The first book I have read in 2018 is by author and life enthusiast Mark Manson, funnily titled “The subtle art of not giving a fuck”. I really enjoyed reading the book, why? It is witty, practical and with stuff that I subscribe to.

My high level summary of the book would be:

  • People today get touchy, belittled or offended by things so easily. The more freedom we’re given to express ourselves, the more we want to be free of having to deal with anyone who may disagree with us or upset us.
  • Reserve the fucks you give about things to something more purposeful. Not giving a fuck is not about being indifferent, but being comfortable that you have a different view point. Since life is full of adversity, to give a fuck you need to find purpose that is greater than the adversity.
  • Introducing the “backwards law” — Wanting positive experience is a negative experience, but accepting negative experiences is a positive experience. Just seeking pleasure and positive experiences makes you only want more, making you feel entitled. While accepting negative experiences, empowers you to learn and grow.
  • Taking responsibility even when its not your fault that you are in that particular situation gives you power. In essence, how you chose to see situations and to take responsibility for how you feel makes all the difference.
  • Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others. The pain of honest confrontation is what generates the greatest trust and respect in your relationships. Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and perseverance.
  • Life is full of problems. Pick problems that you care about, and get better at living with problems that you care about and that gives you purpose in solving them.
  • Trying to pursue meaning of life and happiness is of no value since no one who is happy asks themselves in the mirror if they are happy. They just are. They are happy since they have accepted their situation, taken responsibility and have given many fucks to the problems they care about. Here, I loved the examples of Hiroo Onoda Japanese general who kept fighting 30 years after world war 2 ended, Pete Best from the Beatles and Megadeth’s band member who was kicked out of Metallica before they became famous. The values and the ways they measured their life after such turning points made all the difference.
  • Know the difference between positive and negative values and decide for yourself how you measure success (and not give a fuck on what others think about this definition of your success). For instance, if your value is to be happy all the time and you measure success as to get recognition from others, you are going to feel entitled and disappointed most of the times. If your value is to learn, it becomes a lot more easier to look at problems and understand how you want to make it better.

I recommend reading the book. I would say it is a self-help book that dares to go deeper into philosophy, mindset and self-leadership without making it dry and boring. On the contrary the reading is fun, pleasurable and witty.

You can buy the book here