The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
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Choose better things to give a fuck about (values), because then you get better problems and a better life.
Learn how to focus and prioritise your thoughts effectively — how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values. This is incredible difficult. It takes a lifetime of practice and discipline to achieve. And you will regularly fail. But it is perhaps the most worthy struggle one can undertake in one’s life. It is perhaps the only struggle in one’s life.
Reserve our ever-dwindling fucks for the most truly fuck-worthy parts of our lives: our families, our best friends, our golf swing. And, to our astonishment, this is enough. This simplification actually makes us really fucking happy on a consistent basis.
Negative emotions are a call to action. When you feel them, it’s because you’re supposed to do something. Happiness is not a solvable equation. Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent parts of human nature, and necessary components to creating consistent happiness. Fear, anxiety and sadness are often representative of the necessary pain of psychological growth. And to deny our pain is to deny our own potential.
Happiness comes from solving problems. Happiness is therefore a form of action. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving. Don’t hope for a life without problems, instead, hope for a life full of good problems.
The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all.
If we follow the “do something” principle, failure feels unimportant. When the standard of success becomes merely acting — when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite — we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward.