I’m listening to the audio version of this book. Laughing my guts out. I haven’t read too many books with the word “fuck” in the title. And out of the ones I have, this one’s definitely my favorite. That the book is written well, is obvious. Finding the perfect voice to read the book for Audible is another feather in their cap. Many fail miserably. What might be a decently written book, can turn into an unbearable audio book. Thankfully, Mark’s book, found the perfect voice in Roger Wayne.
If you have been arming your personal skill set with tools for focus and inner peace, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck fits right into your arsenal. I’m writing this as I listen to the book the second time. Stories from Mark’s personal life and journey are as refreshing to rediscover as they were the first time I heard them. Still very much funny. A lot of the text is very relatable.
Mark’s blog has a lot of wonderful writing too. Some free, some only accessible if you buy a subscription.
The first time I listened to the book was before my resolution to focus inward. Some months ago, my stress levels were HIGH. I was stressed that I was stressed! I was living what Mark calls THE FEEDBACK LOOP FROM HELL day after day, many times a day. My actions were always in response to stimuli. I was allowing everyone else’s actions to affect mine. I was living reactionary.
I decided to set some ground rules for myself. Regardless of what anyone else said or did, I would respond from my arena. I would be kind and I would stick to my ground rules. Kind of like “not giving a fuck”. Like Mark says, “not giving a fuck” doesn’t mean one doesn’t care about anything. It isn’t “indifference”. It’s deciding what are the things one does give a fuck about and then letting everything else go.
Somewhat similar to what Brene Brown also talks about in her book Daring Greatly. You focus on feedback from those who are in the arena with you and you ignore the rest. Brene’s book is another one I highly recommend you read. It is easy to live life as a reaction to what happens around us. Pain is inevitable. What gives us immense power, as human beings, is that we can, for the most part choose which pain we are willing to endure. Happy to endure. Which pain we’re willing to give a fuck about.
This is an oversimplification of the message in Mark’s book of course. There are bookmark-able nuggets throughout the pages and chapters. Colorful stories. Concise, repeatable phrases, Poster-worthy sentences. Even Instagrammable quotes, if one if so inclined.
In today’s cluttered world, we could all do with a bit of inward focus and simple, proactive living.
Boundaries are important more than ever. Depending on someone else to respect your boundaries is foolish. And a guaranteed path to stressful living. Taking complete responsibility for your feelings and actions is powerful. And liberating. Freedom.
Life – and other people will throw things at you at random, How you react to them is entirely your responsibility.
The book is an engaging and fun version of the “between stimulus and action lies choice” reminder. Full of self-deprecating humor, simple language and easy to follow structure. One of those books that’s worth buying in multiple formats. To rewind and replay on Audible. To dog ear and underline in print. Make notes in the margins. Age no bar.
Never too late to figure out and choose your values and metrics. Never too early to start either.