The book wasn’t on my reading list, but I had a long drive and a friend suggested it, so here I am. Now I’m not into “self-help” books, however I did read a couple related books in the past.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
- Outliers: The Story of Success
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
- Emotional Intelligence
So should you give a f*ck about this book? The book is well written and quite interesting but by no means deep. Like many other books, it essentially calls for you to figure out your priorities and focus on them. Unlike other books, this one seems to fill a particular niche – millennial struggle. One has to admit, life nowadays is different from the past and the pace of change is accelerating. It is not a bad thing per se, but presents different challenges. Perhaps you have less chances to be physically harmed or abused, but mentally… I say more. Information stream is just overwhelming and it comes from every part of the world, depending on your web-preference, you can be endlessly bombarded by good or bad news. On top of that there is instant-gratification phenomenon, press a button or better yet just imagine it and you are the winner.
Now one thing that got my curiosity peaked is: “counterintuitive approach” – which took me a bit by surprise, but let me explain. Due to my background, upbringing and some personal challenges in the past, I’m not what you would call a cheerful person. I consider myself a neutral, but I would not blame you if I come across as pessimistic. As a kid I never could answer: what would I like to achieve or be when I grew up. As teenager I adopted “avoidance strategy” (I also call it “working from negative”) – do anything to avoid A or B or C outcomes. So I went to university in order to avoid being a disappointment to my mother and working for low wage for the rest of my life. By default I always pick to do something in order to mitigate or eliminate an obvious or bigger problem (in my estimation) that is coming up. But no-one is perfect and self-delusion is an evolutionary tool, so drinking, smoking and junk food are my guilty pleasures. So to my big surprise the author actually explores, explains and recommends the “avoidance strategy” to achieve things and make a better life for yourself.
In a nutshell:
-: can use a bit more depth and some examples are questionable
+: well written & easy read
+: recipes and methods
+: a counterintuitive approach
=: it is a good book, with some out of the box ideas and discussions. It is short, hits all main issues and doesn’t overburden – can be read in one (perhaps long) sitting – well-worth ROI.
Title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Author: Mark Manson