Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Rating: 4/5


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, Mason 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 American 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.



I’m not a fan of self-help books(or any non-fiction) but this keeps popping on my newsfeed and to my surprise, I enjoyed reading it. Mark has addressed the pressing issues of today’s mentality in a humorous and refreshing way. I’ve read a couple of self-help books in the past and they mostly say the same thing- do better, strive harder, dream bigger, yada…yada. It is unusual for a self-help book to put pressure off your back and say that it is okay to be normal. Being mediocre is not a crime. It sounded monotonous as it goes and I almost stopped reading but I’m glad I didn’t. Although it has lost the entertainment value in some parts, it still carries the hard truth of life that I had overlooked for a long time. Overall, it’s a fine reminder of giving a f*ck only to things that matter most. It is saying that unlike what the TV, social media, commercials and ads want us to believe that getting and buying more brings happiness, getting less(only things that matter) is actually a way of living a good life.
My takeaways:

  • Life is too short to give a fuck on every trivial thing.
  • I understood what ENTITLED truly means and how really bad it is.
  • Less is good. Getting more doesn’t always mean happiness.
  • There would be no happiness without struggles. There is NO perfect life. Well, come to think of it, a perfect life would be sooo boring.
  • You are not special. As negative as this sounds, I couldn’t agree more on that one sentence after realizing what entitlement means.
  • Responsibility. This is probably one of the best realizations I got from this book. It explained how to take responsibility even on things that are out of our control. Saying being responsible also for things that we did NOT choose but came our way.

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