Have you ever known someone who seems to just think differently than everyone else? What they do seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom? What they say and do goes against everything your parents and teachers ever taught you, so you dismiss their advice and actions. Yet somehow this person keeps hitting success time after time. You also see that those who work just as hard and follow conventional advice keep hitting failure after failure. That is what Mark Manson describes in his book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck.” He describes the choices he made in becoming the former type.
So, what is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’s even about?
This book is partially an autobiography on its author, the extremely well known blogger Mark Manson. Mark runs the site markmanson.net, an advice blog. If you want see his writing style before purchasing the book, seeing his blog is a great way to see if his persona is a match for you. Be warned, as the title of the book suggests, there is vulgar language throughout. If that’s not something you can tolerate, then sadly this book is not for you. However, if you find that tolerable, or better yet, preferable, you’ll likely enjoy Mark’s sense of humour and outside the box thinking. You’ll also notice that The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck might be a good fit for you.
Mark states, similarly to Earl Nightingale, that its important not to conform, and that you need to carve your own path. Creating his own path is something that Mark certainly has done, such as how he turned failure and bad luck into a successful business (which is the basis of chapter 7). He also states that how you respond to a situation can make a bigger difference in your happiness than what actually happened (chapter 4). He also teaches that those who think highly of themselves are the same as those who think nothing of themselves, in that they’re both equally dangerous (chapter 3).
Many of his ideas seem counter-intuitive. For example, he states in chapter 2 that happiness doesn’t come from not having problems, but by solving them. This mentality challenges you as the reader to step up and fix something that’s been bothering you instead of avoiding it.
So instead of a “yes” or a “no” I will leave you with a number positives this book left me with:
Advice is outside the box and non-traditional
Shows several historical notes and examples to prove its points
Has a sarcastic, pointed humour that many advice columnists would be afraid to go for due to it sounding unprofessional
Next week, I will be posting about the book’s sequel, “Everything is F*cked”.