César D. Velandia

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a _ by Mark Manson

A Blogger presents his formula for true happiness, by choosing the right internal values, embracing highs and lows, and giving a _ about the rest.

Finished: Jun 2017
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
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César D. Velandia’s review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
4/5: A Blogger presents his formula for true happiness, by choosing the right internal values, embracing highs and lows, and giving a f*ck about the rest.

💡 Short review


💎 Gems

Stop avoiding your problems or seeking happiness "highs"

Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded ...Happiness comes from solving problems. The keyword here is “solving.” If you’re avoiding your problems or feel like you don’t have any problems, then you’re going to make yourself miserable.

Problems are painful and make us look for temporary distractions

Some people deny that their problems exist in the first place. And because they deny reality, they must constantly delude or distract themselves from reality. This may make them feel good in the short term, but it leads to a life of insecurity, neuroticism, and emotional repression.

Embrace uncertainty

Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. It never changes. Even when you’re happy.

Failure is the price to pay 🏆

We can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at.
If we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed.

Keep yourself in the lookout for doubt

Instead of striving for certainty, we should be in constant search of doubt: doubt about our own beliefs, doubt about our own feelings, doubt about what the future may hold for us unless we get out there and create it for ourselves.

Uncovering the root cause of our insecurities

The second layer of the self-awareness onion is an ability to ask why we feel certain emotions.

Happiness can only be achieved through movement

Happiness is therefore a form of action; it’s an activity, not something that is passively bestowed upon you, not something that you magically discover

The backwards law:

the more you try to be certain about something, the more uncertain and insecure you will feel.

We are always wrong, sometimes slightly less wrong

Growth is an endlessly iterative process. When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And

Improve yourself by:

prioritizing better values, choosing better things to give a fuck about. Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems, you get a better life.

Emotions are misleading

Just because something feels good doesn’t mean it is good. Just because something feels bad doesn’t mean it is bad. Emotions are merely signposts, suggestions that our neurobiology gives us, not commandments.

Enjoy the struggle

Our problems birth our happiness, along with slightly better, slightly upgraded problems.

Know thyself

The first layer of the self-awareness onion is a simple understanding of one’s emotions.

A simple formula for happiness:

solve problems; be happy.

Critical points in life tend to be transformational:

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.

Seek comfort in not knowing

The more you embrace being uncertain and not knowing, the more comfortable you will feel in knowing what you don’t know.

Action is cause and effect:

Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.

🔑 Fault and Responsibility:

Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense. Fault results from choices that have already been made. Responsibility results from the choices you’re currently making, every second of every day.

First step to gaining control and solving own problems:

Take extrem responsability "With great responsibility comes great power."


To not give a fuck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action.

Accept what is happening to you:

The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.

Choose what you care about and endure:

Learn to sustain the pain you’ve chosen. When you choose a new value, you are choosing to introduce a new form of pain into your life. Relish it. Savor it. Welcome it with open arms. Then act despite it.

Always wrong, sometimes less

That answer will change and evolve, because I change and evolve; and as I grow older and more experienced, I chip away at how wrong I am, becoming less and less wrong every day.

Seek internal values that you have control over:

You’ll notice that good, healthy values are achieved internally. Something like creativity or humility can be experienced right now. You simply have to orient your mind in a certain way to experience

Life is like poker, is about how you play the cards you're given:

the risks we decide to take, and the consequences we choose to live with. People who consistently make the best choices in the situations they’re given are the ones who eventually come out ahead in poker, just as in life. And it’s not necessarily the people with the best cards.

Why values are so important:

Values underlie everything we are and do. If what we value is unhelpful, if what we consider success/failure is poorly chosen, then everything based upon those values—the thoughts, the emotions, the day-to-day feelings—will all be out of whack.

Your choices are what matter:

choices each player makes throughout play.I see life in the same terms. We all get dealt cards. Some of us get better cards than others. And while it’s easy to get hung up on our cards, and feel we got screwed over, the real game lies in the choices we make with those cards.

You choose what to experience:

Whether we consciously recognize it or not, we are always responsible for our experiences. It’s impossible not to be. Choosing to not consciously interpret events in our lives is still an interpretation of the events of our lives.


Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.

Onion of self-awareness, level 3

Why do I consider this to be success/failure? How am I choosing to measure myself? By what standard am I judging myself and everyone around me?

Highs aren't true

They would see that their decisions were based on chasing highs, not generating true happiness.

Wrong perception ❌

Emotional inspiration → Motivation → Desirable action

If you want to accomplish something but don’t feel motivated or inspired, then you assume you’re just screwed.

Motivation is three-state endless loop ✅

           |                  |
           |                  |
           +                  v
        action <--------+ motivation

Become Free to fail

When the standard of success becomes merely acting—when any result is regarded as progress and important, when inspiration is seen as a reward rather than a prerequisite—we propel ourselves ahead. We feel free to fail, and that failure moves us forward.

Absolute freedom, by itself, means nothing.

Commit to something, reject alternatives

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.

Key of this book 👇⚡️

We all must give a f*ck about something, in order to value something. And to value something, we must reject what is not that something. To value X, we must reject non-X.

Futile game of victimhood

Entitled people who blame others for their own emotions and actions do so because they believe that if they constantly paint themselves as victims, eventually someone will come along and save them, and they will receive the love they’ve always wanted.

Unconditional love

It’s not about giving a fuck about everything your partner gives a fuck about; it’s about giving a fuck about your partner regardless of the fucks he or she gives.

In a relationship, conflict is necessary:

Without conflict, there can be no trust. Conflict exists to show us who is there for us unconditionally and who is just there for the benefits. No one trusts a yes-man.

The importance of trust

Trust is the most important ingredient in any relationship, for the simple reason that without trust, the relationship doesn’t actually mean anything. ... When trust is destroyed, it can be rebuilt only if the following two steps happen: 1) the trust-breaker admits the true values that caused the breach and owns up to them, and 2) the trust-breaker builds a solid track record of improved behavior

Commitment = freedom

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?

Commit => Focus

Commitment allows you to focus intently on a few highly important goals and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would.

Memento mori💀

While death is bad, it is inevitable. Therefore, we should not avoid this realization, but rather come to terms with it as best we can. Because once we become comfortable with the fact of our own death—the root terror, the underlying anxiety motivating all of life’s frivolous ambitions—we can then choose our values more freely,

Being ordinary:

The pampering of the modern mind has resulted in a population that feels deserving of something without earning that something, a population that feels they have a right to something without sacrificing for it. People declare themselves experts, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, mavericks, and coaches without any real-life experience. And they do this not because they actually think they are greater than everybody else; they do it because they feel that they need to be great to be accepted in a world that broadcasts only the extraordinary.

This acceptance of my death, this understanding of my own fragility, has made everything easier—untangling my addictions, identifying and confronting my own entitlement, accepting responsibility for my own problems—suffering through my fears and uncertainties, accepting my failures and embracing rejections—it has all been made lighter by the thought of my own death.