Introduction: No sugar-coating here.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is a book that cuts right to the chase. In his own words he says, “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” And while it may sound like a grim and negative perspective on life, his advice is actually quite practical and direct and can help you turn your life around in less time than a lot of the, “sugar-coated” products available on the market today.
When it comes to success, Manson’s stance is that there will ALWAYS be a struggle in some way, shape, or form and that you should drop the notion of having a struggle-free career or living a struggle-free life—it simply won’t happen. Moreover, it would lead to a boring existence! Problems force us to think outside of our comfort zones and challenge us to grow to stronger mental, physical, and spiritual states. The same way our bodies become stronger when challenged with resistance training and conditioning, so too does our mind and spirit become stronger with problem solving and critical thinking. The trick, Manson suggests, is to find the problems and struggles worth challenging yourself over—the ones you actually enjoy sitting with and working to solve.
“Your emotional commitment to what you are doing will be translated directly into your work. If you go at your work with half a heart, it will show in the lackluster results and in the laggard way in which you reach the end. If you are doing something primarily for money and without a real emotional commitment, it will translate into something that lacks a soul and that has no connection to you. You may not see this, but you can be sure that the public will feel it and that they will receive your work in the same lackluster spirit it was created in. If you are excited and obsessive in the hunt, it will show in the details. If your work comes from a place deep within, its authenticity will be communicated.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery
“It is a simple law of human psychology that your thoughts will tend to revolve around what you value most. If it is money, you will choose a place for your apprenticeship that offers the biggest paycheck. Inevitably, in such a place you will feel greater pressures to prove yourself worthy of such pay, often before you are really ready. You will be focused on yourself, your insecurities, the need to please and impress the right people, and not on acquiring skills. It will be too costly for you to make mistakes and learn from them, so you will develop a cautious, conservative approach. As you progress in life, you will become addicted to the fat paycheck and it will determine where you go, how you think, and what you do. Eventually, the time that was not spent on learning skills will catch up with you, and the fall will be painful.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery
“I grew up in a wealthy family. Money was never a problem. On the contrary, I grew up in a wealthy family where money was more often used to avoid problems than solve them. I was again fortunate, because this taught me at an early age that making money, by itself, was a lousy metric for myself. You could make plenty of money and be miserable, just as you could be broke and be pretty happy. Therefore, why use money as a means to measure my self-worth?” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Research shows that once one is able to provide for basic physical needs (food, shelter, and so on), the correlation between happiness and worldly success quickly approaches zero. So if you’re starving and living on the street in the middle of India, an extra ten thousand dollars a year would affect your happiness a lot. But if you’re sitting pretty in the middle class in a developed country, an extra ten thousand dollars per year won’t affect anything much—meaning that you’re killing yourself working overtime and weekends for basically nothing.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Even if we have a lot of money in the bank, we can die very easily from our suffering. So, investing in a friend, making a friend into a real friend, building a community of friends, is a much better source of security. We will have someone to lean on, to come to, during our difficult moments.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy. Everything That Remains is a book about reprioritizing your materialistic desires with experiential desires. It’s about spending less money at the mall and about spending more time with friends; about wasting less money on fancy cars and designer clothes and investing more money into trips to new places and people you hold dear; about focusing on ways that you can enrich your life rather than ways you can become rich.
“Success for me has little to do with money or possessions or status. Rather, success is a simple equation: Happiness + Growth + Contribution = Success. That’s the only kind of success I know. Hence, I want to partake in work that makes me happy, work that encourages me to grow, work that helps me contribute beyond myself. Ultimately, I want to create more and consume less. Doing so requires real work.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“We hold on to jobs we dislike because we believe there’s security in a paycheck. We stay in shitty relationships because we think there’s security in not being alone. We hold on to stuff we don’t need, just in case we might need it down the road in some nonexistent, more secure future. If such accoutrements are flooding our lives with discontent, they are not secure. In fact, the opposite is true. Discontent is uncertainty. And uncertainty is insecurity. Hence, if you are not happy with your situation, no matter how comfortable it is, you won’t ever feel secure.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“The best way to give yourself a raise is to spend less money. These days I know that every dollar I spend adds immense value to my life. There is a roof over my head at night, the books or the music I purchase add unspeakable value to my life, the few clothes I own keep me warm, the experiences I share with others at a movie or a concert add value to my life and theirs, and a meal from China Garden with my best friend becomes far more meaningful than a trip to the mall ever could.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“Our ultimate aim in seeking more wealth is a sense of satisfaction, of happiness. But the very basis of seeking more is a feeling of not having enough, a feeling of discontentment. That feeling of discontentment, of wanting more and more and more, doesn’t arise from the inherent desirability of the objects we are seeking but rather from our own mental state.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Once [our] basic needs are met (food, clothing, shelter, etc), the message is clear: we don’t need more money, we don’t need greater success or fame, we don’t need the perfect body or even the perfect mate – right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Today there are societies that are very developed materially, yet among them there are many people who are not very happy. Just underneath the beautiful surface of affluence there is a kind of mental unrest, leading to frustration, unnecessary quarrels, reliance on drugs or alcohol, and in the worst case, suicide. So there is no guarantee that wealth alone can give you the joy or fulfillment that you are seeking.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness