Catchy title, isn’t it? Probably brings up some familiar faces, maybe some celebrities or a family member who just doesn’t care about those around them– or even themselves. The stereotypical “bad boy/girl” image. But that’s not exactly what this book is about.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson pushes you to think about what you really want to give a f*ck about. What’s more important to you, having the newest coolest car, or having time to spend with your family? Making everyone like you or making art that you love? What do you want to prioritize in your life? And most importantly, are you doing it?
Throughout the book, there are anecdotes both fictional and true about how someone’s values impacted their outlook on life. Comparing themselves to others, focusing on material items instead of intangible values, and avoiding adversity left some feeling drained, empty, adrift, whereas accepting their flaws and weaknesses, finding a purpose, and challenging themselves made others confident and fulfilled. Thus the choice is presented to you.
This is a strange world we live in, where so many are more concerned with what the Kardashian-Jenner clan is up to than with solving problems like poverty and curing cancer. But it makes far too much sense; solving those issues is hard, and who really wants to put in that much effort when we can just open up Instagram and forget all about the problems facing the world? Taking sides on celebrities’ romantic splits is just too easy.
So what are values? And more importantly, what are your values? And even more importantly, how do you figure it out if you don’t know already? The book runs through all of that, and how other people came to figure it out as well– including the author– in humorously barbed fashion.
This is not a feel-good book. It’s exactly the opposite of feel-good. It’s more like cold water dumped on you when you hit that sweet spot lying in bed just before your alarm goes off– far more jarring than just the alarm itself. Maybe it won’t hit you quite the same way, but it made me think.
Why do I get angry at the person who cuts me off in traffic when I could be focusing my anger on bigger issues? Why do I waste so much energy being upset about all the little things that go wrong while I’m getting ready for work when I can take a breath and try to put it toward reaching my goals instead? I’ve got some work to do, but it’s helpful remembering what I truly give a f*ck about. This blog, good music, helping others and making the world a better place… So much more important than the mindless scrolling through Facebook that I often fall prey to, or spinning my wheels trying to figure out what So-and-So meant by what they said and how they said it.
Not everyone is ready for this book. But if you are looking to adjust your perspective, this a great book to pick up. Learn The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.