Book Club | The subtle art of not giving a ****
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
Warning: While I won't be swearing in this post, I will make frequent allusions to swear words so I hope you are not overly prudish.
"The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****" is not to be confused with "The Life-changing Magic of not giving a ****". Although there does seem to be a consistent theme, these two books are very different. Firstly, The Subtle Art is written by a man, Mark Manson and The Life-changing Magic is written by a woman, Sarah Knight. This is not where the difference ends however. I originally bought The Life-changing Magic because a colleague and I were discussing it, well at least I thought we were...
The Life-changing Magic is simplistic in it's ideas and message, which it gets across really powerfully within the first few chapters and then bangs on about the same thing for the rest of the book. It uses crude humour to get it's point across and is certainly for those who want to change their lives, but aren't ready to get into anaylsing their own thinking and habits yet.
The Subtle Art, the book my colleague was ACTUALLY talking about, is best known for it's bright orange cover and contains that much gold, I'm going to have to read it numerous times to let it all sink in. While I liked The Life-changing Magic, The Subtle Art is clearly the better book.
I have been enjoying my book club blogs lately (make sure you check out some more, linked below) and have made it a habit of turning down the pages as I read to go back to important quotes when writing my post. With this book, I had so many pages turned over within the first few chapters that I gave up by the end. So instead of giving a whole heap of quotes, I'm going to outline some of the lesson's I learnt from the book, and let me tell you, there was a lot.
Firstly, what is the subtle art of not giving a ****? Well Manson outlines three key points that contribute to this subtly, which I believe, if implemented correctly, will drastically change your life for the better.
Subtlety #1- Not giving a **** does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.
Subtlety #2- To not give a **** about adversity you must first give a **** about something more important than adversity.
Subtlety #3- Whether you realise it or not, you are always choosing what to give a **** about.
One of the biggest lessons that I took away from the book which features in the chapter titled 'Happiness is a problem' is that suffering is a part of life. We have the expectation that we should be happy with all aspects of our lives at all points in time. Not only is this unrealistic, but it is something that keeps us stuck in a place of misery.
Instead, we must choose our suffering. You may hate your job but it provides you with a good salary. Therefore you must choose between having a job you dislike or being in a tighter financial situation. You may be in a complicated relationship and have to choose between that situation and a singledom where you are potentially lonely. The list goes on, but you get the drift.
We live in a society where we think we can have it all, all of the time. But we can't. Suffering is inevitable and sometimes we need to choose the lesser of two evils, the one that we are willing it put up with. Once we have made that decision, we can feel powerful because we know that we have chosen our present reality. Manson asks "What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?" Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives will turn out" P. 36.
I like how brutal Manson is with what he says, not in a way to make the reader feel like crap about themselves but to really debunk some of the lies we were taught to believe about life that now have us caught in a trap of comparison, insecurity and unhappiness. In the chapter also brutally named 'You are not special' he goes on to say "The vast majority of life is unextraordinary, indeed quite average. This flood of extreme information has conditioned us to believe that exceptionalism is the new normal." P. 58
I could go on and on about some of the other great tid-bits located in this book, but I guess you are going to have to just read it for yourself and see what speaks to you. All I can say is, that for myself, it certainly shattered some ideals of 'perfectionism' and allowed me to be content with the little things in life.
Comment below your favourite inspirational read and don't forget to follow me on social media! Instagram @evolveliving_blog and YouTube Carly Morton.