Painfully honest and outrageously funny, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is not your typical guidebook of unicorns, rainbows, fairies, and sunshine that promises to lead you to an unattainably perfect, problem free, feel-good life. This book is the complete opposite; it’s a much-needed reality check about our personal problems, fears, expectations, self, faults, and uncertainties in the whole, raw, unfiltered, f-bomb explosion infused truth.
It’s about finding what’s truly important to you and letting go of everything else. In the same way that it encourages limiting exposure to mindless distractions, such as social media, technology, television, it encourages limiting concern over things that have little to no meaning or value in your life.
I’m halfway through it and I’ve learned so much; it’s both freeing and incredibly inspirational. We live in a world where there are so many things - way too many things - to give a f*ck about, it’s important to figure out which ones actually matter. I’m so excited to continue reading and highly encourage you to pick up a copy. #Idontgiveachic
In the meantime, here are a few quotes from the book that I hope inspire you.
- “This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.”
- “To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is, therefore, a form of action;”
- “Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.”
- "We joke about first world problems, but we really have become the victims of our own success. Stress-related health issues, anxiety disorders, and cases of depression have skyrocketed over the past thirty years, despite the fact that everyone has a flatscreen TV and can have their groceries delivered. Our crisis is no longer material; it's existential, it's spiritual. We have so much fucking stuff and so many opportunities that we don't even know what to give a fuck about."
- “Travel is a fantastic self-development tool because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves. This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live.”
- “There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerge. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances. We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond. Whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences. It’s impossible not to be. Choosing to not consciously interpret events in our lives is still an interpretation of the events of our lives. Choosing”
- “Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy."
- “Because when we give too many fucks when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.”
- "The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience. This is a total mind-fuck. So I’ll give you a minute to unpretzel your brain and maybe read that again: Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backward law”—the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place."
- “Don’t hope for a life without problems,” the panda said. “There’s no such thing. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.”
- “Being wrong opens us up to the possibility of change. Being wrong brings the opportunity for growth.”
- “But a true and accurate measurement of one’s self-worth is how people feel about the negative aspects of themselves.”
- “Everybody enjoys what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy, and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when they walk into the room. Everybody wants that. It’s easy to want that. A more interesting question, a question that most people never consider, is, “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 turn out."
- “We all love to take responsibility for success and happiness. Hell, we often fight over who gets to be responsible for success and happiness. But taking responsibility for our problems is far more important because that’s where the real learning comes from. That’s where the real-life improvement comes from. "
- “We are defined by what we choose to reject. And if we reject nothing we essentially have no identity at all”
- “The fact is people who base their self-worth on being right about everything to prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes. They lack the ability to take on new perspectives and empathize with others. They close themselves off to new and important information."
- "What's interesting about the backwards law is that it's called "backwards" for a reason: not giving a fuck works in reverse. If pursuing the positive is a negative, then pursuing the negative generates a positive. The pain you pursue in the gym results in better all-around health and energy. The failures in business are what lead to a better understanding of what's necessary to be successful. Being open with your insecurities paradoxically makes you more confident and charismatic around others. The pain of honest confrontation is what generates the greatest trust and respect in your relationships. Suffering through your fears and anxieties is what allows you to build courage and preserverance."