The Subtle Art Of Not Giving Fuck : A Counterintuitive Approach To Living a Good Life
Author : Mark Manson
The title of the book is provocative enough to impress that the content is teachs you how to not give fuck (care) about everything, which is somewhat may lead you into psychopath, but in fact it doesn’t. The book explain how to give fuck (care) about something important in our life in order to reach happiness, which is hugely different in every people perspective based one their experience, and ditch everything that irrelevant beside that. Kinda had same vibe with ‘goodbye, things’ by Fumio Sasaki, but it explained in different perspective. The book divided into nine chapter.
In first chapter, the Author tell you about the book’s objective, which I explained in first paragraph. In second chapter, the author explains that Happinness is not problem-free condition that most people always tell us, instead ‘True’ Happiness comes from problem. The author elaborated more further that life is suffering to every human, even they born from rich or stable family, life always find some ‘way’ to made us miserable or suffer.
Escape from the problem by getting drunk, partying, or doing crazy fun stuff may shift the anxiety from the problem we had, but it didn’t make the problem solved, instead, it can add more problem that we should attained. We had, or create, every reason to escape our own problem. Emotion is the mostly reason as the author stated, but the emotion itself oftentimes manipulative and trick your weak mind. That’s why, the Author believe that we, at the very least, choose our own problem to fuck (care) and pick how to struggle untill it get solved so the happiness we longing for achieved.
In Third Chapter, the author explain the dangerous of ‘identity falsehood’. He explained that most people oftentimes stick to their imagination about the identity they want based on their social circle, workplace, or family, even if they must lie in order to constantly made their ‘identity imaginaton’ real. The danger of this behaviour is come from the ‘identity’ that too different or too blend from mainstream social.
In case of the identity that too far different from social mainstream, people tend to make excuse to made them ‘exceptional’ because they identified, by themselves, too ‘different’ from the others, which oftentimes made they lazy to solve their own problem, hiding in their ‘exceptional’ reason. In the other hand, people who use that ‘identity card’ to follow the mainstream social will constantly anxious of what people thinking about him/her because the dynamic of people perceive about value’s in social term, even the values changes into creepy and toxic. This kind of people will follow it because they are shallow in their heart. That’s why the author told the reader not to be unique. We are not special. We had problem as any other and we had same responsibility to solve it with our own way so don’t blame your shitty situation to others. That decision will help people to more focuses to face the problem without confused about ‘identity falsehood’.
In fourth chapter, the author explained about the value of suffering, which is very tricky if you take a deep thought of it. It is explained by the Author that suffering, basically, happens because our dreams/target/expectation not fulfilled in reality. The thing is, we rarely ask ourself : is our dreams/target/expectation really can make us happy if it’s really happened? The Author give some example big artist who expelled from the band without any decent reason. Some can’t accept the rejection and take his life to revenge the band by making new band and spent most of his life to make great song to beat his enemy, which is succeed in some degree but not become too big if compared by his ‘arc nemesis’ (The man is Dave Mustaine – Megadeth Band). While in other example, there’s the one just kinda accept the rejection and started new life, which lead him to meet woman who will become his wife later. He may not become bigger ‘success’ as the band who expel him, but later he had stable marriage with his wife and participate as drummer in mostly international festival with fairly adequate payment (The man is Pete Beast, The Beatles). The Author conclude that ‘tragedy’ or shitty things that happen, which oftentimes comes unexpectedly, must be faced with precautionary and patient mind, as cliche as it sounds, you will never know the other way to ‘happiness’ that may lead to. It will be a needles suffering if you pick your own struggle just to prove you are worthed to someone who may didn’t care enough about you. Keeping the values of course is the key, which is the baseline toward ‘happiness’, but sometimes the values itself can be deceptive and irrelevant with your real condition, so you must had open-minded to admit the flaw that may come in your values.
In fifth chapter, the author elaborated more about choosing your own struggle. In life, there’s time we think that we didn’t choose the optional course that may lead our life into, but the reality is, the decision not to choose is decision itself, which in Life perspective, may lead you into other way that maybe you want to avoid. The Author tell that we oftentimes didn’t want take responsibilty of the problem that come, or tragedy to take it extremely, because they didn’t choose the problem. Unfortunately, life is problem, so even we didn’t want it, there’s always problem that will come. The only way to make it ‘meaningful’ is to take it, even we didn’t want to. Face it, pick your own struggle, and don’t give fuck (care) everything beside that.
Chapter sixth, seventh, and eighth mostly explained about failures that, always, happen in our life. We, as author stated, always see failures as bad things that should not exist in very first place, which is true at some point, but Life didn’t think that way. Failure is sign that challenge our values that we keeps inside in our heart. As we hate it, or as we prepared not to get this nightmare of failure, Life had their own way to shoving it into our throat. What the author want to told is, we should take the risk of failure even we hate or afraid or we try so hard until become depressed or anxious to face it, because there’s always possibly of it. Take the failure as step to improve and questioning our values that may irrelevant with our own current struggle.
The final chapter tells about death, the ultimate thing that made mostly human come numb and fear to accept it. In this chapter, the author told that if we fear of the death, then we fear of living too. Same as failure in life, if we accept that death will come to us or someone that hold dear to us, in whatever or whenever condition that seems to be, prepared or not, we will ‘free’ from the manipulative of ‘safe’ living. The moment we accept this reality then we started ‘real’ living with whatever expectation that will come, which relatively make we more ease to face every problem that always happens in uncertain way in life.
There’s many things that Author cover beside that I pointed before. Some content that stuck in my mind is the danger of shitty values which indicated by trying to get : (1) Pleasures, (2) material success, (3) always being right, and (4) staying positive, which is suprisingly ‘harsh’ and honest in my opinion because it somehow negate the ‘mainstream success’ that always told to us in every media. Mostly every part in this book tells you that ‘Life is suffering so choose your suffering to fuck (care) wisely’, which sounds too pragmatic and kinda egoistic in some degree, but somehow it ended true anyway. For anyone who had optimistic, bright, yes-man personality and ambitious, this book may shock you in some way, but it give pretty interesting insight because life is indeed suffering to each of us.