Book Reviews · Self-Improvement

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

the subtle art of not giving a f


About the Book

Having recently devoured Models, and with plenty of long train journeys inbetween (the joys of house-hunting!), I wanted to read something else by Mark Manson.

I loved his edgy tone in Models and how it exposed me to so many of my own blindspots.

Thing is, he’s only written one other book to date.

This one.

Good job I liked it so much!

Yeah, The Subtle Art… really doesn’t disappoint! Manson maintains his biting pros and strikes a wonderful balance between gently encouraging you to reassess your situation and sorting your s*** out.

And yet it also offers a completely different perspective to your typical self-improvement guide.

Really powerful stuff!

I particularly enjoyed his discussion of what makes good values, and as with everything he discusses, he does a really good job of breaking it down further and offering practical advice.

So without further ado, here are some of my favourite takeaways.

As you can see, there were quite a lot!


Favourite Passages:

  • “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important.” Chapter 1: Don’t Try


  • “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.” The Feedback Loop from Hell


  • “The people who don’t give a fuck about adversity or failure or embarrassing themselves or shitting the bed a few times. The people who just laugh and then do what they believe in anyway. Because they  know it’s right.” The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck


  • “The secret sauce [to happiness] is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.” Happiness Comes from Solving Problems


  • “This, in a nutshell, is what ‘self-improvement’ is really about: prioritising better values, choosing better things to give a fuck about. Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems [to solve], you get a better life.” Defining Good and Bad Values


  • “Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense.” The Responsibility/Fault Fallacy


  • “Aristotle wrote, ‘It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.’ Being able to look at and evaluate different values without necessarily adopting them is perhaps the central skill required in changing one’s own life in a meaningful way.” How to Be a Little Less Certain of Yourself


  • “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. No one trusts a yes-man.” How to Build Trust


  • “Now that I’m in my thirties, I can finally recognise that commitment, in its own way, offers a wealth of opportunity and experiences that would otherwise never be available to me, no matter where I went or what I did.// When you’re pursuing a wide breadth of experience, there are diminishing returns to each new adventure, each new person or thing… there is a freedom and liberation in commitment… you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous.” Freedom Through Commitment



What Others Are Saying

reviews for the subtle art



Star Rating:


Manson delivers another knockout with this.

I think I just preferred Models but only because of where I currently am in my life. I dare say once things go tits up for me (they surely do for everyone at some point, right?) then I’ll appreciate it even more.

I know others do. It’s already sold millions of copies and I keep seeing its distinctive orange cover popping up in various WHSmiths’ shops.

Well worth a read!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s