The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"As Freud once said, 'One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.'"
"When we feel that we're choosing our problems, we feel empowered. When we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable."
"Whether we like it or not, we are always taking an active role in what's occurring to and within us. We are always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence."
Let me start by saying I am not a huge reader of "self-help" books. I find them lofty and sometimes difficult to apply in life. This book definitely is the exception.
Manson's not-so-subtle examination of life, the problems with society, and the true meaning of joy are hilarious, honest, frank, and real. There is absolutely no sugarcoating in this book, which is what makes it so amazing. He is a pro at telling it like it is but holding onto a sense of optimism. This book is weirdly optimistic despite the messages in it that can seem pessimistic at times.
Then again, that seems to be the point: By appreciating that life often sucks, we can better appreciate the journey and the beauty.
"We all get dealt cards. Some of us get better cards than others. And while it's easy to get hung up on our cards, and feel we got screwed over, the real game lies in the choice we make with those cards, the risks we decide to take, and the consequences we choose to live with."
This book is filled with lovely tidbits to cling to. I found myself marking so many quotes throughout the book that were both insightful and real. So many self-help books simply regurgitate facts and quotes we've all heard. Manson does a great job at being unique in his insights but also relevant. I felt like I could actually the information he presented. More importantly, I actually felt inspired to. Nothing felt so lofty that it was out of my grasp.
My favorite concept in this book is the power of choice. Manson argues that we all have the choice to be unhappy or happy. Even if we are dealing with horrible struggles, which he argues we all do, we have the power to choose how we react to these struggles. The choice is where our power and the optimism resides; few of us take the time to realize that, however.
"At some point, most of us reach a place where we're afraid to fail, where we instinctively avoid failure and stick only to what is placed in front of us or only what we're already good at."
I also really liked the ideas about failure. Manson provides many inspiring stories about failure. These stories are not cheesy attempts to uplift us and make us believe hard work and determination always pays off. Instead, Manson provides stories of failure to show us that we must be willing to suffer in order to head toward our goals. This does not guarantee success. Some of the anecdotes provided certainly prove this.
However, Manson encourages us all, with some strongly-worded language, to figure out what suffering we are willing to endure and what we want to endure it for.
This book is a look at what matters most and finding your true identity through realism, acknowledgement of the difficulties of life, and a whole lot of profanity.
I found this book to be one of the most realistic, empowering, and intelligent books I've read this year. I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone. Don't let the title fool you. This book will make you care more about what matters most and find a drive within to accomplish your true goals.
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