Stop being positive, saying that everything is going well in the best of all worlds. Because sometimes it’s not right. Not even at all. No offense to the fans of positive psychology and other experts in personal growth, it is not all about hoping for the best happiness, denounces the author and blogger Mark Manson in his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
In a nutshell: No, it’s not enough to turn your lemons into lemonade for life to get better. It sounds pessimistic like that, but rest assured, this is probably the funniest, incisive and offbeat reading of the moment. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck fits into a literary genre that is both cynical, raw, and above all straightforward standards.
With chapters like “No need to try” or “You have nothing extraordinary, you know”, without forgetting the existential “And then you die”, we guess that The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, a New York Times best-seller, will not end up in the “Health and Wellness” section in bookstores.
Still. “People see the title and think that it deals with the art of being mad about everything, in the sense of all sources of irritation about life”, comments The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. “But the message is the opposite. It is rather the art of having fun with the obligation to feel good all the time!”
Quoting sometimes Bukowski, Camus and Buddha, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck proposes here a philosophy of life against the current of what we generally hear. In summary, instead of constantly seeking happiness, we can limit our aspirations, take advantage rather of misfortune, without grace to make a dish of all our emotions, because nothing makes us extraordinary beings. On the contrary.
“Yes, I say we do not care, but it’s just a piece. Essentially, I say we have to choose what to f*** with and matters to us in our lives. That’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck“, says author and blogger Mark Manson.
In our day and night connected social lives, we are constantly exposed to exceptional stories, tremendous successes, fabulous women, wonderful men, and beautiful children all the time. “And that changes our perceptions about an average life. It creates completely unrealistic expectations”, continues The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. More realistically, “we should not care about being someone extraordinary!” Moral? “Do what matters to you! What makes sense to you! Even if nobody will ever hear about it on his Facebook timeline.”
To get there, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck implies asking serious questions: why is it important, what does it mean to me? Sometimes it will hurt. Because “suffering is inevitable”. Not only is it part of our human condition, it motivates us to act, but in addition, it makes the (small) victories all the more beautiful. “The most beautiful victories are those won in adversity”, he explains.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck does not hide it: it is in his own personal life where he drew his great lessons of life. He does not claim to have the truth here. He is indeed expert in nothing, and has no diploma at all. In summary: “It’s my life, here’s where I f***ed, here’s what I learned. It’s up to you whether you want to join or not”, he concludes with an impeccable carelessness.
Five values to takeaway from the book
- Radical responsibility : Stop blaming others and posing as a victim. You were fired, your wife left you? “You will not regain control over your lives without assuming your responsibilities!”
- Uncertainty all along the line : Beware of certainties. Challenge your beliefs, and always keep a dose of skepticism. Wish a little less to prevent being disappointed tomorrow.
- The virtues of failure : Impossible to succeed in life without losing at the beginning. “It’s hard, it hurts, it’s an unpleasant passage”, sums up The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. But basically, it’s life.
- Say no : In all human relationships, healthy communication means that sometimes you have to say no and to be ready to hear it. It’s like that.
- And then you die : It’s unbearable, we do everything not to think about it, except that “it’s the only certainty in this world”, reminds The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.