If you want to cut through crap in your life and don’t mind some rude words, read this book.
“The subtle art of not giving a fuck” by Mark Mansion
Just by reading the title, you might think, “Okay, so this guy is teaching us not to care about everything in life.” But in fact, what he’s talking is this – we all have limited amount of time and attention – use them wisely.
Make the conscious decision to focus your time and attention on things that truly matter.
The neighbour who sings loudly and affects your mood every morning? Not important.
The random guy who cut queue in the cinema and makes you feel the world is unfair? Not important.
The friend who likes to show off her handbags and makes you feel jealous and poor? Not important.
What’s really important then? Living a better life with more clarity.
When we’re faced with problems and challenges, we usually react too soon and too reckless. I have a friend whose face turns black whenever things go against his will. He feels like punching the his boss’ face. He starts complaining, blaming, and thinking that he’s a victim bullied by the world. Obviously this isn’t a helpful habit in the workplace.
If he could just pause for a few moments, stop victimising himself, do the work, or even change the job, he’ll be a happier person.
This book is funny too. I had some good laughs reading all the relatable examples. In the “You are not special” chapter, he talks about this guy Jimmy who’s delusional about his character. He sees himself as a successful entrepreneur, he’s positive and confident by the measurement of normal self-help books. But in reality he doesn’t do anything, he borrows money and continues to live in his delusional life.
Once you have a fixated opinion about yourself, it’s hard to break that bubble. That’s why you hear people say, “Yeah I’m MEMANG like this. Take it or live it.”
A girlfriend once said this proudly when we wanted to introduce a guy to her, “I’m an independent strong (Eve’s note: stubborn) woman. I can’t change. My future husband will have to take it.”
Sounds a little defensive and delusional to me.
If and only if we can just construct an ideal identity and live with it FOREVER. If and only if we can think that we’re right, we’re ENTITLED to good things all the time…. but who wants to live with a person like that?
The later part of book is where it gets more spiritual. In the grand scheme of life, our time is really limited. On your death bed, will you be thinking about the petty things and random people who insulted you? What’s truly matter? What legacy do you want to leave?
Be calm like this old goat I saw in Penang. We kept taking photos, petting and feeding the goats, but this goat just didn’t give a fuck. He focused on his zen mode.
Old goat is cool. Be like the old goat.
If you’re too busy to read, here’s some tips for you:
1. Skip the pages. Honestly, this book isn’t so great that you need to read word by word. Just read the chapters that might be useful to you.
2. If you have 5 mins to read the click-baity article about an actress dating a rich man, you have 5 mins to read the book.
Remember, choose your fucks wisely.