January 20th, 2020

Book 9 - 2018

Book 9: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson - 210 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
New York Times Bestseller 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, Manson 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 modern 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.

Today, carrying this book as I left a dessert cafe at the inner-city cultural precinct in my city, a man stopped me to ask me what I thought about this book (as its been everywhere here in Australia recently). Was it any good? He asked. And even I was surprised by my answer, as I am of my opinion. Yes, I said, it actually is. Not only is it very readable, but much of what it covers isn't actually crazy. In fact, its a pretty decent amalgamation of a variety of theories, most scientifically backed, that Manson has brought together into a common sense, no punches pulled, honest, real account on how to sort our own shit out. I think the thing that I really enjoyed the most was the discussion around entitlement. I'd never thought of entitlement in the context of it being something presented as both expecting to be treated special because you are amazing, and expecting to be treated because you have been victimised. I'd never thought of it in this context, but it made perfect sense, and I suddenly saw the behaviour of a few people around me illuminated for what it was - no different from me expecting to be treated differently because I think I'm special (not that I do). That one really blew me away, and I only wish more people could understand that point. Anyway, I personally found this book far less hokey than other books I've read on similar topics, but more relatable than more scientific texts, and mostly deserving of the fame its received. Overall, the only real problem I have with this book is that the vast majority of people who need its message will either not both to pick the book up in the first place, or, if they do, completely mix the message. After all, they are special and the book doesn't apply to them! (*sarcasm font*).

9 / 50 pages. 18% done!

2775 / 15000 pages. 19% done!

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