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9 Lessons Learned from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

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The title of the bestselling book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson may be a little bit off-putting and in fact, a lot of people actually misconstrue the content of the book based on the, well, vulgar title.

As the old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, and that saying certainly applies to this book.

While yes, it may be crude and it may be vulgar, it really does offer a lot of great insight into why it’s important to stop caring so much about the things that don’t matter in life and why people should start concentrating more on the things that are the most important to them.

To summarize the content of the book, it is about values and how people often misplace their values, putting too much emphasis on things that don’t really hold value to their lives – and not enough emphasis on the things that are truly important to them.

According to Manson, when people do this, they end up missing out and not living a life that could be much more fulfilling.

After reading this book, I found that it offered some very tangible information and valuable lessons that everyone could benefit from. I can honestly say that after reading it, I actually feel like I was giving less of a f*ck and concentrating more on what matters.

What lessons did I learn, and what lessons could all readers learn from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck? Here’s a look at some of the top lessons that this life-changing book imparted on me.

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1. The Secret to Life is NOT Having the “Best”

So many people have been mislead with regard to what the “secret” to living a good life is. They think that they need to have the best job, make the most money, drive the best car, have the hottest girlfriend or boyfriend and live in the biggest and best house.

While all of this might be well and good, it certainly isn’t going to lead to any deep enrichment or fulfillment. These are all superficial, material things and in the end, believing that they will make your life better will actually make you feel depressed and empty.

2. Less Really IS More

The say that less is more, and this book taught me that less really is more.

Caring about more–getting more stuff, things that haven’t happened yet, things in the unforeseeable future–aren’t going to make life better; they’re going to make life more stressed out.

Caring more about what is true and the most important to you is what really leads to happiness.

3. Comparisons are a Waste

Thanks to the Internet and social media, we now have a myriad of ways to compare ourselves to others, which also means that we have an infinite number of ways to see that we aren’t measuring up, that we aren’t as good as someone else and that our lives aren’t as picture-perfect as they could be.

The truth is, making comparisons doesn’t do anybody any good. It makes you feel like you are less and that you don’t offer as much value. And at the same time, it puts people on a pedestal that they really don’t belong on (who belongs on a pedestal, anyway?)


4. Wanting Better Isn’t Making Us Better

We all want better. We want to get a better job, earn more money, live in a better house, drive a better car, have better relationships, have a better body; but wanting better is actually counterintuitive.

It makes you focus less on the things that you have and more on the things that you don’t. This, in turn, makes you appreciate the many wonderful things that you do have, as you are constantly on a quest to find something that is bigger and better. When in fact, what you already have is pretty awesome.

5. Accepting Your Personal Experiences is SO Valuable

Everyone experiences life differently, and trying to constantly compare yourself to others, not accepting the experiences that you have had, or devaluing them actually ends up making you miss out on what really matters: Your personal experiences.

Life truly is what you make of it, and if you are overlooking your experiences, you aren’t getting the most out of it.

6. Stop Searching for Happiness and Realize It’s Already There

We are constantly on a quest to find happiness. We’re never satisfied with what we have right in front of us while we are on our quest for happiness. And the truth is, happiness is sitting right there in front of all of us.

If we’d stop searching for it, we’d realize that we really do have happiness in our lives, and we’d be able to embrace it.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

What’s Inside?

  • Chapter 1: Don’t Try
  • Chapter 2: Happiness is a Problem
  • Chapter 3: You Are Not Special
  • Chapter 4: The Value of Suffering
  • Chapter 5:  You are Always Choosing
  • Chapter 6: You’re Wrong About Everything
  • Chapter 7: Failure is the Way Forward
  • Chapter 8: The importance of Saying No
  • Chapter 9: … And Then You Die


7. Negative Experiences are Valuable

Everything in life teaches us valuable lessons, even the mistakes that we make and the negative experiences that we have. Through those negative experiences, we learn a lot about who we are, what’s important to us, and where we are going.

Those negative experiences actually help to guide us to bigger and better things, so we shouldn’t overlook them or try to shut them away; we should embrace them and accept that they are beneficial, even if it doesn’t seem like they are at the time.

8. Stop Caring About “Fitting” In

Everyone tries so hard to be a part of the crowd, but what’s the fun in that?

Every single person is a unique individual, which is one of the things that make humans so awesome. Focusing so much on trying to fit in and be like everyone else covers up your uniqueness, which can ultimately make you unhappy.

Embrace your individuality and it will guide you to true happiness.

9. We’re All Going to Die Someday

That’s a stark, sobering, but true fact. Stop focusing so much on trying to be perfect, or you’ll miss out on the only opportunity that you have to enjoy life.

Stop Giving a F*ck

Those are just nine of the lessons I learned from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Mark Manson breaks it down so clearly and plainly that this doesn’t feel like your typical “self-help” book. It’s more of a guy getting you back into reality and adjusting the way you view life.

If you’ve never read this book, I highly suggest checking it out. And if you’ve read it already, leave a comment with some of your biggest takeaways.

subtle art of not giving a fuck infographic

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About the author

I'm an avid reader and love anything to do with mindfulness and mental health!

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