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.
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!
- “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
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!