From the moment I picked up this book (“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”), I became cautious. I’m particularly wary of books dealing with motivation, personal change, popular psychology, spiritual transformation…
There was something strange about this book. Highly praised, sold in millions of copies, yet criticized by many for the author’s way of expressing himself (plenty of swearing) and parts where he talks about his own failures. Well, I don’t give a f*ck… 😀
After finishing this book, I sat for a while, lost in thought. Then, I placed it on a shelf, intending to reread it soon. By the way, that shelf? I call it “The Shelf with Books That You Must Read at Least Once in a Lifetime, Preferably More, and That Might Change Your Life”. I know, I know, it’s a long name for a shelf, but that’s its working title, give me a break. 😀
Mark Manson is painfully honest in his views, and sometimes it can be unpleasant to hear. He can be contradictory too. Life is crap, but that can also make it wonderful. You are not as special to the world as you think, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy and special to those close to you. In life, you should try many things, but not scatter yourself too thin. Sounds contradictory? Welcome to the real world; it doesn’t always work logically, but perhaps that’s what gives it charm. 🙂
To be honest, this book could take the text in a completely different direction, touching on topics of success, happiness, life coaching (I’m not fond of this term, even though I’m partly in this field). But, I’ll try to stay focused on the book itself.
Mark Manson combines humor, swearing, painful honesty, the darker sides of life, excerpts from his personal life, social criticism, and various interesting facts in a rather entertaining way. His intention is clear. He wants to slap you (figuratively, of course). A slap that will sober you up and shatter some of your illusions about life. And this slap might help you move from your standstill.
“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” addresses things like: the illusion of exceptionality; how not all life decisions should follow emotions; how we actually determine what are good and bad values; reactions to life’s tragedies; taking responsibility; accepting our flaws and limitations; the importance of saying “no”…
Through all these themes, Mark tries to lead us to understand what is truly important in life, and how being a more grounded person can lead to a more fulfilling life.
You might think I believe this is a life-changing book, that I’ve become a follower of Mark, and that I absolutely agree with everything he wrote? Heavens, no, hopefully, by now you realize I have a skeptical, sarcastic side that keeps me grounded and prevents me from drifting too far. 😀 The author himself is not perfect, nor do I agree with everything he wrote (in fact, in many cases, we hold completely opposing views, and I think he sometimes exaggerates).
But, in some things, he was painfully right, he broadened my perspectives a bit and gave insight into some matters. Also, he gave me some good ideas. 🙂
All in all, the book truly has my absolute recommendation.
And do you know why?
We are all like Icarus. We want to fly high and achieve much. If you take everything in this book literally, it might ground you. But, if you moderately accept some of its guidelines, it might lower you just enough not to get too close to the Sun. And still, it will allow you to fly high and perhaps achieve your goals.
The sky is the limit… no need to get burned by the Sun! 😀
What do you think, dear readers, do you need a mild sobering up from some illusions you’ve imposed on yourself?
(Originally reviewed: 16/09/2018)