THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F**K

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My daughter had read this book and gifted me a copy for mother’s day, I had never heard of it and was a little confused as to why she thought mom, who in my eyes is the queen of not giving a f**k needed this book in her life! I would soon realize my crown was a little tarnished.
First and foremost this book is not for anyone who is sensitive to potty mouth spiels, Mr Mark Manson is my kindred spirit of F bombs and then some.
There is a lot of diarrhea of the mouth through the chapters as well.
Second of all like with any story, poem, or song it is the interpretation of the reader, I went from being an avid reader to not reading for 5+ years due to brain fog. This year I put on my bucket list to read at least 2 books. Please forgive my recollection and interpretation if you’ve read the book and are wondering WTHeck I read lol.
At first glance, making my way through the first couple of chapters I was elated to read that someone views life and the world a lot like me, some of my views are not always that of those around me, and that’s ok, but it’s always nice to know you’re not bat shit crazy.
The book captured my intrigue as I read his thoughts about how society, largely social media society, affects our thoughts and self-worth much more then simpler times.
Now a days many of us attribute our happiness to things like the size of our home, car, popularity, and simply what we are or aren’t doing on a Saturday night. When in reality that is what we are unknowingly programmed to associate happiness with, we should instead not give an F about the ways we “see” as happy and focus more on what individually makes us happy.
Mark continues in his book with stories of famous and not so famous people, how their choices, values, and life’s merits affected them. He uses the stories to relate to people’s everyday lives and spells out his philosophy on how one’s choices of what to give so much f**ks about can affect them negatively and positively. How if you aspire to be a rock star your F’s given should be geared towards the hard work to get there and not jealousy of others already there or a pity party of why you’re not getting there. When we choose something to be passionate about make sure we do it for all the right reasons. That we think through loss vs achievements, and end game & long term gratification.
He also touches base on how we live in a world full of “whiners”
He refers to it as Victim hood Chic
How people for various reasons, feel like they have been wronged, they feel entitled to giving so much thoughts (let’s give the F bombs a break lol) about what they want to fight for. Often protesting the littlest of things that the world then stops listening to anyone’s voice anymore, real world problems are drowned out by it all. “Victims” of trivial things want “someone” else to blame and be accountable for their short comings. This is cause for much debate in our home, my young adults think I have out dated fundamentals, and I think we have coddled a generation of participation trophies & bottle fed adults, or as many refer to it, a butt hurt society.
Ironically enough, the book has a chapter where he voices his opinion on the new gen mantra of everyone’s a winner. I’m not an insensitive person, I just think sensitivity goes too far sometimes, and wonder what repercussion will result from it, will future generations look up to us as leaders or work to undue our damage.
He explains his theory on how we need to own events in our lives whether they are “our fault” or not, and choose how and where to give “energy” too.
I am “strong” as many have pointed out to me in my life, as I’ve also prided myself in believing as well, so for me the advice what doesn’t kill you…works, mostly, truthfully, not always.
Here is where I can admit that saying is no longer a catch all form of good advice for me or others, with the well-known knowledge of mental health illness, and some of my own traumatic events, for some that phrase may do more harm than good. For many, separating trauma or mental illness from rational thoughts is impossible, their thoughts are disconnected, therefore they cannot delegate where their energy goes. I however am not part of the victim-hood movement, and I’m fully aware his advice is for those of us who can allocate our energy, no need to protest his book because it’s not all inclusive.
To be fair he doesn’t come across as a tough love preacher, something I regret I may have been sometimes in my life, rather he encourages seeing LIFE as black and white, breaking down matters into workable clay. He encourages thoughts to help us find our light, he acknowledges fully that pain needs to be addressed and being an “always positive” person is toxic too.
But it can be argued that his push for molding our happiness and futures could be misunderstood and/or damaging to fragile people, and admit I once was ignorant to this.
