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

3 months ago Shaili Desai 2

The last month of 2017 was quite uneventful in terms of my reading. I had finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri in November but was unable to read anything else, thanks to all the time spent in setting up our new place. It still feels surreal sometimes – that I am married and living with this really nice person. Now that I am married, I find that there are so many things that demand my attention – priorities have changed and at times, it’s difficult to devote time to things that I want to do. However, I am slowly getting to where I want to go (or so I think). 2018 has started for me with this book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and I think this was probably the best time to read this. There’s something always very optimistic about the new year.

So, what is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck about?

subtle art

Image Source: MentorBox

The title of the book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – is no doubt, very attractive. Don’t we all wish we did not give a damn about the million things that we obsess about, on a daily basis? We hope to be universally liked, find great work, have kind, gentle colleagues (and a cool boss, if you are in general a very optimistic person), and an understanding family that supports all that you do. A hundred other myriad things like world peace, zero pollution and an end to terrorism are also on our wish list. We want everything using the easiest of shortcuts. Don’t we want to reduce all the pain and effort?

We also wish sometimes that we didn’t have to keep trying to please people around us. It is difficult believing that people may like and accept you, the way you are. It is so hard that we pretend to be someone else, sometimes even end up doing things which may go against our chosen values in life, just to please people around. Sometimes we do that in the name of greater good, but by losing ourselves in the process. Wouldn’t you like to not give a f*ck sometimes?

Don’t be misled. The book is not about learning to stop caring about things in life or saying f*ck you to everybody and everything. It is about understanding what is actually important and to face things in life head on because problems never end. The key is to find the right problems to solve, understanding the values that are actually important and worth fighting for. We exist, to solve problems.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is about understanding that there will always be problems in life. At the same time, one needs to realise the values that are actually worth caring about and saying goodbye to the ones that actually aren’t. There are no shortcuts, and it takes a lot of focused time and effort to achieve a particular goal.

The author, Mark Manson

Mark Manson started out by giving dating tips to men and how to talk to women. He became popular on the internet because of his blog on relationship advice, psychology, culture and personal development. The blog gained traction because of his no nonsense and hard hitting style, which he uses to great effect in the book also. Undoubtedly, the style works and keeps you invested in finishing the book. I am not sure if he’s the right role model but his style does work – it is no nonsense coupled with anecdotes from his life. He also doesn’t mess with things and says what is – even if that includes telling you that you’re being a jerk.

Should you read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck?

Yes, because sometimes you need to hear some things that you may not like. The road’s tough – whatever you may want. Even if you don’t like it, you may just take notice of some of the things in your life that don’t feel intrinsically right.

What’s next?

I started reading India after Gandhi: History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha around last month. It has been enlightening so far although I have barely finished two hundred pages. Meanwhile I also started reading Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto and I can’t wait to finish reading it so that I can talk about it. Although it’s taken a little time, I think I know now what I want to base my novel on. Hopefully, I may just finish the outline this month. Meanwhile you can read some of the stuff that I’ve written on this blog. Here’s the link to the Narrative Series.