“Even if you get run over by clown car and get pissed on by a school bus full of children, it’s still your responsibility to interpret the meaning of the event and how to respond to it.”
The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck is a best seller for a reason. I finished this in a single day while waiting around at the Nashville Airport. Author Mark Manson delivers fantastic insight on the journey called life in a refreshingly inelegant method. I’ve read quite a few “life” books the past few months (see other posts) and I’m guessing Manson has read most of them also He did a great job of cherry-picking a lot of great philosophies and succinctly piecing them together in a comprehensive and entertaining book.
I recognized material from philosophers ranging from Alan Watts to Budah, and ideas from books such as Man’s Search For Meaning to The Charisma Myth. The author discloses that he read 50 non-fiction books in 50 weeks before writing this, so he has a strong wealth of information to pull from. He’s also well traveled and offers some different cultural weaknesses that modern America may be dealing with.
One of the newer insights this book offered me was challenging people to think how they want to suffer in life, as opposed to how they want to be happy in life. This is pretty ingenious if you think about it because no matter what you do, there will always be conflict. Like the famous song, “Mo Money, Mo Problems,” each path you take will lead to problems. The question is, which struggles do you wish to endure? Do you want your life purpose to be a parent or a business person? Both have problems. Interestingly, he mentioned to keep this in mind when picking a spouse because, “this is the person you’re going to have a lot of fights with.” That’s quite pragmatic.
A couple other less serious elements about the book I liked…
The Wire was mentioned twice!
The author admitted to taking LSD.
He highlights the lunacy of the characters in Romeo And Juliet (I love doing this also).
He trashes political correctness.
He points out how colleges try to suppress speech and coddle students too much.
He recommends playing life like a card game. I’ve always felt that a good analogy. You can’t control the hands you get, but you can control how you play them.
Anyway, I obviously recommend this book to anyone looking for a good modern “life philosophy” book. It’s entertaining, not too long, and full of a wide variety of good advice.