The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life — Book Notes

Mark Manson

Si Quan Ong
19 min readAug 3, 2017


Published: 2016

What This Book Is About:

This book will turn your pain into a tool, your trauma into power and your problems into slightly better problems. This book will not teach you how to gain and achieve, but how to lose and let go.

Buy the book on Amazon

Big Lessons (or tl;dr version):

  • Life is about prioritizing what to give fucks about, and what not to give fucks about.
  • The desire for more positive experience is in itself a negative experience and vice versa — because the more you pursue something better, the more you are fixated on what you lack.
  • Happiness is not an end-state, but a result of solving good problems.
  • Instead of searching for what feels good, you should ask yourself, “What are you willing to struggle for?”
  • You are not special and your problems have been faced by someone in the past, presently or in the future. Thinking otherwise is entitlement.
  • The media constantly bombards us with the message that being average is failure — it’s not. We are mostly average anyway.
  • To live a better life and to find good stuff to give a fuck about, you need to choose the right values and metric.
  • There are shitty values and good values. Shitty values are focused on external circumstances, where good values are process-oriented and focused on the internal.

The 5 values Mark encourages you to have:

  • Choosing to be responsible for whatever happens in your life, even if it’s not your fault (you can choose how you respond to things.)
  • You are always wrong, and growth comes from being a little less wrong each day.
  • Embrace failure because success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something. You only learn when you fail.
  • Say NO; commit to something (an activity, person, place etc.). To truly appreciate something, you must commit yourself to it.