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Free Book Summary - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*

Posted on 1/19/2023, 9:27:07 AM

Do you find yourself worrying about everything

Do you play the “What if?” game with yourself, second guessing every decision, or playing out every negative scenario that could happen in your life?

If so, then maybe it’s time that you just stop giving a fuck. Seriously.

Author Mark Manson has some tips on how to have a happier, more productive life that is better for you and those around you. Here are some of the big points from his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck…

The big picture summary: You can’t focus on everything

The main points of this book are:

Because everything worthwhile is a struggle, you have to find something worth struggling for. When you find it, you should put all of your focus into that.

Stop running in circles around the things that don’t make you happy and set goals that reflect your true values. If it’s not worth struggling for, stop paying attention to it.

Get out of the victim mentality and learn from your failures so you can do better next time.

And live in the present, like Buddhism teaches, because grasping for the future is just as futile as living in the past.

Now let’s take a closer look at what these points really mean:

● Everything worthwhile is a struggle.

Looking for an easy life is essentially a lost cause. The easier things are, the lower your income and quality of life become. And let’s be honest, being poor sure isn’t easy either!

● You’re going to have to work for what you want.

You want the income and lifestyle of a CEO? Be prepared to work long hours.

You want to be an author? Be prepared to put in the time and listen to editors’ critiques.

You want to be like those famous YouTubers? Be prepared to work on filming, editing, and sharing videos every day. Those who put in the work are the ones who have success, and that goes for pretty much any life path you choose.

● You don’t have time for everything.

You’re going to have struggles. So you might as well choose the struggles that really matter.

● Know how to set the right goals.

Setting the right goals is about selecting good values to believe in. Take valuing pleasure, for instance. At first, it sounds like valuing pleasure would lead you to happiness. We’re typically happy when we experience something pleasurable, right?

The problem is that if you focus your goals around pleasure, you actually don’t end up happy. Because chasing pleasure can lead you to lose things you may actually value even more. For instance, delicious food is pleasurable. But if you eat too much of the wrong foods because they taste good, you lose your health and physical appearance.

● Chasing pleasure usually leads to less happiness.

Sex is pleasurable. But if you engage in it recklessly, you put at risk both your health and your relationships.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek out pleasurable experiences. But it does mean that pleasure needs to be balanced by weightier values in your life.

● You can’t measure your own happiness based on other people’s metrics.

So if everyone else at your office is eating a giant cupcake, and you value health and weight maintenance, what do you do? You don’t give a fuck about what everyone else is having! You stop measuring your own happiness based on what everyone else is getting, and instead focus on your values and what you want.

● You have to get out of the victim mentality.

A lot of people fall into the trap of the victim mentality. Basically, it means that when things don’t go your way, you blame some outside circumstance. Let’s take a look at that office scenario again.

If you’re stuck in the victim mentality, then when everyone passes around cupcakes at the office, you go ahead and join in even though you know you set goals to lose weight. But the next week when you step on the scale and your weight has gone up instead of down, you blame circumstances instead of taking responsibility for your own choices.

● It’s easy to make excuses, but remember, easy isn’t happy.

You might bemoan the fact that people keep bringing junk food into work. Or that you didn’t have time to prepare healthy snacks ahead of time. Or that your boss stresses you out so much you just need some sugar. But the truth is that none of those circumstances change the fact that you are the only one in control of your values, your goals, and the decisions you make in order to reach them.

● What other people think has nothing to do with your values and goals.

Now you may say to yourself, but what will my co-workers think if I don’t join in while they all eat cupcakes? The answer:

Who gives a fuck?

Is your goal to be healthy and at a maintainable weight, or to make your co-workers happy all the time? Happy co-workers are great, but the truth is that you ultimately don’t have any control over their happiness.

● Living in the present moment makes you happier...

Your life is finite. But just as judging your achievements against other people’s achievements and desires is futile, so is judging what you do now on the potential for leaving a legacy.

Many people try to take on “immortality projects” so that some part of themselves can live on after their death. Unfortunately, living your life in this way mostly just leads to stress and anxiety. Instead of worrying about what will be remembered about you when you’re gone, focus your energy on spreading positivity while you’re here.

● And is better for society.

The drive to “make a mark” is what has led to many of the world’s wars, as different people’s egos fight to shape their world to their vision.

The key takeaway is, set your intentions on the few great things you want. And don’t give a fuck about anything else.

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