The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

Note: There is profanity in this post.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson does not necessarily tell you new information, but it does tell you known information in a crude and enlightening way. He goes straight to the core of things, making meaning out of IDGAF (I don't give a fuck). This resonated - friends and I, over two years ago, were finding and sending many motivational images (see below) to one another about not giving a fuck, so this is something I have tested out in the past (and failed - I give too many fucks). 

It was refreshing to have someone else's voice so boldly and blatantly in my head this week reminding me not to give a fuck because we have limited fucks to give and then we die. This does not sound motivational, but it is. It reminds me that we can all be pretty petty and small-minded, and that those emotions do not serve us. But emotions - anger, fear, frustration, sadness, contentment, euphoria - can serve us when we think about, and question, why we experience them when we're experiencing them. What pain do we want to sustain? What happiness can we find internally and ongoingly, instead of externally and singularly? When we pick values and objectives that require constant struggle to achieve them or overcome them, we are better off than when we aim simply for that new car, or that skinnier waist, or that next holiday. With few fucks to give, give a fuck about the things that actually provide you with the nurturing and sustenance you need - real struggle because of real problems that lead to real successes. 

Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can benchpress a small house. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainties of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who will live it and make it... This is the most simple and basic component life: our struggles determine our successes.
— Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

One thing Manson did at the beginning of each chapter, which I loved, was give really detailed examples of known people who became successful because, in other words, they didn't give a fuck. They were not aiming for material wealth, fame or praise and, in avoiding those pitfalls, led some pretty incredible lives or left a legacy behind.

...Our values determine the nature of our problems, and the nature of our problems determines the quality of our lives.
— Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Manson dedicates the second half of his book to five core themes: responsibility, uncertainty, failure, rejection and death. In essence, if we accept and embrace these things, we are better poised to selectively give a fuck about the right things, than if we eschew responsibility, believe in our our rightness/certainty over all else, deflect the act of trying to flee failure, fear giving or receiving rejection, and avoid our inevitable deaths. When we do the latter, we forget that we are flawed, often mistaken, not always successful, not always liked, living human beings. All of us. So get off social media - massager of envy - and remember that we are all suffering, and most of us are suffering over things we really shouldn't give a fuck about. In acknowledging this, we thereby free ourselves from the fucks we carry around, and can focus on the few fucks that matter.