Book Summary The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson [Summary]

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

An honest self-help book that’s totally different from anything you’ve read before. Mark Manson throws all advice our minds were fed all these years – positive thinking and follow your passion – in the trash and explains in detail what you should really do if you want to be happier and live a fulfilling life. His writing is harsh and even brutal at times – as you can see from the title – but that’s what we need if we want to make a positive change in our life – a hard kick in the butt.

The Core Idea:

If you give a fuck about too many things you won’t have enough time nor nerves to give a fuck about the important things in your life. It’s a total mindfuck and it doesn’t sound serious, but if you really think about it for a second, you’ll understand that this simple sentence is the essence of living a good life. Mark Manson is trying to help us realize that things will inevitably suck sometimes and that’s cool. Following the advice in the book, you’ll successfully prioritize your values and start caring only about the important things in your life.


  • Being always right it’s a wrong thing. Embrace failure and learn from your mistakes.
  • Take responsibility for your life. You don’t control what happens to you but you are responsible for how you’ll respond.
  • Carefully select the things important for you. Give a fuck about them. Ignore everything else.

5 Key Lessons from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck:

Lesson #1: Being Wrong Matters

What’s the point of always being right?

If you want to learn something new, and you are constantly right, or you think you are, you’re actually blocking your mind from learning new things.

A few hundred years ago we thought that the Earth was flat. In the 18th century, Sigmund Freud argued that clitoral orgasms were signs of mental illness. When I was a little boy I thought that tomatoes are poisonous (because they are red).

Being wrong plays a huge role in our daily lives. Even if you are right about one thing, there is a huge chance that you’re wrong about at least other 5 things. We are simply afraid to admit when we’re wrong because there’s too much outside pressure.

In the real world being wrong is good. Mistakes help us grow. But this is only true if we take some time to observe the real reasons for our failure. Later, take notes so we can avoid similar situations in the future. Or in other words, each failure is an opportunity to learn something new and exciting.

So, embrace failure, take some time to understand why you fucked up your last relationship, job, project, and make proper adjustments.

“If someone is better than you at something, then it’s likely because he has failed at it more than you have.” Mark Manson

Lesson #2: Take Responsibility

I hate when people are not taking responsibility for their own lives. Mark Manson despises such people, too.

He makes a great point in his book about why you necessarily need to stop playing the victim all the time and start being a responsible human being.

Most of the time I hear these words coming out of the people around me: “It’s not my fault”; “Someone else put these things here”; “I grew up in the wrong neighborhood”; “My parents didn’t have enough money to send me to college”; “This is not part of my job”; ”He is rich because of his parents”.

Some people choose to believe that there is nothing they can do to solve their problems. Such people are playing the victim and always seek to blame others – or outside circumstances – for their problems and misfortunes.

Why they do it?

Because it’s easier. Denial gives us a quick adrenaline rush and a shortcut to escape our current problems. At least for a short period of time.

Naturally, if you do the opposite of hiding behind the counter when the situation escalates – I mean, acting proactively and taking ownership – you’ll grow.

Solving problems and tackling nasty situations takes guts and willpower. But it’s the right thing to do in the long-term.

The more obstacles you encounter and hop over, the more positive things will come into your life. After all, we are the ones responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances.

Even though we don’t always control what happens to us. We control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.

“Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” Mark Manson

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