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

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The Book in One Paragraph

The way to live a good life is to only give a f*ck about things that you find important and meaningful. Don’t give a f*ck about anything else. Every life has its own set of unique problems. You can find happiness through solving problems as they arise, not through avoiding them.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck Summary

This is my book summary of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. My notes include quotes, big ideas, and important lessons from the book.

  • Desiring positive experiences is itself a negative experience. Conversely, accepting negative experiences is itself a positive experience.
  • They way to live a good life is to only give a f*ck about things that you find important and meaningful.
  • In an age of material abundance, we don’t lack “stuff”, but rather purpose.
  • “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” -Albert Camus
  • Everything worthwhile in life comes from overcoming negative experiences and obstacles.
  • You and everyone you know will eventually die one day. You only have a certain amount of f*cks to give.
  • The best thing you can do for your own happiness is to accept your current experience of life as wonderful.
  • If you are able to embrace the pain associated with working towards a goal, you will become unstoppable.
  • Don’t say “f*ck it” to everything, just the unimportant things.
  • Evolution has taught us to always be unhappy so we’d always be striving.
  • Every life has its own unique set of problems. Happiness comes from solving problems, not from avoiding them.
  • Problems never stop. They simply get exchanged or upgraded.
  • When we have no real problems to face, the mind invents some.
  • You are not unique in your suffering. Everyone struggles at some point.
  • Question your emotions because they are not always correct.
  • You must fall in love with the process, not just the result.
  • The pervasiveness of the internet and mass marketing screws up many people’s expectations for themselves.
  • “Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed. Pleasure is the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the easiest to obtain and the easiest to lose.”
  • People who are exceptional are usually the ones who think they’re average and simply focus on constant improvement.
  • If you feel like it’s you vs. the world, it’s likely just you vs. yourself.
  • Problems are inevitable. Your reaction to them, though, is within your control.
  • “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” -Sigmund Freud
  • Growth is a never-ending process. You never reach an end point, you simply keep trucking along forever, always getting better, always iterating and finding out what works.
  • Manson’s Law of Avoidance: The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it. The more something threatens how you view yourself, the more you will avoid getting around to doing it.
  • “We’re all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t.” -Charles Bukowski
  • The more time you spend working on some endeavor, the more joy you get when you finally experience success.
  • Action comes before motivation/inspiration. Take action, then the ideas will begin to flow.
  • The most productive way to spend your time and energy is to work on things you find meaningful.

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