Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, The

Mark Manson
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-07-12

Enjoyed it more than I would've expected. I agree with most of his points. (Obviously very hard to execute most of them, but the bits about choosing what problems you want to deal with, take responsibility even without fault, they make sense.) Mostly I rolled my eyes at the bits about college students not being able to take differing points of view anymore. Not engaging with how you change systemic racism, sexism, etc. They are choosing which problems to give fucks about. Calm down. Also praising of Russian society. Maybe those effects are real, I feel like people in Israel were similarly open and brutally honest when I visited there, but those socities have a lot, A LOT of bad to them. Still. Not just like "oh lol we were communist before, so," in Russia's case.

Reviewed: 2018-06-12
I saw this displayed on the front table in the library so I thought I'd see what all the fuss was about. Clearly I'm not the target audience. It's essentially a series of poorly-written blog posts, full of profanity (more than the expected f*ck), and ranting on without a lot of coherence. I skimmed great parts of it, looking for something appealing since I am a proponent of not giving too many f*cks, but if you've read anything at all in spirituality, self-help, philosophy, or psychology, then you don't need to read this book. But maybe if you're allergic to all those and you want to dabble (and you don't mind potty mouth), you might be one of the people who love this book.
Reviewed: 2018-04-21

Not quite sure why I picked up this book … maybe all the hype around it. I’ve never really been into ‘self-help’ books of any kind and always fairly leery of events that focus on motivation. However, this book is a long way from “look at yourself in the mirror and know that you’re great”. Actually, it’s the exact opposite, the premise being that you’re not great, not special. There’s no trophy just for competing. Maybe at my age I’m two thirds of the way through giving a fuck about the things I used to believe I should be giving a fuck about, so have had the benefit of experiencing much of the what the author touches upon. Not to say, of course, that I avoided the pitfalls, nor will stop fucking up on occasions. And while I don’t agree with everything Mark Manson espouses and found the book to drag in parts, I did enjoy it overall and can see why it's such a big hit with a certain demographic.

Reviewed: 2017-09-15

I read this book because I saw that it had been a NYT best selling book and was toward the top of the list as of Sept 2017 at Barnes & Noble. The author is a 30 year old blogger who is thoughtful, but not as convincing as authors who use science and studies to back up their points. While the book does make some good points, its really more about the author's philospofy and wisdom at this point in life. Namely, he's about total honesty about who we are and our shortcomings (a good thing), about depth over breadth, and about focusing on the few things that matter in life. In general, it's a manifesto to slow down a bit, think more, be more honest and be willing to change to become a more humble and intellectually honest person. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but I can't recommend it to others. Nore would I recommend purchaing the short executive summary version.

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