“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” – Bookcast #37

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016) by Mark Manson

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Overview of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”

  • A very brief description of the book
    • Popular blogger Mark Manson cuts through the crap to show us why we need to stop trying to feel great all the time so that we can truly become better, more satisfied people.
  • What Manson sets out to do / Purpose of the book
    • We all want to feel happy. The modern era preaches that if we dream big, get baller money, fuck supermodels, carve out a six-pack, build an app, travel to Nepal, have brilliant children, etc…if we finally become the badass we want to be then our problems will fade, pain will disappear and life will finally be awesome.
    • But it’s all a lie. PROBLEMS never end. 
    • Manson says “Fuck positivity. Let’s be honest, shit is fucked and we have to live with it.” 
    • This book is all about how life is painful and that our pain is not only normal, if we can accept and channel that pain we can grow and create truly happy and satisfying lives.
  • The intended audience of the book / Who will benefit most
    • Anyone who is unhappy with their life and wants to make it better
  • Who probably WON’T like this book?
    • Victims
    • People who aren’t willing to do any work to change themselves
    • People who need to feel good all the time 
    • People who don’t like hearing the word “Fuck”
  • How does this book specifically benefit Men? 
    • Modern men aren’t being taught enough about our values. We learn a LOT about achieving success but we rarely learn WHY we spend so much time running after these goals.
    • Understanding our WHYS – that is, learning to find the problems we most enjoy solving – is massively important for men because we base our entire lives around our problems. This book will help you to start choosing the problems that will make your life deeply satisfying
  • Is this book Easy, Average or Difficult to read? / How long is it?
    • Easy to read, entertaining and powerful. 
    • 212 pages, 5 hours 17 minutes on Audible
  • What are the overall book reviews? Is the book well-known? Popular? Significant?
    • 71,195 ratings, 4.6 stars
      • #5 in Happiness
      • #6 in Self-Help & Psychology Humor
      • #6 in Motivational Self-Help (Kindle)
    • #21 in ALL Audible Books!!!
    • #4 in Happiness Self-Help
    • #4 in Motivational Self-Help 
    • #5 in Personal Success

Bio of Mark Manson

  • Manson is a three-time #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books have sold over 14 million copies worldwide. His work has been translated into more than 65 languages and hit bestseller lists in sixteen different countries. According to Amazon Charts, my book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck was the most-read non-fiction book worldwide in 2017.
  • He’s 38 years old. Before he was a writer, he was a failed musician.
  • He grew up in Austin, Texas and moved to Boston to attend university. He graduated from Boston University in 2007 with a degree in International Relations and Business.
  • He worked at an investment bank for three weeks and abruptly quit after a manager complained that he read too many books while in the office. This was his one and only attempt to ever have a “real job.”
  • He started his first blog in 2007 and within a few years it was being read by more than a million people each month. Today, MarkManson.net is read by more than 15 million people each year.
  • In 2009, he packed up some clothes and his laptop and lived all over the world for the next seven years, working remotely. In that time he visited more than 50 countries and spent significant amounts of time in about a dozen of them. He is fluent in three languages and sorta fluent in three others. 
  • The Sunday Times describes his writing as, “like the local drunk who spent too much time in the philosophy section of the bookstore.” (Manson took it as a compliment.)
  • He met his wife while living in Brazil. They now live in Los Angeles.

Breakdown of Themes

  • Chapter 1. Don’t Try
    • Accept yourself right now. You’re shitty at a lot of things. You make terrible mistakes. You fail constantly. This is ok! Once you accept you’re always going to be flawed then you’re free to let go and be the unique, bizarre, fascinating person you are.
  • Chapter 2. Happiness Is a Problem
    • You can’t be happy all the time. Some things suck. This is okay. Not accepting pain causes a lot of problems.
  • Chapter 3. You Are Not Special
    • Only one person can win a race. Everyone else loses. This is okay. Attempting to have everyone win causes serious problems.
  • Chapter 4. The Value of Suffering
    • Pain is inevitable, but if it is channeled correctly it can provide excellent opportunities for growth
  • Chapter 5. You Are Always Choosing
    • You are responsible for everything in your life. Choose your attitude, your perspective and how you will respond.
  • Chapter 6. You’re Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)
    • Cultivate an attitude of uncertainty. You can’t learn anything if you think you already know everything.
  • Chapter 7. Failure Is the Way Forward
    • If you don’t make the attempt (and weather your inevitable failures), you can’t grow
  • Chapter 8. The Importance of Saying No
    • You can’t do everything. Choose who and what matters and say no to everything and everyone else.
  • Chapter 9. … And Then You Die
    • Accept your death now. It’s coming. Don’t run from it. Embrace it. And then enjoy every second you can between now and then.

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"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" - Bookcast #37 1

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