The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck summary

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Rating: 8.5/10

Author: Mark Manson Read The Original

High-Level Thoughts

Not your ordinary self-help book. Many times it's almost like a splash of cold water to your face, and I loved it. Mark Manson's writing style is truly refreshing and the way he throws in these odd, peculiar stories and case studies helps to really convey his message. There's a ton of golden nuggets in here if your someone who is constantly feeling anxiety, stress, low self-esteem then this book might just be for you.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Summary

Chapter 1: Don't Try

  • Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing.
  • conventional life advice—all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time—is actually fixating on what you lack.
  • Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience.
  • “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” - Albert Camus
  • The pain you pursue in the gym results in better all-around health and energy. The failures in business are what lead to a better understanding of what’s necessary to be successful.
  • Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.
  • Subtlety #1: Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.
  • Subtlety #2: To not give a fuck about adversity, you must first give a fuck about something more important than adversity.
  • Subtlety #3: Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about.
  • Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy.
  • Greatness is merely an illusion in our minds, a made-up destination that we obligate ourselves to pursue.

Chapter 2: Happiness Is a Problem

  • As with being rich, there is no value in suffering when it’s done without purpose.
  • it’s the mildly dissatisfied and insecure creature that’s going to do the most work to innovate and survive.
  • Pain is what teaches us what to pay attention to when we’re young or careless.
  • “Don’t hope for a life without problems,” the panda said. “There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.”
  • True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.
  • Emotions are simply biological signals designed to nudge you in the direction of beneficial change.
  • negative emotions are a call to action.
  • What determines your success isn’t, “What do you want to enjoy?” The relevant question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?”
  • I was in love with the result—the image of me on stage, people cheering, me rocking out, pouring my heart into what I was playing—but I wasn’t in love with the process.
  • I didn’t like to climb much. I just liked to imagine the summit.
  • Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.

Chapter 3: You Are Not Special

  • The true measurement of self-worth is not how a person feels about her positive experiences, but rather how she feels about her negative experiences.
  • entitlement plays out in one of two ways:
  • 1.  I’m awesome and the rest of you all suck, so I deserve special treatment.
  • 2.   I suck and the rest of you are all awesome, so I deserve special treatment.
  • This flood of extreme information has conditioned us to believe that exceptionalism is the new normal.
  • The Internet has not just open-sourced information; it has also open-sourced insecurity, self-doubt, and shame.
  • They become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement.

Chapter 4: The Value Of Suffering

  • the first layer of the self-awareness onion is a simple understanding of one’s emotions. “This is when I feel happy.”
  • The second layer of the self-awareness onion is the ability to ask why we feel certain emotions.
  • His seething anger fueled his ambition; revenge became his muse.
  • The guitarist’s name was Dave Mustaine, and the new band he formed was the legendary heavy-metal band Megadeth.
  • If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success.
  • Some examples of good, healthy values: honesty, innovation, vulnerability, standing up for oneself, standing up for others, self-respect, curiosity, charity, humility, creativity.
  • “self-improvement” is really about: prioritizing better values, choosing better things to give a fuck about.

Chapter 5: You Are Always Choosing

  • There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances.
  • “With great responsibility comes great power.”

Chapter 6: You're Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)

  • Many people become so obsessed with being “right” about their life that they never end up actually living it.
  • That man doesn’t ask for the promotion because he would have to confront his beliefs about what his skills are actually worth.
  • Certainty is the enemy of growth.
  • Being wrong brings the opportunity for growth.
  • we don’t know how successful we could potentially become. The only way to achieve these things is to remain uncertain of them and be open to finding them out through experience.
  • The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.
  • In this way, “knowing yourself” or “finding yourself” can be dangerous. It can cement you into a strict role and saddle you with unnecessary expectations. It can close you off to inner potential and outer opportunities.
  • The narrower and rarer the identity you choose for yourself, the more everything will seem to threaten you. For that reason, define yourself in the simplest and most ordinary ways possible.
  • Aristotle wrote, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Chapter 7: Failure is the Way Forward

  • Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.

Chapter 8: The Importance of Saying No

  • absolute freedom, by itself, means nothing.
  • For a relationship to be healthy, both people must be willing and able to both say no and hear no.
  • We are actually often happier with less. When we’re overloaded with opportunities and options, we suffer from what psychologists refer to as the paradox of choice.
  • Commitment gives you freedom because you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous.

Chapter 9 ...And Then You Die

  • Pre-tragedy, I was inhibited, unambitious, forever obsessed, and confined by what I imagined the world might be thinking of me. Post-tragedy, I morphed into a new person: responsible, curious, hardworking.
  • Yet, in a bizarre, backwards way, death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured.
  • Religion, politics, sports, art, and technological innovation are the result of people’s immortality projects.
  • People from Harvard Psychologists, the Beetles, Jesus all say that happiness comes from the same thing: caring about something greater than yourself,
  • Our culture today confuses great attention and great success, assuming them to be the same thing.

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