Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a…

Every once in a while we do a book review here at The Money Vikings. We like to pick value added books that provide the tools to build wealth, and to synthesize that book into the main points if you do not have time to read it. The latest book I was recently introduced to is called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F%*#ck by Mark Manson. This is more of a philosophy on how to live life book, but I think in many ways it can add to your skill set to build wealth. As always, I picked a copy up at my local library.

This book has been out since 2016 and is written by fellow blogger Mark Manson. The main point of this book is to get your priorities straight and care about the things that really matter. Another main theme is to get over ourselves and our egos and enjoy our imperfect lives for what they are and view problems as opportunities. Very monk like! I am convinced that until this practice is mastered, one will not build wealth. We can’t do it all and care about everything, we will just burn out and wear down ragged. We will be of no good for ourselves or others, because we cared about every little thing swirling around us. And for what, we gave a shit about every stupid thing people thought and did towards our fragile egos over the years? Focus on what’s important and block out all the haters and noise, period.

The book is highly entertaining and Mr. Manson’s sarcastic and biting wit is really fun to read. I laughed out loud many times. I love this paragraph on page 13:

“Look, this is how it works. You’re going to die one day. I know that’s kind of obvious…You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of f&#*s to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a f&%*k about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then your going to get f%*&d.”

He challenges us to choose what matters most and what does not matter based on finely honed personal values. I see a direct correlation to conquering your financial freedom and building wealth. As we have talked about before, each person’s road to a life of “True Wealth” is unique to them. There is not a set amount of money or circumstances that define success, you define it! But, you have to know yourself, which is probably the hardest part after years of conditioning and inventing your persona.

Chapter 2 is titled “Happiness is a Problem” And I love this concept. He talks about how life has one problem after another, and solving one problem can lead to others. Happiness is a constant work in progress, not some destination we land on for eternity. He talks about how emotions are over rated. He asks an amazing question: “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” My mind was blown! Mark reminds us that there is no such thing as a problem free life. We will all have problems a lot of time and we cannot avoid them. Better to accept problems and manage them.

Chapter 3 is titled “You are not Special”. You get the idea and again I think it’s a great concept to embrace to get past ourselves. Most of us are average at most things, including with money and investing. This is a central tenet of the stuff we talk about at The Money Vikings, even those of us who are average can put systems and habits in place to achieve a life of True Wealth.

Other chapters cover “The Value of Suffering”, “You Are Always Choosing” and “You’re Wrong About Everything” and “The Importance of Saying No”. I discussed the importance of saying No to certain things and people in life in an earlier post:

7 Ways To Set Yourself Up For Extraordinary Success

One last subject of note that I really appreciated from this book. The Internet is always lying to us! The internet is on a constant arms race to grab our attention, therefore extreme things grab our attention more and more as we are desensitized. In addition, social media is lying to us all the time as people lie to each other.

I don’t have all this stuff figured out, but the book is an easy read and really made me think. It was a nice ego check and made me re-think some behaviors and thoughts. I also spent some time honing in on what is truly important in life so I can give the right F___s, about the people and things that matter the most.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.