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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

By Mark Manson
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Synopsis

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016) concentrates on living a better life by caring about fewer things. In this book, based on his influential blog, Mark Manson explains the few simple rules that will help anyone lead a happier, less stressful existence.

Do what you want, not all you can.

Key idea 1 of 9

Whatever you do in life will be a struggle, so you need to find the struggle that’s right for you.

What do you really want out of life? In other words, what’s your ultimate goal – the achievement you want written on your headstone?

It’s not such an easy question to answer, is it? Sure, many of us will claim that we want happiness, a loving family and a job we enjoy, but these are pretty vague ambitions. And vague ambitions are problematic because they won’t push you to strive for success.

Unfortunately, if you want to get anywhere in life, you’ll have to struggle. Achieving your goals will require hard work and plenty of perseverance; it’s guaranteed that there will be setbacks and hardships on the way.

If you don’t have a goal you’re determined to achieve, you’ll falter in the face of this adversity. Let’s say becoming a CEO is your goal. After all, being a CEO certainly sounds cool: just think of all that power and responsibility. And yet, being a CEO is far from a walk in the park.

CEOs regularly put in 60-hour workweeks, they have to make tough decisions and they need to be ready to fire people, time and time again. If you aren’t hell-bent on becoming a CEO, you’ll struggle with the hard work, and your chances of being a success will be slim.

Since struggle is unavoidable, you have to find something worth struggling for. You have to identify what you really enjoy doing. Working on something that makes you happy means you’ll not only be undeterred by the constant battle; you’ll grow to love it.

Take the author. He realized that he really enjoyed writing about dating, and so he decided to focus on writing a dating-advice blog. It was a challenge at first, but because he loved what he did, he thrived on the adversity. Eventually, the struggle paid off; the blog garnered hundreds of thousands of subscribers and it paid more than enough for the author to make it his full-time job.

There is no point looking for an easy life, one without adversity. The only way you’ll get ahead is to find a goal that you want to struggle for. However, it’s equally important to say no to all the struggles and tasks that don’t bring you joy. Be ruthless and stop chasing the things in life that don’t make you happy. Concentrate on the few great things – and don’t give a fuck about everything else.

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