The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

A Counter Intuitive Approach to living a good life
Harper Collins Publishers, Published in 2016

About the Author

For the past few years, Mark Manson, via his wildly popular blog has been working on correcting our delusional expectations for ourselves and for our world. He now brings this hard fought wisdom to this ground breaking book. He is a star blogger with more than 2 million readers. He lives in New York City and this is his first book. 


I’ve always found self help books to be patronising – like an older sister or mother telling me how to live my life the right way, work out the right way, groom myself the right way and cope the right way. I’ve stayed far away from this genre – until this book came along. Of course, the title helped. In this book, Mark Manson doesn’t tell you anything new or ground breaking. In fact, it’s probably facts that we like to avoid and ignore in the first place simply because our denial bubble helps. But it worked for me because of his ruthless humour and the conveniently ignored harsh truths that he spouts.

What Manson doesn’t tell you is how to be successful. He tells you that the real secret to happiness is to be comfortable with yourself as a failure. Don’t try so hard. Unfortunately, we have become so focused on unrealistic expectations – be happier, be healthier, be better than the rest that we always feel like there’s something lacking. The advise in other self help books always makes us focus on what we lack, it lasers your personal shortcomings and emphasizes them for you. Why would you read about the best ways to make money ?It’s because you feel like you don’t have enough already. Nowadays, when you feel like shit, because of social media, you’re bombarded with 350 images of everyone else’s life being better than yours. 

He clearly states that not giving a fuck doesn’t mean being indifferent. It’s about constantly choosing and deciding who and what to give a fuck about since we have a limited amount of fucks to give. Our lives today are filled with information that are the extremes of the bell curve of the human experience and we are becoming monkeys in the circus of life. Technology has solved old economic problems by giving us new psychological ones. 

This book is well written, it makes you think which is always important and those tense muscles and worry lines start to relax as you grasp the concepts better. You’re better off and better equipped to deal with the world and your problems when you realise that you’re not a special unique snowflake. Mark’s example of Dave Mustaine from Metallica versus Pete Best of the Beetles is brilliant. How two people with very similar situations went down different paths. Though they both achieved success, their ideas of happiness were so different all because of their difference in values. The idea to let yourself accept your own limitations and be aware of them is a break from all other books that keeps telling you to test them and push yourself. I can conclude that this book doesn’t make you want to get up and start working immediately. In fact, it makes you take that blanket, tuck yourself in and sleep with a smile on your face, content and appreciative of what you already have.

This book is best for working adults. There is some mild sexual content that isn’t appropriate for kids.