Words To Wander – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Words to Wander is a collection of notable passages from some of my favorite books that provide perspective and insight on getting the most out of life.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Description:  Mark Manson is a highly successful blogger, and creator of the popular markmanson.net website.  With millions of monthly visitors, Manson offers up, as he puts it, “personal development advice that doesn’t suck.” His book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, is a fast-paced, in-your-face, counter-intuitive approach to living the good life.  The book is a New York Times Bestseller, with over 3 millions copies sold.

Notable Quotes from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck:

“There is a premise that underlies a lot of our assumptions and beliefs.  The premise is that happiness is algorithmic, that it can be worked for and earned and achieved as if it were getting accepted to law school or building a really complicated Lego set.  If I achieve X, then I can be happy.  If I look like Y, then I can be happy.  If I can be with a person like Z, then I can be happy.  This premise, though, is the problem.  Happiness is not a solvable equation.  Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent parts of human nature and… necessary components to creating consistent happiness.”

“Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded.  Happiness comes from solving problems.  The keyword here is ‘solving.’  If you’re avoiding your problems or feel like you don’t have any problems, then you’re going to make yourself miserable.  If you feel like you have problems that you can’t solve, you will likewise make yourself miserable.  The secret sauce is in the solving of the problems, not in not having problems in the first place.”

“What is objectively true about your situation is not as important as how you come to see the situation, how you choose to measure it and value it.  Problems may be inevitable, but the meaning of each problem is not.  We get to control what our problems mean based on how we choose to think about them, the standard by which we choose to measure them.”

“There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges.  This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances.  We don’t always control what happens to us.  But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.”

“Often the same event can be good or bad, depending on the metric we choose to use.”

“Many people become so obsessed with being ‘right’ about their life that they never end up actually living it.”

“Certainty is the enemy of growth… Instead of striving for certainty, we should be in constant search of doubt:  doubt about our own beliefs, doubt about our own feelings, doubt about what the future may hold for us unless we get out there and create it for ourselves.  Instead of looking to be right all the time, we should be looking for how we’re wrong all the time.  Because we are.  Being wrong opens us up to the possibility of change.  Being wrong brings the opportunity for growth.”

“Don’t trust your conception of positive/negative experiences.  All that we know for certain is what hurts in the moment and what doesn’t.  And that’s not worth much.”

“Uncertainty is the root of all progress and all growth.  As the old adage goes, the man who believes he knows everything learns nothing.”

“If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it;  just start working on it.  Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head.”  Mr. Packwood, Manson’s high school math teacher.

“If we follow the ‘do something’ principle, failure feels unimportant.  When the standard of success becomes merely acting – when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite – we propel ourselves ahead.  We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward.”

“Confronting the reality of our own mortality is important because it obliterates all the crappy, fragile, superficial values in life.  While most people whittle their days chasing another buck, or a little bit more fame and attention, or a little bit more assurance that they’re right or loved, death confronts all of us with a far more painful and important question:  What is your legacy?  How will the world be different and better when you’re gone?  What mark will you have made?  What influence will you have caused?”

 

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