Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck - Review

One of the things about traveling for work is that you get a chance to read - a lot.  Generally, I read technical books, history books, diet & exercise books, or business books. In this case, I could not help but wonder what knowledge a book titled "The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck" could contain. At a minimum I expected I might get a laugh or two - I was not wrong

Though there is a significant amount of language that any former sailor would feel comfortable with, this is actually a serious book written in a language that feels more approachable to the people that probably need it most.  I see the use of "adult" language as a means for the author to keep readers that are so frustrated with things in life that they most likely swear regularly to release the tension that is built up in them.  This tension prevents them from being able to see a good plan to go forward.  They can not see what to prioritize.  And when everything is a priority - nothing is a priority.  When nothing is a priority one does not improve their lot in life.

However, you might be surprised that there is actual wisdom in this book.  Here are just a few of the quotes I found in this book that I did not expect:

  • Self-improvement and success often occur together.  But that doesn't necessarily mean they are the same thing.
  • After all, the only way to overcome pain is to first learn how to bear [the pain].
  • ... there is no value in suffering when it's done without purpose
  • Happiness is therefore a form of action; it's an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you,
How many of us needed to hear and understand that happiness was an action we took rather than something that someone or something gave to us?  I think this is something every goth kid needed to hear in the 80's, every grunge kid needed to hear in the 90's, every emo kid needs to hear in the 00's. (Disclaimer: neither me nor the author are claiming this is a cure for actual depression just a way to shock some people just enough to look at the world in a slightly different perspective to ejoy what they already have)

And my favorite excerpt from the book:
  • Problems add a sense of meaning and importance to our life. Thus to duck our problems is to lead a meaningless (even if supposedly pleasant) existence.
I don't know how many people I know that try to live a problem free life.  My favorite people are always the ones that have had a ton of problems and have successfully solved some of them and learned valuable lessons when they could not solve others.

So if you are not offended by adult language, are looking for a different and frank look on how to get your life's priorities in order try out this book.


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