Book Review:  The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#ck: A counterintuitive approach to living a good life | Mark Manson

In a sea of self-help sameness this little book with its catchy title and bright orange cover drew me like a moth to a flame. I know, I know. I’m a marketer’s dream.

Mark Manson is a New York Times best-selling author and blogger and his latest book ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A counterintuitive approach to living a good life’ was a surprisingly refreshing read.  There were no references to positive thinking fixing everything or how to live your best life. Instead Manson dished up raw, honest, (sometimes brutal) and need-to-hear advice often only reserved for your nearest and dearest to impart.

The book was not so much about how not to give a f*ck, but rather how to prioritise what’s important to you in your life so you can stop giving f*cks about things that don’t really matter to you, because there are only so many f*cks you can give. Whilst some of the teachings in the book seemed to mirror those of Buddhism concepts, Manson had a way of repackaging these messages in a direct, relatable, funny and entertaining way.

Subtle and Mark Manson don’t really go together. The book slaps you with plenty of in-your-face advice sprinkled with F-bombs galore; bound to offend some and get high fives from others. There are no kid gloves or sugar coating, instead Manson acknowledges that life serves up shit sandwiches and can really suck at times. He says rather than trying to avoid life’s inevitable pain and disappointments by chasing positivity and highs, we may want to consider recalibrating our values and taking responsibility for them, ditching our entitled thinking, getting comfortable with our limitations and accepting them, and to seek out and embrace uncertainty which will help us lead more contented, grounded and happier lives.

While there were some parts of the book where I found myself skimming over the pages, overall it was an interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking read.  I have started to prioritise my f*cks and am already feeling a little lighter.


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