The title of Mark Manson's book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" is misleading. Manson does not suggest we should stop caring about everything. He says that we should choose the things about which we care.

Manson speaks in a sarcastic, casual tone peppered with profanity. It is entertaining initially, but the style wears down after a while. By Chapter 3, he sounds like a stand-up comic performing on open mic night at a bowling alley. Fortunately, he tones down this schtick in later chapters.

But his sometimes childish style does not discount his advice, which is often good. Among his suggestions:

  • Examine your own weaknesses and work to improve them. Accept failure and pain as necessary steps in improving yourself. The key to success is solving problems - not avoiding or denying them.
  • A sense of entitlement is an inhibitor to success.
  • Learn to set boundaries and commit to things you really care about.
  • Appreciate life and recognize that it is short and precious.

If this all sounds like common sense, you are correct. Manson's book is a collection of common-sense advice, told in a sometimes-witty manner, interspersed with anecdotes from his own life. It is a quick read with some good nuggets, one of my favourites of which is:

"To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action; it's an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you"

I don't give a lot of f*cks for this book, but I give a few.