The Subtle Art of Actually Giving a F$@!

As you are likely aware, the recent book by Mark Manson, The subtle Art of Not Giving A F### has been a huge success. Having become a New York Times Best Seller and having an expletive in the title make this an intriguing book.

There are some great takeaways and some wonderful insights. The goal of the book is to help people say no to the wrong stuff and focus on the most important things in front of them. It can almost be viewed as permission to shed the unnecessary things in our lives. As a concept, it’s great. However, beyond the cover it has begun to give many of its impressionable readers authorization to be more despondent. This book, while useful when taken in context, has become an endorsement for complacency and authorization for living half heartedly.

That was not Manson’s intent, yet here we are.

Tolerance is tantamount to endorsement.

Here’s you obligatory ‘Back in my day’ speech… When I was a child I wanted to go play with a friend I would call my friends house (yes I am a millennial, but back then most people only had landlines). After a short conversation with his mom he would come to the phone. We would decide on a place and a time to meet. Then at that exact time, we would actually meet. We didn’t have the ability to text and say we were 30 minutes late. It didn’t even cross our minds that we could cancel last minute  because something else came up. If one of us was 15 minutes late we assumed something terrible happened and we to make sure they were ok. Today it’s common for people to flake out or cancel at the exact time they were supposed to be somewhere. Not giving a f*ck is already very prevalent and it is hindering progress in both personal and professional lives.

The last thing people need is another excuse or justification for caring less. We need to be looking for ways to stay focused, to remain committed, and to not be holding out for something better. How many people do you know that have missed great opportunities because they were weighing their options?


Here are 3 tips for how to make sure you don’t slip into a state of half-hearted effort:

  1. Know what’s important to you. Being vigilant about protecting what important in your time will allow you to spend the most amount of time on things that matter. Once you commit to something that’s important, keep your commitment.
  2. Don’t make excuses. Taking responsibility for your choices is an exercise in integrity. Being accountable for your actions and inaction makes you dependable and desirable in both professional and personal settings.
  3. Learn to say NO. Don’t stay on the fence or weigh options. Make a decision, stick with it, and learn to say NO to things that come up after you’ve committed to something.


Don’t justify being flakey or noncommittal. Know what’s important to you and actually commit to it. You will enjoy yourself more when you aren’t always waiting for the next thing to come along.

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