January 16, 2018

Summarising the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Something to adopt in 2018.
not giving a fuck2

Sounds nihilistic, but giving less fu*ks may just be the best piece of advice we’ve been
waiting for. Best-selling Author and Entrepreneur, Mark Manson took the time to work out
what aspects of life do we sweat over. In doing so, a wealth of perspective helped produce a
contemporary “bible” of such on how to focus on the important aspects of life and how to
not sweat the small stuff.

The first piece of advice is strikingly counter-intuitive. Manson begins by reflecting on a
German-American Poet and Writer, Charles Bukowski who spent a great portion of his life
going against the grain. In the sense that, he never gave up on his dream of becoming a
writer, nor would he be anything other. He would not lean in to conformity, he would rather
starve and die knowing he tried. Paradoxically, he tried but he tried for his own personal
plight, for no one else’s. Essentially, the moral being do what it is that drives you rather than
striving for ideals set by others.

Why wouldn’t you want to be extraordinary? Manson gets that we want to feel this way,
because we’re conditioned to believe that “we all deserve greatness”. Because, contrarily if
we accept our averageness we may never strive for anything more. Take away the stress
and anxiety of striving to be anything but average and instead just “be”. This will actually
help you to carry out the mediocre aspects of life with a higher chance of accomplishing
other things without expectation or stress.

Manson gives the analogy that when a child is learning to walk they don’t just give up after
the 100 th time and internalise that perhaps walking just isn’t for them. As we grow older,
Manson explains that we’re taught to avoid failure because when we were kids we were
punished if we screwed up. We’re constantly surrounded by this idea of success, but really
our biggest successes are found in our failures and our ability to accept and learn from

Manson unashamedly anecdotes that after his wife spends a lengthy amount of time getting
ready to go out that occasionally she gets it wrong and looks “bad”. Short term, this will
produce in a handful of expletives. However, Manson knows that this honesty is
reciprocated and while the result is a couple of bruises egos, in the long run some rejection
can help build “greater trust and intimacy”. Because, if both parties aren’t willing to take on
conflict the foundation of a relationship may be based on “manipulation and


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