Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Book no. 1: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Author: Mark Manson

While keeping up with my book club reads, I thought I would do a mini review of each of the books I read on the blog. This will allow me to look back at any big takeaways I had from the books but may also help some of you decide if you’d like to read a specific book or not.


Big Picture

Life is full of problems, you’re never going to eliminate that. It is not necessary to constantly be positive despite what happens, because that’s not normal either. Instead, learn to view life differently. Learn to accept responsibility for EVERYTHING that happens to you. Because even if you are not the cause of the incidents that occur to you, you are still responsible for how you deal with it. The book isn’t about how to stop giving a f*ck about everything, but rather how to shift focus on giving a f*ck about the things that matter instead.

Big Takeaway

The book is full of lessons learned. It really depends on where you are in life and what you take away from it. My biggest take away…or rather reminder was that everything in life is a constant struggle. That’s the reality. We are never in a state of “problem solved” because as soon as you solve one, a new problem presents itself. The key is not to strive for a problem free life (you are doomed for failure) but rather to strive for a life full of better problems than the one before. If that doesn’t quite make sense, believe me, you want to read this book.

Favorite Quotes

“It’s worth remembering that for any change to happen in your life, you must be wrong about something.”

“The narrower and rarer the identity you choose for yourself, the more everything will seem to threaten you. For that reason, define yourself in the simplest and most ordinary ways possible.”

“The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.”

“Just as we look back in horror at the lives of people five hundred years ago, I imagine people five hundred years from now will laugh at us and our certainties today. They will understand truths about us of which none of us are yet aware. And they, too, will be wrong. Just less wrong than we were.”

“Some of the most difficult and stressful moments of our lives also end up being the most formative and motivating. Some of the best and most gratifying experiences of our lives are also the most distracting and demotivating. Don’t trust your conception of positive/negative experiences. All that we know for certain is what hurts in the moment and what doesn’t. And that’s not worth much.”

“Certainty is the enemy of growth. Nothing is for certain until it has already happened – and even then, it’s still debatable. That’s why accepting the inevitable imperfections of our values is necessary for any growth to take place.”

“The beauty of poker is that while luck is always involved, luck doesn’t dictate the long-term results of the game.”

“A lot of people treat being born with a disadvantage, whether OCD or small stature or something very different, as thought they were screwed out of something highly valuable. They feel that there’s nothing they can do about it, so they avoid responsibility for their situation. They figure, “I didn’t choose my crappy genetics, so it’s not my fault if things go wrong.” And it’s true, it’s not their fault. But it’s still their responsibility.”

“There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances.  We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.”

“Often the only difference between a problem being painful or being powerful is a sense that we chose it, and that we are responsible for it.”


Yes, I absolutely recommend everyone above the age of 21 to read this book. You have to get past the first few chapters of excessive cursing, Mark Manson is trying to make a point. But once you do get past it, it is quite illuminating. The book is simple but profound, not necessarily in a “I never thought of that” kind of way, but more of a “I really need to think of this way more”.

It is a VERY easy read and will take no time at all. But I wouldn’t rush through it. In fact, I took sometime reading it because I wanted different aspects of what the author talks about to truly sink in so I could have time to reflect on it.

Until the next book, Happy Reading!


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