Thoughts on The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

I know I promised this review/comparison weeks ago but I honestly took me that long to pick a part my feelings from Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I was really looking forward to this book, heard good things and had just finished Sarah Knight’s The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k so I felt fulling prepared to be giving zero fucks. That was not the case.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*uck – Mark Manson

I wanted to throw this book across the room multiple times. I actually couldn’t stomach reading any more that I stopped, started a new book and then continued to finish the book in small doses because I would get so upset. And I mean upset. To the point where Rich was more or less begging me to quit reading it because I would complain every time I read it. But alas, I made it through.

You’re probably wondering what was so awful about it – well for starters, the writer. His perception on not giving a fuck was basically to be a lazy inconsiderate human being. The point of no return was when he essentially said not to help people solve their problems because that’s there issue, not yours, so don’t give a fuck. I can see how if it’s colleague I’m not close with tells me about how they want to move house, I shouldn’t be looking for new new rentals for them. BUT. The example he gave was such: your spouse doesn’t like there job and wants a new one. That’s their fuck to give so don’t help them with their CV and look for job postings for them.

Um what?

Helping your spouse look for a job that’s going to improve their happiness is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s what partners should be doing in a relationship. I know that Rich occasionally sends me job listings that he thinks I’d be really good at and yes, I apply because there’s always room for growth – and spoiler alert – he has really good instincts about what I’d enjoy because he’s my husband and that’s what partners do!

According to Manson however, that’s a “toxic relationship” and we’re basically doomed for failure because we take on each other’s responsibilities and problems instead of just focusing on our own shit.

The real kicker? He’s married…

Needless to say, it was not a five star review – hell one star feels generous.

But I don’t want to leave it on a negative note, so I’ll share the one thing I did respect about his view on relationships – complete honestly, even if it hurts the other person’s feelings. This came up our book club discussion and I do think it’s a good policy for couples. I wouldn’t want Rich to lie to me because it’s what I want to hear and I respect him too much to do the same. Whether the other person acknowledges the information and acts on it is their choice to give that fuck or not. Seems like a good policy to me.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k – Sarah Knight

How this has less stars on Amazon then the before mentioned book, I do not understand. I devoured this book, finishing it in 2 days and only because I had to stop at work. Should I have started on a Saturday, I would have finished it in one go.

Both Knight and Manson share the same foundation: you only have so many fucks to give so do it wisely. Knight however, actually helps you understand the achieve this unlike Manson who goes on rants. Knight, while more unconventional was extremely more enlightening and inspiring to actually stop and think about the fucks you give everyday. She even included written exercises, brief mediation and a handy flowchart.

This book is more hands approach to actually changing your life.

A parody of the famous “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” the book focuses on tidying up your mental space, getting rid of all the clutter and focusing on the things that bring you happiness – those are the things to give a fuck about. Her explanation that all fucks given boil down to three things: time, energy or money. And when you stop giving a fuck about something you will alternatively be getting one of those things back. And if something overlaps all three, well that’s a best feeling.

As opposed to Manson she stresses the difference between being honest and not giving a fuck and being an outright prick of a human being. She gives you permission, nay encourages, you to say “no” and to stop saying “sorry” all the time. Of which I’m guilty.

I loved this book so much, I’ve already read her second book “Getting Your Shit Together” and her third book “You Do You” is being delivered today (fingers crossed). Needless to say, I would 100% recommend this book and have actually – I’ve already lent it to someone to read just 2 days after finishing it!

Not Giving a F*ck – In Practice

It’s all well and good to say a book changed your life or point of view – especially when it comes to a “self-help” book, but they say the proof is in the pudding.

Here are some on the things I came across during my mental decluttering:

  1. Getting up an extra 40 minutes to blow dry my hair and do my makeup for work — Time and Energy — verdict: don’t give a fuck. I now enjoy an extra 40 minutes of sleep every day, throw my hair in a ponytail, light foundation and go out the door happier.
  2. Caring about whether or not the clothes on the drying rack are put away as soon as they’re finished drying — Time and Energy — verdict: don’t give a fuck if they stay hanging up an extra day or three. I’ll get to it when I get to it, most likely when I’m watching some Hawaii Five-0 in the background.
  3. Getting stressed about posting on social media every day — Time and Energy (maybe Money) — verdict: don’t give a fuck. I’ll post when I post and have something to say or share. Why put added pressure on myself when I just want to be sitting on the couch in my underwear reading my next book.

The overarching theme in 90% of my list I wrote was that I spend A LOT of time and energy on things that I deep down, do not give a fuck about. Like caring about what other people think about me calling Kendall my kid (cause she is and they’re just jealous) to changing outfits up to 3 times in a single morning because I don’t want people to stare at me on the train. So what if I like bright colours and have a dozen different coats and patterns shoes. It makes me happy and I don’t care about your opinion. Saved myself at least 10 minutes in just changing outfits and not get to enjoy my coffee in bed and not rush out the door running to the train station because I couldn’t make up my mind.

I already feel more energised and have time to write this long winded post on a Saturday morning before anyone else is even awake. Hell, I might just write something else while I’m at it.

Bottomline, read the book and then get Getting Your Shit Together as well because I really enjoyed a lot of those exercises as well. I only finished it yesterday though so I haven’t started putting it into practice but when I do, I’ll report back 🙂

Anyone read either of these books? What did you think? Share your thoughts and reviews in the comments. 

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

Leave a Reply

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