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Dayo F Osibamowo
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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

Mark Manson (2017)

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The Responsibility/Fault Fallacy

Location 1199: Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense. Fault results from choices that have already been made. Responsibility results from the choices you're currently making, every second of every day.

Chapter 6: You're Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)

Location 1409: Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don't go from "wrong" to "right." Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.

Location 1434: Certainty is the enemy of growth. Nothing is for certain until it has already happened and even then, it's still debatable. That's why accepting the inevitable imperfections of our values is necessary for any growth to take place.

Location 1436: Instead of striving for certainty, we should be in constant search of doubt: doubt about our own beliefs, doubt about our own feelings, doubt about what the future may hold for us unless we get out there and create it for ourselves. Instead of looking to be right all the time, we should be looking for how we're wrong all the time. Because we are.

Action point - strive for doubt.

Be Careful What You Believe

Location 1552: Our beliefs are malleable, and our memories are horribly unreliable.

Location 1556: If we're all wrong, all the time, then isn't self-skepticism and the rigorous challenging of our own beliefs and assumptions the only logical route to progress? This may sound scary and self-destructive. But it's actually quite the opposite. It's not only the safer option, but it's liberating as well.

The Dangers of Pure Certainty

Location 1629: Uncertainty is the root of all progress and all growth. As the old adage goes, the man who believes he knows everything learns nothing. We cannot learn anything without first not knowing something. The more we admit we do not know, the more opportunities we gain to learn.

How to Be a Little Less Certain of Yourself

Location 1704: Question #1: What if I'm wrong?

Location 1723: Question #2: What would it mean if I were wrong?

Location 1737: Question #3: Would being wrong create a better or a worse problem than my current problem, for both myself and others?

Location 1760: That's simply reality: if it feels like it's you versus the world, chances are it's really just you versus yourself.

The Failure/Success Paradox

Location 1807: At some point, most of us reach a place where we're afraid to fail, where we instinctively avoid failure and stick only to what is placed in front of us or only what we're already good at. This confines us and stifles us. We can be truly successful only at something we're willing to fail at. If we're unwilling to fail, then we're unwilling to succeed.

Location 1817: Better values, as we saw, are process-oriented.

Pain Is Part of the Process

Location 1848: Just as one must suffer physical pain to build stronger bone and muscle, one must suffer emotional pain to develop greater emotional resilience, a stronger sense of self, increased compassion, and a generally happier life.

Location 1875: These are VCR questions. From the outside, the answer is simple: just shut up and do it.

Location 1891: A simple place where two people can walk up to each other at any time and speak.

Location 1894: Learn to sustain the pain you've chosen. When you choose a new value, you are choosing to introduce a new form of pain into your life. Relish it. Savor it. Welcome it with open arms. Then act despite it.

The "Do Something" Principle

Location 1912: "If you're stuck on a problem, don't sit there and think about it; just start working on it. Even if you don't know what you're doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head."

Location 1916: Don't just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow.

Location 1921: Action isn't just the effect of motivation; it's also the cause of it.

Location 1927: The thing about motivation is that it's not only a three-part chain, but an endless loop: Inspiration --> Motivation --> Action --> Inspiration --> Motivation --> Action --> etc.

Location 1932: If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something - anything, really, and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself.

Location 1938: Forcing myself to do something, even the most menial of tasks, quickly made the larger tasks seem much easier.

Location 1942: Someone asked the novelist how he was able to write so consistently and remain inspired and motivated. He replied, "Two hundred crappy words per day, that's it."

Location 1944: 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.

Location 1947: The "do something" principle not only helps us overcome procrastination, but it's also the process by which we adopt new values.

Location 1951: Do something. That "something" can be the smallest viable action toward something else. It can be anything.

Location 1956: You can become your own source of inspiration. You can become your own source of motivation.

Chapter 8: The Importance of Saying No

Location 1983: Ultimately, the only way to achieve meaning and a sense of importance in one's life is through a rejection of alternatives, a narrowing of freedom, a choice of commitment to one place, one belief, or (gulp) one person.

Location 2015: Russian society found the most valuable currency to be trust. And to build trust you have to be honest. That means when things suck, you say so openly and without apology.

Location 2021: This is why it became the norm in Western cultures to smile and say polite things even when you don't feel like it, to tell little white lies and agree with someone whom you don't actually agree with. This is why people learn to pretend to be friends with people they don't actually like, to buy things they don't actually want. The economic system promotes such deception.

Rejection Makes Your Life Better

Location 2040: The point is this: we all must give a fuck about something, in order to value something. And to value something, we must reject what is not that something. To value X, we must reject non-X.

Location 2052: Honesty is a natural human craving. But part of having honesty in our lives is becoming comfortable with saying and hearing the word "no." In this way, rejection actually makes our relationships better and our emotional lives healthier.


Location 2086: Healthy love is based on two people acknowledging and addressing their own problems with each other's support.

Location 2087: The difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship comes down to two things:

  1. how well each person in the relationship accepts responsibility, and
  2. the willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner.

Location 2120: The mark of an unhealthy relationship is two people who try to solve each other's problems in order to feel good about themselves.

Location 2121: Rather, a healthy relationship is when two people solve their own problems in order to feel good about each other.

Location 2123: You both should support each other. But only because you choose to support and be supported. Not because you feel obligated or entitled.

Location 2158: People with strong boundaries are not afraid of a temper tantrum, an argument, or getting hurt. People with weak boundaries are terrified of those things and will constantly mold their own behavior to fit the highs and lows of their relational emotional roller coaster.

Location 2164: It's not about giving a fuck about everything your partner gives a fuck about; it's about giving a fuck about your partner regardless of the fucks he or she gives. That's unconditional love, baby.

How to Build Trust

Location 2180: Without conflict, there can be no trust. Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits.

Location 2182: For a relationship to be healthy, both people must be willing and able to both say no and hear no.

Location 2184: Conflict is not only normal, then; it's absolutely necessary for the maintenance of a healthy relationship.

Freedom Through Commitment

Location 2250: Commitment gives you freedom because you're no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Commitment gives you freedom because it hones your attention and focus, directing them toward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy. Commitment makes decision-making easier and removes any fear of missing out; knowing that what you already have is good enough, why would you ever stress about chasing more, more, more again? Commitment allows you to focus intently on a few highly important goals and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would.

The Sunny Side of Death

Location 2455: This fleeting sense of being part of something greater and more unknowable than themselves. And entitlement strips this away from us. The gravity of entitlement sucks all attention inward, toward ourselves, causing us to feel as though we are at the center of all of the problems in the universe, that we are the one suffering all of the injustices, that we are the one who deserves greatness over all others. As alluring as it is, entitlement isolates us.

Location 2469: Our culture today confuses great attention and great success, assuming them to be the same thing. But they are not.

Location 2472: You are already great because in the face of endless confusion and certain death, you continue to choose what to give a fuck about and what not to.