Author Mark Manson knows things. His self-help guide kicks all others in the shins and cuts the crap to give you some realistic tips on becoming happier. His modus operandi goes something like this: “F*ck positivity. Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” And so was born his blog, which then spawned the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Drawing on personal experiences and academic research, Manson’s book is a humorous look at rolling with the punches. We got him to share his top five tips for not giving a flying f*ck.
Yen’s Top 5 Tips for Not Giving a F*ck
1. Find something more important
If you’re constantly getting upset over trivial things like someone cutting you off in traffic or no one noticing your sweet new shoes at the office or the cashier who gives you a dirty look when you try to pay with coins, then the problem is likely not that you give too many fucks, the problem is likely that you have nothing more important or interesting to give a fuck about. Start trying to cure cancer or save the planet or something and then see how much the cashier’s dirty look seems to matter.
2. You are wrong about, well, just about everything
Put simply, our brains suck. We mis-remember things, we succumb to biases and stereotypes, we make irrational judgments every day. And it’s important to remember this because it means that thing that is bothering you so much, that thing you’re so scared of, you don’t actually know whether it’s good or bad. You don’t know what failure or success is in the first place, so why worry about it?
3. Failure is necessary to improvement
People avoid failure but they don’t realise that failure is the natural building block of any success. The only way to improve is to fail. The only way to learn is to be wrong. The only way to progress is to screw up first. So why avoid failure at all?
4. Nobody cares about you as much as you do
The truth is that we are all a little bit obsessed with ourselves. This isn’t because we’re bad people. It’s just part of the human condition. We are the only thing all of our experiences have in common, therefore we naturally over-estimate how important we really are to the world. This may sound depressing but it’s actually quite liberating. The next time you’re nervous at a party or a meeting, remember that everyone else is nervous too. Remember that they are also obsessing over what you think of them. They are also kicking themselves for every dumb word they say even after you’ve long forgotten. The truth is, most people are too worried about themselves to pay much attention to you, and once you accept this, it frees you to be the person you wish to be.
5. Saying “no” makes the world better
Most people give too many f*cks about rejection but the truth is that rejection exists for a very good reason: to keep people who are bad for each other apart. When you hide from rejection you hide from the thing that protects you. When you embrace rejection, you embrace your ability to decide what is best for your own life. Don’t be afraid of “no”. Don’t be afraid to say it and don’t be afraid to hear it.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is published by Macmillan and available now.