The most surprising thing about Mark Manson’s new self-help guide on how not to give a f*ck is that he presents what I would (proudly) consider an obnoxious personality trait as a “subtle art.” The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life examines how to use positive thinking and an unwavering commitment to your goals to achieve years of…complete and unending misery. Or rather, how to shed the cockamamie perception that making lists and vision boards of where you want to be, and maintaining an upbeat, pro-me! outlook along the way, are the keys to a happy, rich life. According to Manson, self improvement has zero to do with turning lemons into lemonade, and everything to do with learning how to stomach lemons better. Which will come when you master The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
If you’re looking for a feel-good read and a participation medal, look elsewhere. If you want some some tough love, a blunt wakeup call, and some poop-joke-laced humor–or know someone else who needs it–The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck will attempt to teach you how to identify your limitations, and accept them. It will help you recognize that you may be exceptional and special…but you also may not be. In fact, you probably aren’t. Maybe you’re a loser, but maybe you’re just not a winner. Most of us are neither; most of us fall somewhere in between. And Manson (plus some academic research he’s studied and collected as supporting evidence) thinks the quicker we can come to know our limitations, our fears, our faults, ourselves as we are, rather than as who we “aspire” to be, the quicker we will stop giving such a giant fuck about getting the best / most / top whatever, and find contentment in what we’ve got, and what we can realistically hope to achieve.
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