I chuckled at the last chapter’s title…..THEN YOU DIE, but reading it I once again knew this man’s many life experiences helped him form the words for this book! He is passionate about sharing his journey and life’s lessons with us. I haven’t as of yet looked for his blog which apparently has millions of followers, but I just might take a peek.
Reflecting on myself after reading the book combined with my life lessons, I want to rephrase my philosophy.
Instead of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…
IF IT DOES NOT KILL YOU FIND WAYS TO KEEP LIVING,I think that is really what he is saying, and what I mean to advise.
The book overall was a good read, I’ll have to wait for my daughter to read this blog and let me know if I’m right as to why she wanted me to read it.
My guesses are:
I need to find my inner queen of not giving an F, when it comes to all I’ve lost due to health and tragedies in life, find ways to keep living, not fall prey to victim syndrome, not be afraid of failure, and not justify my worth and happiness according to society’s advertisements of such.
I need to not be afraid of death and live, if you ask her that means get on a plane, get my motorcycle license, and since the accident didn’t kill me pack up the car and drive out of town instead of isolating myself here for fear of being in another accident.
I need to re teach my kids (and future grand kids) on how to be happy; unknowingly I have given into many of society’s ideologies of happy and passed them onto my kids.
Although I have mostly taught them to be individuals and that adulthood is not cookie cutter, I admit often you will find me saying; WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK? Or YOU DON’T WANT TO LIVE LIKE “THAT”. It’s a balance I need to work on.
I have not opened up about it here and Hubz says I shouldn’t feel like I need to avoid it, we have a son with sensory processing disorder among other neurological/mental health challenges.
All that you think you know about being a parent and all that you think you need to and should give a flying duck about goes out the window when you are faced with an “unconventional” child.
This book along with the one I just read to better understand my son, has been an eye opener and gentle reminder that we are not identical molds, nor will his, mine, hubz, or his siblings happiness and self-worth be measured by how “normal” or “successful” at “growing up” we are.
Lastly I think she had me read this book because she thought I genuinely would love reading the many ramblings of this author who thinks a lot like me.
If you are going to venture out and read it one criticism I have is, I felt like I was a spectator at a timed debate, the book was written into 204 pages but I felt he could make an entire series of books dedicated to each of his chapters.
Reading it I envisioned him at the debate podium rambling out as much as he could in his allotted time frame. But then again I talk at high speeds so I am told, especially when I am passionate about what I am saying.
Regardless of its compact size, in these 204 pages are many good reminders of how to find freedom in the f**ks you don’t give.
I’ve not read self-help books in the past, unless you count the quizzes in Cosmo.
I like fantasy romance (think twilight and the mortal instruments lol) and biographies (true stories) mostly. I have read some “medical” type self-help too.
Having nothing to compare it to makes it hard to form an opinion.
If I’m being honest ( another path to true happiness in his/mine opinion, honesty!) his wit and sarcasm kept me engaged but I won’t be rushing out for more self-help books anytime soon, however I am glad she gifted this one to me.

4 comments

  1. What a great gift your daughter gave you. Also great post, you made me laugh and everything you brought up is so true. I could tell you wrote this one from your heart. Thank your daughter for me too. That book sounds like it had a lot of good tips on how to get through the world we have to deal with now. It isn’t easy if you think you have to keep up with it all, just do what you love and what makes you happy. Be happy for others too. It seems like everyone needs to live in a magazine now days and nothing is perfect but think how boring it all would be if we were all the same person, had all the same homes, kids, clothes etc…that is what social media tries to do. I like the world where everyone is unique and that is okay. Love your quote “If it doesn’t kill you, find ways to keep living”

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    • 100% life would be boring if we were all the same, I did write it from the heart, as soon as I was dine the book i started notting down my thoughts on it. Im glad you chuckled, sometimes i secind guess mixing my artsy fartsy and fun posts with some “life” ones. But in the end i like the mix of it all and hope others do too but cant worry if they dont lol

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