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.
“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
“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
“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
“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
“We have seriously confounded luxury with necessity in our culture, and can no longer differentiate between what we want in order to maintain a particular lifestyle (with its social relationships and sensual pleasures) and what we actually need for physical survival. We have confounded social identity with biological and spiritual being to the point of believing we will die if we lose our social standing, which is often based on the material wealth we have accumulated. This accelerating spiral of desires becoming necessities is driving our suicidal rush to destroy the Earth we depend on for our actual physical survival.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude
“A man is really a mature man when he has come to this conclusion: ‘If death is happening to everybody else, then I cannot be an exception.’ Once this conclusion sinks deep into your heart, your life can never be the same again. You cannot remain attached to life in the old way. If it is going to be taken away, what is the point of being so possessive? If it is going to disappear one day, why cling and suffer? If life is not going to remain forever, then why be in such misery, anguish, worry?” ~ Osho, The Art of Living and Dying
“[My wife] likes to think of money as a big magnifying glass. If you are a good person before you had money… then money makes you an even better person. If you were a charitable person before you had money… then money makes you even more charitable. But if you were an asshole before you had money… well then, money makes you an even bigger asshole.” ~ Jesse Itzler, Living with a SEAL
“When I left New York City for the backstreets of Japan, I figured I’d be growing poorer in terms of money, amusements, social life, and obvious prospects, but I’d be richer in what I prize most: days and hours.” ~ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness