ForeverHerDay Book Review
written by Kira Cloudz
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson
“Finding something important and meaningful in your life is perhaps the most productive use of your time and energy. Because if you don’t find that meaningful something, your f***s will be given to meaningless and frivolous causes”.
Ever scroll through your social media feeds, looking at other people’s lives and wondering if you should be doing more? Giving more? Of course, it has become a common symptom in a highly competitive world wanting to grab your attention every second of the day.
Manson sets his book against this very relatable landscape of adverts, business profiles and social media lives fueled by highlight reels only. All of them asking you to give a f***. Slowly exhausting you, slowly depleting you, slowly adding more noise to your head. Until you are overstimulated with f***s to give that you don’t know where your own f***s have gone.
I would add myself into this mix, because I too use social media for my work, but for my personal life, however - not so much - and perhaps that’s my small example of not giving a f*** about the things they say I should give a f*** about.
Let me explain:
The Subtle Art of not Giving a f*** is an honest book. It tells you what you need to hear, whether you’re in your mid-twenties or early thirties, in a time of your life where you are supposed to become something, or have already started something, something that will make you money, make you successful and guarantee that you’ve chosen the correct path to ‘making-it’.
We’ve all experienced these pressures within an absurd reality showing you what you should be, whilst complicating the other very real anxiety of being an individual and ‘being yourself’.
So, what does it even mean?
Well, according to this book, the point is simply…“No matter where you go, there’s a five-hundred-pound-load of sh*t waiting for you. And that’s perfectly fine. The point isn’t to get away from the sh*t. The point is to find the sh*t you enjoy dealing with.”
Manson’s message is simple: no matter what you choose to do, there will always be struggles that you will have to overcome, so rather than trying to avoid them, embrace them. And these can only really be embraced once you decide what it is you really care about; where you choose to place your “f***s”.
Manson wants you to look at what you are valuing in your life and whether that is aligning with the f***s you give or not, and highlighting that you might just be feeling crappy for reasons that don’t deserve your concern!
Re-organize your values.
If you have created higher values for yourself, then your f***s will follow suit. For example, if you are starting an online business but keep worrying about how many likes and followers you have instead of working on the actual production of your product or website, then you are misplacing your valuable energy because you are valuing social approval rather than the authenticity of your business and your intentions behind it.
Manson also mentions to meet yourself with where you are currently at. That means being honest with yourself about how you feel and not beating yourself up about it either, which usually leads to a thing called the 'feedback loop of hell'. Embracing your adversity or your negative emotions means that you are allowing yourself to feel certain emotions without judging yourself for it. And from there you can start showing up for your goals.
Find what is meaningful for you and your specific journey.
By following this rule, you will find your values and will then be able to shift your energy towards that. Strangely enough, this is also where you’ll also see that happiness derives from these struggles – because you won’t know the good if you haven’t experienced the bad.
Other equally important and insightful themes that Manson talks about are; taking responsibility for yourself, realizing that your struggles aren’t as special as you think they are and that we are all privileged and entitled in some way or another.
The book is backed up with Manson’s personal experiences and historical examples. It touches upon the essence of many other schools-of-thought but wrapped up in Manson’s easy-to-digest, get-to-the-point text, which really does make it an attractive read.
So, before you have another existential crisis, remember that comparing yourself to other people’s highlight reels or follower count is not something you should be giving a f*** about, rather shift those f***s onto your own goals.
Here’s to you!
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