The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Mark Manson
Suggested By
Max Yampolsky
Jan 29, 2021 → Feb 10, 2021
Related to Insights and Realizations (Inspired by)

Feedback loop from hell

When you’re worried that’s you’re worried, angry that you’re angry, anxious because you’re anxious.

Three subtleties of Not Giving a Fuck

  1. Not giving a fuck doesn’t mean being indifferent.
  2. To not give a fuck about adversity, you have to first give a fuck about something more important than adversity.
  3. You are always choosing what to give a fuck about whether you realise it or not.

We have evolved to always live with a mild degree of dissatisfaction and insecurity. Because it is the dissatisfied and insecure creature that is going to do the most work to innovate and survive. .... Our own pain and misery aren’t a big of human evolution, they’re feature.
Happiness comes from solving problems.
Happy life is the life full of good problems.

Mistakes when dealing with problems.

  1. Denying existence of problems. Such people have to constantly run away from reality. Such approach can lead to short term satisfaction but will eventually lead to life full of insecurity and emotional repression.
  2. Victim mentality. Some people choose to believe that there is nothing they can do about their problems. They blame others and circumstances in their problems. It may make them feel better in the short term, but will lead to the life of anger and helplessness.

Emotions are overrated

Emotions is just a feedback mechanism that is designed to lead you in a way of beneficial change.

Negative emotions are a call to action. If you feel them, it means you are supposed to do something.

What makes us happy today won’t make us happy tomorrow. Fixation on happiness is a constant pursuit of more. Psychologists name it a “hidden treadmill”.

Choose your struggle

Everyone wants the same: to be loved, wealthy, beautiful, popular. The real question is:

“What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” — that seems a greater determinant to how our lives turn out.

We decide whether we are a success or a failure by choosing our values and metrics

Self-awareness is like an onion, where deeper layers can make you cry like a bitch. On the most superficial level, being self-aware means being able to identify your state and emotions: "Oh, I am angry", "Oh, I am happy", etc.

On a deeper layer, one can trace the occurrence of the emotions to the reasons that cause them. Such as being unhappy because something have not met one's expectations or standards.

The next level, however, comes with more tears. "Why my standards or expectations were set this way?", "Are the values I am holding to actually make me dissatisfied with myself and others?".

Shitty values

  1. Pleasure. It’s nice but a bad value. Pleasure while necessary, is not by itself sufficient. If you fix the other areas of your life, pleasure will naturally occur.
  2. Material success. The studies show that once one can satisfy the basic needs of food and shelter, the correlation between happiness and worldly success approaches zero.
  3. Always being right. If your metric is being right, you’re going to have a difficult time rationalising all the bullshit you yourself.
  4. Always being positive. Sometimes, life sucks. And the most healthy thing you can do is just admit it.

You are always choosing

Choosing to not consciously interpreting our lives is still a choice made. Choice not to take responsibility to face the problems is also a choice.

We are always choosing the values and metrics by which to interpret life.

It doesn’t matter what card we’ve been dealt, it’s our responsibility to choose how to play with it.

Victimhood Chic

Outrage porn

Media finds it effective to broadcast some mildly offensive issue to generate outrage and then broadcast that outrage across the population so that it outrages yet another part of the population. This triggers a kind of echo of bullshit pinging back and forth between two imaginary sides while distracting us from real political problems.

I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?
We became victims of our success
Person who is really happy doesn’t have to repeat that to themselves in front of the window.