for ourselves the ultimate "right" answer, but rather, we should try to chip away at the ways we're wrong today so that tomorrow we can be a little less wrong.

Certainty is growth 's enemy.

All values are incorrect, some are only less incorrect than others.

Baumeister's counterintuitive insight about evil: some of the worst offenders always felt good about themselves. Low self-esteem has not always been connected to evil behaviour.

The more you want to be certain about a specific problem, the more you will feel confused and nervous.

The more you tolerate being confused and not understanding, the more you can feel relaxed understanding what you don't know.

Nothing is discovered by a man who thinks he knows everything.

The Rule of Avoidance by Manson: The more your identity is challenged by something, the more you will avoid it. The more you see yourself being confronted by something, the more you can stop getting around to doing it.

If I believe that I am a good person, I will avoid circumstances that could contradict that belief. If I think I'm an amazing chef, I'll look for ways to prove that.


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