The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

by Mark Manson


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#1 New York Times Bestseller

Over 6 million copies sold

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062457714
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/13/2016
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 271
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

MARK MANSON is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (with over 6 million in sales in the US alone). His blog,, attracts more than two million readers per month. Manson lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Don't Try 1

The Feedback Loop from Hell 5

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck 14

So Mark, What the Fuck Is the Point of This Book Anyway? 20

Chapter 2 Happiness Is a Problem 23

The Misadventures of Disappointment Panda 26

Happiness Comes from Solving Problems 30

Emotions Are Overrated 33

Choose Your Struggle 36

Chapter 3 You Are Not Special 41

Things Fall Apart 47

The Tyranny of Exceptionalism 57

B-b-b-but, If I'm Not Going to Be Special or Extraordinary, What's the Point? 60

Chapter 4 The Value of Suffering 63

The Self-Awareness Onion 70

Rock Star Problems 76

Shitty Values 81

Denning Good and Bad Values 86

Chapter 5 You Are Always Choosing 90

The Choice 91

The Responsibility/Fault Fallacy 95

Responding to Tragedy 102

Genetics and the Hand We're Dealt 105

Victimhood Chic 110

There Is No "How" 112

Chapter 6 You're Wrong About Everything (But So Am I) 115

Architects of Our Own Beliefs 120

Be Careful What You Believe 123

The Dangers of Pure Certainty 129

Manson's Law of Avoidance 136

Kill Yourself 139

How to Be a Little Less Certain of Yourself 141

Chapter 7 Failure Is the Way Forward 147

The Failure/Success Paradox 149

Pain Is Part of the Process 153

The "Do Something" Principle 158

Chapter 8 The Importance of Saying No 164

Rejection Makes Your Life Better 170

Boundaries 172

How to Build Trust 181

Freedom Through Commitment 186

Chapter 9 …And Then You Die 190

Something Beyond Our Selves 195

The Sunny Side of Death 200

Acknowledgments 211

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark Manson has given us a lot to think about in this book. Although I am in no way close to being completely comfortabe with all things in life I have found that a lot of the concepts in this book give me ways of finding that comfort. I do feel after reading it a bit lighter and not so anxious about past failures. I think it also made me less likely to be judgmental of others. Thank you Mr. Manson for sharing your insight and wisdom with the rest of us. Only good will come from it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, especially given my recent life changing events of. A. Returning to college at university. B. Divorce after nine years C. Failed business. D. Leaving the military after nine years. Was one of the books I happened to stumble upon and really truly cried at the end. I am better not perfect at really embracing what is truly a priority in life and what is not. What will be your legacy? Are your values lined up right? Or are poor values tripping you up? This book is a roller coaster of emotion, leaving you wanting more. 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book came highly recommended by a friend of mine and is one of the best self-help books I've read. Mark Manson doesn't tell you how to make a vision board or what steps to take to make the universe give you a new car. Instead he gives practical and real advice for figuring out what you care about and what to do with yourself. For example, a lot of self-help books tell you that you need "strong boundaries", but Manson explains what this means and gives you a test to figure out whether your relationships have them. I learned a lot of helpful ways of thinking about my problems, like the difference between "fault" and "responsibility". Although I felt at times that he was too quick to bash kids these days, as though he perhaps confused "content warnings" with censorship, his general messages are spot on. Very good read, and helpful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The title of the book is clever, but also a marketing hook. I give the author kudos for being brave enough to say things that many other wouldn't, and that many more wouldn't care to hear. There are many sharp points in the book, and they are all delivered in such a way that keeps you wanting more. However, there ARE moments when the author contradicts himself, and I can't help but wonder if he was even aware of it. Also, the author clearly leans heavily towards Buddhist teachings and philosophy, and that tone is pervasive throughout the book. Unfortunately, even when the author is giving his best advice, or sharing some kernel of wisdom, it is not anything particularly new. Almost any "holy book" from any religion touches on the basic ideas the author shares. Eschewing materialism, and devoting oneself to a more altruistic existence is not a new idea. It is no revelation that sincerity is a virtue, or that one benefits from having focus in life. This is generic, common sense you can find anywhere. So, maybe that is the true appeal of this book. The author is completely unafraid to say things that simply make sense. And in an age of hyper political correctness, that probably makes for a pretty compelling read. Overall, it's a decent read. But, the author really doesn't break any new ground. He's merely covering grounds less traveled.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a quick read. It has a few moments of self reflection that are asterisk worthy but nothing deeply philosophical. This is not a modern twist on responding to heavy philosophical questions, more like a blog about personal values that got too long. There isn't anything to really be learned here. No big "ah ha" conclusions that push the audience past comfortable and into action. The narrator's voice is pleasant, a bit pompous, and perhaps change was felt by the writer himself through creating this book, but there isn't enough meat to even justify the flashy title. I think the flashy curse words can't conceal that this is a casual chat from an average guy with a laptop. I wanted to be blown the f*ck out of my chair with a title like that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of self help books and this was by far one of the best. It's balanced well with comedy and reality. It's addicting to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is brillitantly raw. I instantly fell in love with it and go to it when i need a refresher on how i should be living my life. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A remarkable book. A different angle on self analysis and a guide for living that isn't stuffy or overbearing. The author does not beat you with intellectual or clinical "findings". He draws a lot from his own life and reasoning. A very worthwhile read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I like the most about this book is that my initial thought of Take 20% off coupons from
