11 Profoundly Deep Lessons From Mark Manson’s Book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

11 Profoundly Deep Lessons From Mark Manson Book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F_ck

Today, I want to feature the book 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck' by Mark Manson and share the top 11 inspiring lessons and insights from his book.

I hope you will find these lessons inspiring and insightful.

#1. Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for

Mark Manson

"Everybody enjoys what feels good.

Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy, and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when they walk into the room. 

Everybody wants that. It’s easy to want that.

A more interesting question, a question that most people never consider, is, “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?”

Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out.

- Mark Manson

#2. The ticket to emotional health, like that to physical health, comes from eating your veggies—that is, accepting the bland and mundane truths of life

Mark Manson

"The ticket to emotional health, like that to physical health, comes from eating your veggies—that is, accepting the bland and mundane truths of life: truths such as “Your actions actually don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things” and “The vast majority of your life will be boring and not noteworthy, and that’s okay.”

This vegetable course will taste bad at first. Very bad. You will avoid accepting it. But once ingested, your body will wake up feeling more potent and more alive.

After all, that constant pressure to be something amazing, to be the next big thing, will be lifted off your back. The stress and anxiety of always feeling inadequate and constantly needing to prove yourself will dissipate.

And the knowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish, without judgment or lofty expectations.

- Mark Manson

#3. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires

Mark Manson

"Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.

Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires.

The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.

Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it.

To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain.

In contrast, if you’re able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable.

- Mark Manson

#4. Self-improvement is about prioritizing better values and choosing better things that REALLY matter

Mark Manson

"This, in a nutshell, is what “self-improvement” is really about: prioritizing better values, choosing better things to give a fuck about.

Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems, you get a better life.

- Mark Manson

#5. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond

Mark Manson

"There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances.

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

Whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences. It’s impossible not to be.

Choosing to not consciously interpret events in our lives is still an interpretation of the events of our lives.

- Mark Manson

#6. Travel is a fantastic self-development tool

Mark Manson

"Travel is a fantastic self-development tool, because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves.

This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live.

- Mark Manson

#7. The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience

Mark Manson

"Because here’s the thing that’s wrong with all of the “How to Be Happy” shit that’s been shared eight million times on Facebook in the past few years—here’s what nobody realizes about all of this crap:

The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.

This is a total mind-fuck.

So I’ll give you a minute to unpretzel your brain and maybe read that again: Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience.

It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”—the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place.

- Mark Manson

#8. Take action 

Mark Manson

"If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head.

- Mark Manson

#9. The fixation on the positive - on what’s better, what’s superior - only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not, of what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be

Mark Manson

"Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations:

Be happier. Be healthier. Be the best, better than the rest. Be smarter, faster, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, more envied, and more admired.

Be perfect and amazing and crap out twelve-karat-gold nuggets before breakfast each morning while kissing your selfie-ready spouse and two and a half kids goodbye. Then fly your helicopter to your wonderfully fulfilling job, where you spend your days doing incredibly meaningful work that’s likely to save the planet one day.

But when you stop and really think about it, conventional life advice - all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time - is actually fixating on what you lack.

It lasers in on what you perceive your personal shortcomings and failures to already be, and then emphasizes them for you.

You learn about the best ways to make money because you feel you don’t have enough money already. You stand in front of the mirror and repeat affirmations saying that you’re beautiful because you feel as though you’re not beautiful already. You follow dating and relationship advice because you feel that you’re unlovable already. You try goofy visualization exercises about being more successful because you feel as though you aren’t successful enough already.

Ironically, this fixation on the positive - on what’s better, what’s superior - only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not, of what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be.

After all, no truly happy person feels the need to stand in front of a mirror and recite that she’s happy. She just is.

- Mark Manson

#10. Be crystal clear on what's truly important to you in your life and let go of the rest

Mark Manson

"Everyone and their TV commercial wants you to believe that the key to a good life is a nicer job, or a more rugged car, or a prettier girlfriend, or a hot tub with an inflatable pool for the kids.

The world is constantly telling you that the path to a better life is more, more, more—buy more, own more, make more, fuck more, be more. You are constantly bombarded with messages to give a fuck about everything, all the time.

Give a fuck about a new TV. Give a fuck about having a better vacation than your coworkers. Give a fuck about buying that new lawn ornament. Give a fuck about having the right kind of selfie stick.

Why? My guess: because giving a fuck about more stuff is good for business.

And while there’s nothing wrong with good business, the problem is that giving too many fucks is bad for your mental health. It causes you to become overly attached to the superficial and fake, to dedicate your life to chasing a mirage of happiness and satisfaction.

The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.

- Mark Manson

#11. Here are 5 values that are life-changing

Mark Manson

"These five values are both unconventional and uncomfortable. But, to me, they are life-changing.

The first, which we’ll look at in the next chapter, is a radical form of responsibility: taking responsibility for everything that occurs in your life, regardless of who’s at fault.

The second is uncertainty: the acknowledgement of your own ignorance and the cultivation of constant doubt in your own beliefs.

The next is failure: the willingness to discover your own flaws and mistakes so that they may be improved upon. 

The fourth is rejection: the ability to both say and hear no, thus clearly defining what you will and will not accept in your life.

The final value is the contemplation of one’s own mortality; this one is crucial, because paying vigilant attention to one’s own death is perhaps the only thing capable of helping us keep all our other values in proper perspective.

- Mark Manson

Quotes from the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck Book Cover

Bonus: Enjoy Mark Manson's video on How To Stop Caring About Things That Don't Matter.

About Mark Manson

Mark Manson

Mark Manson is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and former dating coach. Since 2007, he's been helping people with their emotional and relationship problems. He has worked with thousands of people from over 30 different countries.

Mark is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (with over 5 million in sales in the US alone).

He regularly writes and updates his blog at: www.markmanson.net

Now it's your turn, what are your favorite insights from 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck' and why. Share them in the comments below.

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