Book Reviews
Leave a Comment

A Book Review: The subtle art of not giving a fuck

I resisted the urge to buy this book for quite a long time. I’m always a bit reluctant to buy books with titles that seem to be designed just to appeal to the busy passerby’s at airports, promising to change your view on life.
Then it happened. I bough this book in an Airport (Amsterdam), and although I didn’t really change my view of life, for sure I have discovered a lot of commonalities with some feelings about life that I’ve had for some time.

Fig.1: The cover of the book

Mark Manson does this in a very counterintuitive way. He is somehow able to destroy in a matter of few pages, years of self-proclaimed self-help gurus, and gets us all back to one important point: our life is what we decide to do of it.

First lessons first.

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.

By referring to Alan Watts‘ “backward law”, Manson helps us find a reason for why a lot of the efforts we do in our self improvements… don’t really work. And helps us understand why the real people that are successful are so because of their constant improvement over their constant “errors”.

He also helps us running the errands of choosing the struggle of our life, because that is what will make our life meaningful. In this sense growth becomes an endlessly iterative process, but not one were we for from “wrong” to “right”. Rather from “wrong” to “less wrong”.

Some broader concepts come in light, above all the fact that we do all things “right” doesn’t make us “right”. I bet each of you knows at least one person in your life who constantly tries to do all the “right” things. But fails hopelessly to be “right” in most situations. Too often however we are just drawn into negative energy circles, as he outlines:

Fig.2: Two problems people usually face to not facing problems

But the part that has made me reflect more is the one that talks about motivation and its relationship with Action. It was one of those “aha” moments when you finally see written ink on paper something you always thought of:

Action ⇒ Inspiration ⇒ Motivation

In order to achieve something… best way is to start doing it.

Overall a pleasant and inspirational reading, written in a fast paced rhythm. The entire book almost finished to early. And it leaves with the sensation of lounging for more: or at least to meet somewhere the “Disappointment Panda”, that immediately landed on my personal Facebook profile as a meme for this personal reading discovery.

Sergio - Blog Signature
This entry was posted in: Book Reviews


I am an experienced and innovative HR professional dedicated in improving the way organizations achieve results through their people. Over the years I have worked on many projects in different HR domains, gaining a deep understanding of all key HR processes, from Talent Management to Recruiting, from Organizational Design to Leadership Development, from HR Transformation to HR & Payroll Systems implementation at International level. Working with Fashion Brands, leading retailer as well as, through consulting, international brands in industries like Banking, Manufacturing, Professional Services at both Headquarter and local level. Last but not least I consider myself an eclectic and creative personality, with many interests ranging from technology to arts and poetry.

Leave a Reply

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