The subtle art of not giving a f*ck 

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Book Author: Mark Manson

My thoughts:

This book showed up in my Insta feed and I decided to give it a read, at the beginning of 2022.

To begin with, there is an extremely generous use of the F word throughout the book. Mark has it sprinkled in as many sentences as he possibly could. If you find that offensive, don’t pick up the book.

I found the first half – unlike other self-help books I’ve read – filled with nuggets of tough love and truth bombs. The second half of the book was not too different from what you’ll read in any other self-help book. Towards the end, I found it extremely boring and a slow read. In fact, I had a hard time finishing up the book.

Quotes from the book:

  • The desire for a more positive experience is in itself a negative experience.
  • The acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.
  • Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.
  • Life is an endless series of problems. Hope for a life full of good problems.
  • True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.
  • Everything comes with an inherent sacrifice-whatever makes us feel good will also make us feel bad.
  • What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?
  • Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.
  • The truth is that there’s no such thing as a personal problem. If you have a problem chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future. It just means you’re not special.
  • A lot of people are afraid to accept mediocrity because they believe that if they accept it, they’ll never achieve anything, never improve, and their life won’t matter.
  • The acknowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish without judgment or lofty expectations.
  • If you’re miserable in your current situation, chances are it’s because you feel like some part of it is outside your control – that there’s a problem you have no ability to solve, a problem that was somehow thrust upon you without your choosing.
  • When we feel like we are choosing our problems we feel empowered. You are always choosing.
  • Don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius. Choose to measure yourself not as some horrible victim or dismal failure. Instead, measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator.
  • This often means giving up some grandiose ideas about yourself: that you’re uniquely intelligent, or spectacularly talented, or intimidatingly attractive, or especially victimized in ways other people could never imagine. 
  • If it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really just you versus yourself.
  • Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes.
  • If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head.
  • Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.
  • We are defined by what we choose to reject.

Do something and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating.

MARk manson

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