Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
The following list of relationship quotes were all derived from Mark Manson’s book The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck. With a title like that, I’m sure you’ve already gathered this much but just to set the tone for the quotes you’re about to read, Mark is the type of author who cuts right to the chase and doesn’t sweet-talk any of the advice he gives. There’s no positive mantras, affirmations, or feel-good stories—in fact, it’s a refreshing dose of just the opposite.
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 what he would consider to be the sugar-coated product(s) available on the market today.
The following is an excerpt from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It recounts the life and story of Buddha and how he went from being a young, spoiled child—who had essentially everything (and anything) he could have ever wished for—to the sage that we remember him as today who practiced severe asceticism before his enlightenment.
The suffering that the Buddha endured formulated the foundation for the teachings and philosophies on which Buddhism was later founded and the story of the Buddha shares a deep insight about how happiness is not the absence of suffering but rather a dance with suffering and non-ascetic, middle way living.
Below, you will find the story of Buddha as it was shared in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. While you read, we strongly encourage you to reflect on your beliefs of suffering and happiness and challenge you to take notes (real or mental) on areas of your life that might need some attention or reevaluation.
Some questions to consider: Are you pursuing happiness or happy in your pursuits? Are you waiting for a criteria to be met before you feel that you can be happy? Is meeting that criteria really going to make you happy or will it just lead to more criteria? If you’re feeling moved, drop some of your thoughts in the comment section below! We hope this helps and we hope you find value in this story. Enjoy!
By: Mark Mason
Post(s) Inspired by this Book:
- The Story of Buddha and How Happiness is Not the Absence of Suffering.
- 9 Relationship Quotes That Will Make You Feel Better About Commitment.
“The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself; to choose values that stretch beyond serving yourself, that are simple and immediate and controllable and tolerant of the chaotic world around you. This is the basic root of all happiness. Whether you’re listening to Aristotle or the psychologists at Harvard or Jesus Christ or the goddamn Beatles, they all say that happiness comes from the same thing: caring about something greater than yourself, believing that you are a contributing component in some much larger entity, that your life is but a mere side process of some great unintelligible production.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Yes, breadth of experience is likely necessary and desirable when you’re young—after all, you have to go out there and discover what seems worth investing yourself in. But depth is where the gold is buried. And you have to stay committed to something and go deep to dig it up. That’s true in relationships, in a career, in building a great lifestyle—in everything.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Commitment gives you freedom because you’re no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Commitment gives you freedom because it hones your attention and focus, directing them toward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy. Commitment makes decision-making easier and removes any fear of missing out; knowing that what you already have is good enough, why would you ever stress about chasing more, more, more again? Commitment allows you to focus intently on a few highly important goals and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“While investing deeply in one person, one place, one job, one activity might deny us the breadth of experience we’d like, pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of depth of experience. There are some experiences that you can have only when you’ve lived in the same place for five years, when you’ve been with the same person for over a decade, when you’ve been working on the same skill or craft for half your lifetime. Now that I’m in my thirties, I can finally recognize that commitment, in its own way, offers a wealth of opportunity and experiences that would otherwise never be available to me, no matter where I went or what I did.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Consumer culture is very good at making us want more, more, more. Underneath all the hype and marketing is the implication that more is always better. I bought into this idea for years. Make more money, visit more countries, have more experiences, be with more women. But more is not always better. In fact, the opposite is true. We are actually often happier with less. When we’re overloaded with opportunities and options, we suffer from what psychologists refer to as the paradox of choice. Basically, the more options we’re given, the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose, because we’re aware of all the other options we’re potentially forfeiting.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“If people cheat, it’s because something other than the relationship is more important to them. It may be power over others. It may be validation through sex. It may be giving in to their own impulses. Whatever it is, it’s clear that the cheater’s values are not aligned in a way to support a healthy relationship. And if the cheater doesn’t admit this or come to terms with it, if he just gives the old ‘I don’t know what I was thinking; I was stressed out and drunk and she was there’ response, then he lacks the serious self-awareness necessary to solve any relationship problems.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“To truly appreciate something, you must confine yourself to it. There’s a certain level of joy and meaning that you reach in life only when you’ve spent decades investing in a single relationship, a single craft, a single career. And you cannot achieve those decades of investment without rejecting the alternatives.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Freedom grants the opportunity for greater meaning, but by itself there is nothing necessarily meaningful about it. Ultimately, the only way to achieve meaning and a sense of importance in one’s life is through a rejection of alternatives, a narrowing of freedom, a choice of commitment to one place, one belief, or (gulp) one person.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes. Even when you’re happy. Even when you’re farting fairy dust. Even when you win the lottery and buy a small fleet of Jet Skis, you still won’t know what the hell you’re doing. Don’t ever forget that. And don’t ever be afraid of that.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Our most radical changes in perspective often happen at the tail end of our worst moments. It’s only when we feel intense pain that we’re willing to look at our values and question why they seem to be failing us. We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been deriving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
“Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something. If someone is better than you at something, then it’s likely because she has failed at it more than you have. If someone is worse than you, it’s likely because he hasn’t been through all of the painful learning experiences you have.” ~ Mark Mason, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck