Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, By Mark Manson
This book starts out with a bang and doesn’t stop. For the soul savvy crew, it’s going to be loved for its humor alongside its mega truths, both given in ample doses. One problem for some is the constant F bomb traffic. Yes, this is a major Los Angeles type of F bomb traffic that won’t let up. For those immune to that problem, you’ll sail through this like a sci fi car that can jolt to air travel. For those from NJ or other lands of constant F bomb traffic, you may well resonate with the way this adds a sexy and enlightening emphasis to the message.
(Caution: I will be reverting to NJ level of comfort with the f bomb lingo, though still couching it uncourageously with the f*ck nomenclature. For now.)
With this albeit shocking title, you might think the book is a new manual for slackers. Or that author (MM) is just a wiseass f*ck head, creating another viral wave, the lucky bastard. But no, this is not about how to slacker surf at all. This is about how to choose wisely, those areas you will give a f*ck about. And he’ll expose the areas you unwittingly put too much energy into, due to outside programming etc.
Humans move along, especially quasi entitled, enlightened humans, working on the latest hacks for self improvement and happiness. Great, smart to do. But then books like this come along that notice, Oh all that focus on evolving has gotten us into a pickle again. It takes a brilliant mind and right timing to be able to say, “WTF! This is all wrong.” Or, “Man, does this model need some tweaking!”
Enter subtle art, all in chapter one. What’s the problem? You’re encouraged to give way too many f*cks. Perhaps that is fueled by the malignant urge to sell you more stuff because of all you lack. Boom! Aha! Thanks MM.
Then, chapter one continues with the idea of negative feedback loops, a trait only human animals have. This is where you come up short in some way, say by comparing yourself to the abundantly happy world of social media, or commercials pointing out your lack. You feel bad in comparison, then feel bad for feeling bad – loop loop loop. You’re supposed to be happy, right? Having the most amazing f*cking life of all time, right?
No. Not right. Life is suffering, de noble truth say. Here is how MM puts it: “The idea of not giving a f*ck is a simple way of reorienting… choosing what is important and what is not…this leads to … a kind of “practical enlightenment.” No, not that airy-fairy, eternal bliss, end-of-all-suffering, bullshitty kind of enlightenment…” Get the sense of his style? I love it!
Here’s more: “This book doesn’t give a f*ck about alleviating your problems or your pain… Instead, this book will turn your pain into a tool, your trauma into power, and your problems into slightly better problems… It’s a book about moving lightly despite your heavy burdens, resting easier with your greatest fears, laughing at your tears as you cry them”.
And that’s just chapter one friends. This book is amazing, and the book on tape, read by Roger Wayne, is f*cking hilarious and very well done. Great for commuting or road trips.
When you finish reading, sure, you’ll still have to take inventory and choose the f*cks you’re going to give a f*ck about. He’ll suggest you connect that with values. Hey, that’s not new to you soul savvy crew, right? You know that proper f*ck giving or f*ck focus is an ever changing, ongoing camino.
I do recommend you check out MM’s view. It may give you some belly laughs, even with tears of recognition. And it stands a chance of accelerating any updates to your life picture and to do lists, in a artful, enlightening and far-reaching way.
Thanks for giving a f*ck. May this book make your field of dream choices even clearer.