I don’t give a f*ck: how I view Mark Manson’s map to happier lives

Just kidding, I do give a f*ck. In fact, I probably give too many f*cks about too many things in my life. Some of these are big f*cks. I give a f*ck about my relationships, whether platonic or romantic. I give a f*ck about my academics. I give a f*ck about my job and career path. I give a f*ck about my family. Most of the time these are small f*cks that are probably insignificant, but I worry about anyway: my appearance, my laugh, my voice, etc.

Mark Manson’s “generation-defining” (according to a summary on Goodreads) self-help book is pretty self-explanatory: don’t give a f*ck. Okay, maybe don’t take that too literally. Basically, you have to give a f*ck about your life or else you’re a psychopath, but you also have to learn what to give a f*ck about and to not try. Sounds counter-intuitive, right? Not really; read the book to understand why because it’s way too complicated for me to explain to you.

Self-help books are often a hit or miss for me. I’ve read a few, but not many of them have successfully changed my life. Only Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends & Influence People has that place in my mind and heart. I find most self-help books redundant, overly positive, and too formulaic for my tastes. It’s like the self-help publishing industry thinks we are all the same.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is by no means a life-changing book, but nonetheless a very interesting one. Mark Manson’s writing is raw and isn’t afraid to leave out what he calls hurtful truths. He doesn’t shy away from obscenities if they get his point across. He doesn’t shy away from criticising the current everyone-is-special culture in schools and workplaces. He doesn’t shy away from criticising specific people, either. I don’t think he shies away from anything, really. This kind of language excites me, because it seems personal but also sets it apart from all the other self-help books out there.

I also agree with a lot of Manson’s ideas and points. Some of them actually made me reflect on my life this past year. Some of them were things my friends have said to me as part of pep talks but I didn’t really understand until now.

Again, my biggest quirk for this book is that it isn’t life-changing. I agreed with a lot of his points and his criticisms about modern society, but there are a lot of things that I won’t start incorporating into my life. These are points that I don’t think will be relevant in the near future. He seems to have ignored the point that people change in more complicated ways than he highlights in his book, which I find a lot of self-help books kind of miss out on.

The stories that Manson chose to go with his points are also kind of weird sometimes. I found them weird because I couldn’t link them with his ideas and advice, even though he points out the link a few minutes later. Maybe I’m just not a good listener to audiobooks, or maybe I’m just stupid. Who knows?

Regardless, this was an interesting read. I didn’t find this piece extraordinary, nor did I find it terrible. I will recommend it for the sake that the writing is good, but be mindful of what advice you choose to take in or not.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5