This book is one of the top 10 NY Best Sellers Book as of 2021. Most of the time I read the book based on the number of pages. I am sorry but that’s who I am because I believe unless it is a fictional novel I have seen authors drag it to add the number of pages & it only makes sense when it is a fiction novel but not the guidebooks or self-help books. In this kind of topic, the book hinges on very small self-experience, and the author tries to drag it all the way till it makes it to publications. This book is close to 200 pages, so solid 5-6 hrs are sufficient to finish it but if you want to soak into it, pick a chapter per day and read it. I didn’t see much bullshitting around.
I also try to understand the author’s background before I read any guide/self-help books where there is some experience sharing is involved, for me that is important. I just want to make sure it is not accidentally popular. In today’s digital era anything can get viral & start trending with millions of hits. So I take anything popular with a grain of salt unless it works in my case. Because most of the time some of these books I have seen comes with concrete actionable items I try on myself or my situations. Every person is different & not necessarily everything that worked in the author’s case will work for me. I do try to apply in my real-life scenario and try to walk the author’s talk, some works some don’t work.
Again this is just me, I do judge book by it’s size. In the world of TikTok, Instagram & Snapchat where average attention span is is 30 to 60 sec at the max to impress the world, so I think I won’t be judged :).
Let us get to the point, this is my 4th book in the guide or self-help area in the past 12 months. Before this, I read “You are badass” by Jen Sicenrro. Now Subtle Art Of Not Giving F** by Mark Mason. I think if you put them together in a room they might not agree with each other. One takes an approach of self-motivating by following some techniques while the other one says you don’t want to be something which you are not and from Mark’s perspective the thought itself is negative.
Let us talk about the author, he is in his mid-30s as of 2021, looks like done everything possible a lost teenager can do(one-night stands, parties, travel, temporary gigs to meet daily needs). He also had failed relationships. He had some life-changing events in life related to his friend, who jumped from a cliff based on some teenage level talk. He is now a different person and he thinks certain things in his life brought him towards this side & he shares some of the experiences. He shares examples of some of the people whom the world thinks are successful but in true reality that’s not the case. The author thinks, everyone wants us to believe that the secret to a good life is to have a nicer job or a better car or a prettier girlfriend but that’s different than reality. The author is a blogger & makes some motivational videos too.
If you ask me to summarize the book in one line, what we worry or do in life is all about perspective about how we look at it, so we should decide about what we should give fck about.
What Stayed With Me From This Book ?
As I mentioned this is a different type of book and most of the self-help books prepare you for who you are not and how others became successful in their life we try to imitate their life or their habits. After completion of the book I couldn’t stop asking myself the question about, should I be myself or somebody else? We all have words of pearls of wisdom from someone but in practice does it work for me matters.
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. Philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “The Backwards Law.” Mark mentions this in his book.
Problems are going to come in life & we should enjoy that experience and happiness we get is from solving it. Problems add sense and meaning to our life.
The author gives a lot of examples where we as outsiders think certain people are successful but if you ask them or look deep into their life not necessarily they had the best life. Definition of success varies from person to person.
He also talks about our memories are unreliable & how beliefs get manipulated by surrounding things. He gives a lot of such examples where some people have regretted the major portion of their life but that is after the fact.
The more we choose to accept responsibility for our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives
Sometimes some things will make you feel good, it doesn’t mean they are good but deep inside it leaves you unhappy.
This one is good If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something or anything, really, and then watch the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself.
The author thinks we should question our emotions because they are not always right. Decisions made with temporary feelings as long-term consequences, so follow your temporary heart is something that needs to be thought through.
Things I will re-read again !!
It is the act of choosing your values and living by them that makes you great, not an outcome or accomplishment.
For any change to happen in your life, you must accept that you were wrong about something you were doing before.
Accepting responsibility for our problems is the first step to solving them. He gives some relationship advice.
The more uncomfortable the answer, the more likely it is to be true. Mark uses the term uncomfortable Panda but sometimes he takes over you.
You can’t merely be in love with the result. Everybody loves the result. You have to love the process. This one is true all the time and I took this from Bhagavad Gita & the expanded version is as follows.
Mark mention about “do something” and good actions will cascade in the results. I know I am repeating myself because I started believing this one.
My personal favorite when a person has no problems, the mind automatically finds a way to invent something.
Towards the end Mark writes about him standing at the end of the cliff, entire narration gave me the feeling like I am standing on that cliff and I tried to feel that moment. Confronting the reality of our mortality is important because it removes all the crappy, fragile, superficial values in life. If you can confront it without really facing such a situation then I feel you will achieve something in life.
I have always seen so many places people who have done great in their life they had a near-death experience at one point and it gave them real inner purpose in their life towards humanity.
One can pick something else from this book but I picked up & I think I will reread this book when life throws a curveball at me, which happens now and then. It prepares you better for such scenarios.
Time well spent while reading the book, thank you, Mark.