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader with a crude sense of humor I had high hopes for this book but it was pretty lackluster. There was nothing moving or insightful about this for me. It read like a drunken man in the throes of his midlife crisis ranting on his couch in a puff of smoke. It was repetitive in an irritating way, "feedback mechanism sounds fancy, I'll write that as many times as I can!' I also found it unnecessarily crude. I drop the f-bomb as well as anyone else, and often, but I just don't think it really added anything to the point of this book. Lines about "I'll just have to live with the fact I'll never get to feel Jennifer Aniston's ****", meh, it's just not humorous or pithy and just left me scratching my head as to what kind of person would really get something out of this book. It was a very quick read with not much substance other than, don't worry about everything so much, mostly common sense that I had figured out by at least 22 years old. I passed it off to my husband, the man who can make a sailor blush and reads a book a week for his enlightened opinion. He thought it was downright awful as well. I imagine the success of this book is due to a clever marketing team directed at people who don't read much. Really shocked that this was a NY Times best seller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book, especially given my recent life changing events of. A. Returning to college at universit and Take a Barnes $10 Off coupons code from
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This guy articulated so many of my thoughts and put definition and explanation to many of my own personal past experiences. I couldn’t put this book down and have recommended it to most everyone I give a f*uck about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got this on audio and loved listening to it on my drive to and from work. It makes you stop and think about how you approach life and decisions. Love the authors bluntness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book, it’s one of the few books that gives you a feel of reality and doesn’t sugar-code life itself. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tells a great story...contains a great message. Did not take long to breeze through, but will be thinking about it’s content for a while. Bravo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was written well. It's message was clear. There is something for everyone written inside the pages of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book a lot. Mark Manson says a number of interesting ideas. But I’m sure that most people will not be able to use his ideas in real life; they’re too philosophical. For me, this book works better together with “Secret Techniques for Controlling Sadness, Anger, Fear, Anxiety, and Other Emotions,” which is a very practical guide for mind state regulation. I highly recommend both these books.
chadbordes More than 1 year ago
Often times we feel that we need to be exceptional and great. We read self help books that tell us to attract positivity and love and money into our lives. We are taught that people should be more fair and caring and that everything is going to “be okay” Mark tends to push that envelope and say, life isn’t fair and that we have to choose the f*cks that we give and begin to accept that at some point we are all going to die. He gently reminds us that it's our ego impedes our ability to take chances and that by not committing to something, we are essentially being counterproductive. He lets us know as well as that it is okay to get your feelings hurt every so often. When we stop skirting around the issues, we can be liberated and free to live life and give the f*cks that need to be given. This is a wonderful read and a great gauge for where you stand in a modern world. I highly recommend this book to anyone and send a big thanks to Mark for giving a “f*ck” enough to share his brilliant insight.
IrishKid37 8 days ago
Great book. Learned a lot about what I value and what truly care about. Putting effort in to what matters and not being so concerned about things that don't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I was really excited about this at first. It seemed like, "Yes! We aren't all special and stop caring so much!" Then, there was one line that stuck out to me that quickly lost all credibility for me and it was in chapter 3. So, the first two chapters were good!
Sydney Luttschwager More than 1 year ago
So I picked up this book at my bookstore thinking that I wanted to give a self help book a shot. Well, let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t put it down because I didn’t want to pick it back up. I never actually finished this book. I don’t know if this is how you’re supposed to build your self-esteem or confidence or whatever, but Manson came off as arrogant and cocky, and that’s not how I want to live my life. I couldn’t stand half of the “advice” he was giving and the other half was complete bullsh*t. The only reason I gave this book more than one star is because there could be some speck of advice in this book that could help someone else out. I’m just not that person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WitchyWriter More than 1 year ago
A lot of this book feels like common sense once you've read it and let things sink in. But the first time you're reading it, there are definitely parts that can feel relevatory. I don’t remember how I ran across it, but Mark Manson’s “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose” article put me on to his writing. The article—which I think of as the “shit-sandwich article” (you’ll understand once you read it)—is really great, exploring the idea of what you would actually want to do with your life if you had to do something that was painful/unenjoyable/difficult yet still meaningful. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck is full of good writing and pretty decent advice. Manson talks about taking responsibility for your own actions and thoughts, and reducing the f*cks you give about all the unimportant stuff. If you figure out what matters to you, you can care about just those things. He says it’s okay for things to suck sometimes, and happiness doesn’t mean that everything is easy, it means that the things that are hard are still worth it and bring you fulfillment. He also talks about commitment, and how you’ll get more out of life if you commit to one relationship/hobby/job/whathaveyou. The only thing I kind of disagree with is his argument that if you feel alone, like it’s you against the world, then it’s probably just you against yourself. I get why self-sabotage and standing in our own way is such a big deal, but I worry about people not taking the extra step after it. You take personal responsibility for your actions and your thoughts, you question the way you do things and you try to do better in the areas that matter to you, *and* you also go find your communities. Cause sometimes it really is you against the weird patterns and systems of society, and you need a community who will help you fight those systems, and give you sanity checks when you’re being gaslit. Ultimately I enjoyed this book and think it’s a worthwhile read for anyone who hasn’t read much self-help yet, anyone under 30, or anyone who needs a kick in the butt to galvanize them into action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago