Book: The subtle art of not giving a f*ck
Author: Mark Manson
Publication: Harper Collins
Price: Rs. 250
Plot: Mark Manson the author of this book is a blogger, and he wrote this self-help guide to show us how to be stronger and happier. In this book, Mark Manson talks about so many fucks we give in our lives.
He says we all face some negative experiences and emotions in our lives. But in this age of social media, it is really difficult to accept these negative experiences because the moment we face a negative experience or emotion we are bombarded with hundred pictures showing positive and perfect life of these hundred people. And this is where we are fucked up, according to the author it is important to accept negative experiences.
We believe that having negative emotions like anxiety, fear, guilt etc. is not okay. But according to the author, having all these emotions is totally okay. If you are feeling angry, accept it, it is a real emotion just like any other emotion. Acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience. We only achieve a goal when we surmount the associated negative experience. We can only get a fit body when we face the negative experience of exercising daily. Escaping, avoiding or silencing these negative experience will only backfire.
According to Mark Manson, today we give too many fucks about anything and everything. He is not suggesting us to ignore everything or to stay hard like rock and chill or stay unaffected in every situation, because that will only make us psychopath. What he is saying is that we have to be thoughtful in giving fucks, to be bothered by only what is important to us. And in this book, he shows us how to differentiate between things which should be important to us and things which should not be important to us.
At the end of this plot, I will share a quote from the book-
‘They say, “Fuck it,” not to everything in life, but rather to everything unimportant in life.’
My Views: When I picked this book up to read, there was a hype surrounding this book. I would see so many photographs of it on Instagram, people were talking about it, and so I wanted to know what all this hype was about. I have only read one self-help book before this, ‘The Road Less Travelled’ by M. Scott Peck (you can read my full review here) and absolutely loved that book. I think Mark Manson had made some really good points in the book. The first two chapters are on point, and I was impressed but later it just became a usual self-help book. It seemed like he was repeating all that has been written in self-help books and that too in a language which I think was meant to be funny, but I didn’t find it the same.
But I will still say that there were some really good points made in the book. For example, he talked about problems and happiness. He said that life is full of problems, we will never have a life without any problems, and we solve them and get them exchanged with new problems. And it is only after solving these problems that we get happiness. According to the author, happiness is not something which is bestowed upon us, which we can get when we will have more money, or a bigger bungalow, or an expensive car or makeup. Happiness is an action, it is a constant work-in-progress. True happiness occurs only when we find the problems we enjoy having and enjoy solving.
Apart from this, there are many points which made me remind of Buddhist philosophy, for example, he talks about the value of suffering and the problem with happiness, so if you have read about it then you can totally skip reading this book.
Also, I felt that there was no connection between some points or say the titles of the chapter and the content of the chapter. For example, the name of the first chapter is ‘Don’t try’ in this chapter he talks about an author who got his book published after so many struggles and then about the importance of acceptance of negative experiences in life. But nowhere did I see the point ‘Don’t try’ getting valid. I just could not understand why this chapter has this name. Similarly, there is a chapter called, ‘Happiness is a problem’ in this chapter he talked about happiness and never-ending problems in lives. But again, I cannot understand why this name. Nowhere did I see the point where he is talking about happiness being a problem. Maybe he wanted to redefine happiness and take it’s meaning away from materialistic things. But other than that I see no point in the title.
Coming to the language of the book, it is very easy, as I have mentioned the author of the book is a blogger, he has made sure to convey his message in a very simple language which is quite good.
Overall the purpose of the book is to guide people to not give so many fucks, and I found it doing that in the first two chapters, but it lost the plot for me after that.
Recommendations: If you are new to self-help books, and you have never read any of them then you can definitely start with this one.
Ratings: 3/52 Likes