May 17, 2019

11 Things that I Learned from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Mark Manson is popular for his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. He is an American entrepreneur, author and also a superstar blogger. He writes on his website MarkManson.net.

Apart from these, he has published two other books titled –

  • Models: Attract Women through Honesty
  • Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope

In his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, he tried to show the necessity of not being positive all the time and how to be better, most importantly happier in life. He tried to teach us that positivity is not always the answer.

So, I went through the book and noted down 11 important things that can change your life. Let’s dig in.

1. There is no ending to your Problems

“Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded.”

Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another.

2. True happiness lies in solving your problems

“Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress—the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on.  True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.”

“Happiness comes from solving problems.  The keyword here is ‘solving.’  If you’re avoiding your problems or feel like you don’t have any problems, then you’re going to make yourself miserable.  If you feel like you have problems that you can’t solve, you will likewise make yourself miserable.  The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.”

3. What makes you feel Good, will be the reason to feel Bad

“The person you marry is the person you fight with.  The house you buy is the house you repair.  The dream job you take is the job you stress over.  Everything comes with an inherent sacrifice—whatever makes us feel good will also inevitably make us feel bad.  What we gain is also what we lose.  What creates our positive experiences will define our negative experiences.  This is a difficult pill to swallow.  We like the idea that there’s some form of ultimate happiness that can be attained.  We like the idea that we can alleviate all of our sufferings permanently.  We like the idea that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives forever.  But we cannot.”

4. The harder you try to get something, the more you demotivate yourself

“The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make.  The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance.  The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you.  The more you want to be spiritually enlightened, the more self-centered and shallow you become in trying to get there.”

“When it comes down to it, if you feel crappy it’s because your brain is telling you that there’s a problem that’s unaddressed or unresolved.  In other words, negative emotions are a call to action.  When you feel them, it’s because you’re supposed to do something.  Positive emotions, on the other hand, are rewards for taking the proper action.  When you feel them, life seems simple and there is nothing else to do but enjoy it.  Then, like everything else, the positive emotions go away, because more problems inevitably emerge.”

5. You are not the only victim of your problems

“The truth is that there’s no such thing as a personal problem.  If you’ve got a problem, chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future.  Likely people you know too.  That doesn’t minimize the problem or mean that it shouldn’t hurt.  It doesn’t mean you aren’t legitimately a victim of some circumstances.  It just means you’re not special.  Often, it’s this realization—that you and your problems are actually not privileged in their severity or pain—that is the first and most important step toward solving them.”

6. Your life will never change, even if you are happy

“Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway.  All of life is like this.  It never changes.  Even when you’re happy.  Even when you’re farting fairy dust.  Even when you win the lottery and buy a small fleet of Jet Skis, you still won’t know what the hell you’re doing.  Don’t ever forget that.  And don’t ever be afraid of that.”

7. Negative experience is itself a positive one!

“The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience.  And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

“Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction.  Constant positivity is a form of avoidance, not a valid solution to life’s problems—problems which, by the way, if you’re choosing the right values and metrics, should be invigorating you and motivating you.”

8. Crisis in life can help you change your path

“Our most radical changes in perspective often happen at the tail end of our worst moments.  It’s only when we feel intense pain that we’re willing to look at our values and question why they seem to be failing us.  We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been deriving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course.”

9. Life is all about the choices we make

“We all get dealt cards.  Some of us get better cards than others.  And while it’s easy to get hung up on our cards, and feel we got screwed over, the real game lies in the choices we make with those cards, the risk we decide to take, and the consequences we choose to live with.  People who consistently make the best choices in the situations they’re given are the ones who eventually come out ahead in poker, just as in life.  And it’s not necessarily the people with the best cards.”

10. When you meet your requirements, success becomes harder

“Research shows that once one is able to provide for basic physical needs (food, shelter, and so on), the correlation between happiness and worldly success quickly approaches zero.  So if you’re starving and living on the street in the middle of India, an extra ten thousand dollars a year would affect your happiness a lot.  But if you’re sitting pretty in the middle class in a developed country, an extra ten thousand dollars per year won’t affect anything much—meaning that you’re killing yourself working overtime and weekends for basically nothing.”

11. Avoiding negativity will only backfire

“Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.  Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires.  The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering.  The avoidance of struggle is a struggle.  The denial of failure is a failure.  Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.”

You can read more quotes and choose the most suitable ones from here.

Mainul Kabir Aion

Data Story Teller, Content Strategist, and WordPress Blogger. Passionate about Researching, Data Analysis, and Content Marketing. Always ready to learn new things and take challenges. Loves to help and empower people.

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2 Responses

  1. Sekander says:

    A negative book talking about negativity 👍🏽

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