The Subtle art of not giving a F*ck, - Mark Manson
Let me begin by stating that I am not one of those who reaches out for self-help or motivational books easily, even if the reviews say it is a must read. The cover of this book says it is not a self-help guide, I beg to differ here. This is exactly the self-help book which is the need of the hour in today’s world and for today’s generation; they (we) wouldn’t understand it any other way! So, yes I did fall for this book when saw it first after all it’s such an intriguing name, you wouldn’t miss it while you are on a stroll in the bookstore.
Many times in life we are lost and we consider giving undue importance to a lot of things which don’t deserve the attention. And when we do realize that fact, it is late to go back in time and fix it. Mark Manson very cleverly breaks the shackles of being positive all the time, being entitled to certain things and people, realizing the true values which should lead your life, choosing your problems, the road to happiness, not fearing anything and giving a limited amount of f*cks which are required for a hassle free life. I resonated with all the aforementioned, because let’s just say I have contradicted much of all that Mark Manson says, most of my life. In due time, a lot of situations taught me to give lesser importance to things and people which break your peace of mind, and for everything else, this book played its part well in imparting me the wisdom I ought to have.
Clearly, there is a lot of difference between the clichéd self-help books which ask us to be positive all the time and optimism is the way ahead, giving us values and highs which make our minds bleed with the thought of how to attain it. But, this? No, not this one! It shows a more practical and coherent approach to handle life as such with mere values and problem segregation. Of course, one should stay positive in life but sometimes it is more important to honestly admit the misdoings. “If your life sucks, admit that it sucks”- says Mark. There is no point beating around the bush and searching for a high here. Accepting that your life sucks right now will only make you wonder what your next step should be towards improving it. Doing Something. Doing anything, will kick start it and give you different problems to worry about, may be better ones. Choosing which problem to ponder over is the key here. This analogy by the author impressed me a great deal.
The writing is satirical, honest and witty. The short stories in the book from the lives of some famous people and the anecdotes from Mark’s life are illuminating and thought-provoking. These short stories keep the reader engrossed until the end. The presentation of the book is very interesting because the blogger author chooses to touch base certain points which in my wild imagination I couldn’t have foreseen. For example, until recently I never knew rejection is important as well, being brutally honest can do wonders for your relationship and how superficial is the happiness when you connect them to money, attention and other materialistic things and how negative experiences can prove to be positive. The examples in the book are well put and co-relate with the values Mark is trying to prove. The subtleties which are support to make this art subtle are anything but subtle. They are attention-grabbing, debatable and convincing. If a self-help book can be written in such a fascinating manner, with so many funny instances and stark honesty, I think I might become a regular reader for this genre. It is zero percent boring and 100% enlightening. You might place yourself at every chapter and say - “I have been through that” Or “That’s so true” Or “This has happened to me”. Just like I did.
One of my favourite paragraphs from the book:
Bukowski once wrote, “We’re all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by life’s trivialities; we are eaten up by nothing.”
Many might not pick this up thinking we know the art of giving lesser number of f*cks, how to prioritize our life, and our important list of values to adhere by; very well, but I just want to say to them- Read this book for how it’s written, for its analogies and its wit and just experience the fun. You might find something which you didn’t know before.