The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Category: stoicism. Date read: June 8, 2017. My rating: 5/5. Buy on Amazon.

You're already making decisions and choosing, all the time. You just need to change what to give a fuck about. It's going to suck. You're going to be nervous. You're going to freak out. You may get pissed off at people or piss off people. These are all necessary side effects of choosing where to place your fucks. Choose wisely.

Stop giving a fuck about more. Stop letting others, or life, dictate what you should give a fuck about.

Don't follow the conventional life advice of being positive and happy. This focuses on what you lack, on what you should have been but failed to be. Pursuing something only makes you very aware of the fact that you don't have it.

Accept that having negative experiences and feelings — anxiety, fear, guilt — is completely normal. What's not normal are the perfect lives people like to showcase on social media.

Don't feel bad about feeling bad. Don't get angry about getting angry. There's nothing wrong with you even though you're bombarded with hundreds if not thousands of images of completely happy people with amazing lives.

Accept that the world is totally fucked and that's all right, because it's always been that way, and always will be. — Mark Manson

Start giving a fuck about less; only about what's important to you. There's so much going on — opportunities, experiences, stuff — that we stopped knowing what to give a fuck about.

Give a fuck for what's important: friends, family, purpose.

Look for the negative. Soreness and pain in the gym improves your health and energy. Business failures are the actual lessons. Being open with your insecurities makes you more confident. Honest confrontation builds trust.

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

Stop giving a fuck about pain and become unstoppable. Say to yourself: "I don't want to do this, I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?"

Enjoy the struggle, not the reward. The process, not the result. The fight, not the victory.

Stare down your life's most difficult challenges and take action.

It doesn't mean being indifferent, without emotion or meaning. It means being comfortable with being different.

It doesn't mean running away from pain. It means finding the pain that you enjoy dealing with. What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?

You can be successful only at something that you're willing to fail at.

This is not about willpower or grit. This is not another admonishment of "no pain, no gain". This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our success. — Mark Manson

Stop blaming others for your problems. It's easy and feels good. Solving problems is hard and feels bad. But problems will never go away.

Don't worry about failure. Life is comprised of failures, loss, regrets, and death. We go from wrong to slightly less wrong.

Technology has solved old economic problems by giving us new psychological problems. The Internet has not just open-sourced information; it has also open-sourced insecurity, self-doubt, and shame.

You get to choose how you think about problems, how you measure them, controlling what problems means to you.

Happiness and satisfaction comes from solving, not running away from, problems. New problems will come, but they will be upgraded problems.

Accept that you're average. Most of us are. Even if you're exceptional at one thing, chances are you are average at most other things. Being average is not a failure.

It's fine to want to improve, but obsessing over improving is believing that you're not good enough. Life is mostly boring and that's ok.

Learn to enjoy life's most simple things: laughing with a friend, having a bath, creating something, helping someone in need, reading a good book.

To be able to not care about difficulties, adversity, and pain, you must first care about something more important, something bigger. Your own purpose.

Your values determine how you measure yourself, everyone, and everything else.

Think what good values you would like to live by. Good values are based on reality, socially constructive, immediate, and controllable. They are processes. Being honest, creative, humble. Fostering transparency. Welcoming doubt. Expressing your emotions, both positive and negative, in a healthy way that aligns with your values.

Avoid living by bad values. Bad values generally rely on external factors. Self-worth and being right prevents you from learning. Always staying positive is a form of denial. Wanting to feel good all the time is not realistic.

If you're miserable in your current situation, chances are it's because you feel like some part of it is outside your control. (...) When we feel that we’re choosing our problems, we feel empowered. When we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable. — Mark Manson

You don't always control what happens to you but you always have control on how to interpret what's happened to you. Even if something bad happened to you that wasn't your fault, it's still your responsibility to make yourself happy again.

Doubt yourself. Doubt your beliefs, your emotions, your thoughts about your future. Doubt what you know about yourself. Look for how you're wrong and learn from it.

Never stop finding yourself, never know who you are. Let go of the stories you tell yourself about yourself. Free yourself to act, fail, and grow.

Give up your sense of entitlement. Measure yourself by mundane standards: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator. You're not special. You're not unique. You're not an undiscovered genius.

Learn to look and evaluate different values before deciding whether to adopt them or not. It's a skill that requires practice.

When you choose a new value, you're choosing a new pain. When you're feeling this new pain, don't try to numb it. Act despite it.

Be comfortable with saying and hearing the word "no". Choosing is by definition rejecting the alternatives.

We are defined by what we choose to reject. And if we reject nothing, we essentially have no identity at all. — Mark Manson

Take responsibility for your own values and problems. Choose to support and be supported, but don't ask for someone else to be responsible for you. People can't solve your problems for you and they shouldn't try.

Being honest is a good value. Being honest in a relationship should be more important than feeling good.

People with strong boundaries are not afraid of a temper tantrum, an argument, or getting hurt. — Mark Manson

Just shut up and do it.