The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

Impresiones, apuntes, y frases destacadas

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Mark Manson)

En este resumen incluí las 3 frases destacadas y el resumen en inglés. Siento que el lector no se puede perder ni el más mínimo detalle de lo que Mark nos dice, y por eso, recomiendo muchísimo adquirir el libro, acá les dejo el link de compra.

🗣El Libro en Tres Frases

  • La vida es corta como para que nos importen muchas cosas.
  • No se trata de que no nos importe nada, se trata de que nos importe algo tan fuerte que nos haga crecer en el proceso.
  • Estar equivocado y aceptarlo es en realidad la única manera de avanzar y ser mejor.

🖨 Impresiones

Sin temor a equivocarme podría decir que es mi libro favorito de todos los que he leído. Al principio sentía que Mark no tenía razón en lo que decía. Incluso, al finalizar el libro aún tenía mis dudas. Pero luego de digerir todo lo que menciona, en realidad ese approach contraintuitivo que el libro trae es cierto.

🔖¿Quién Debería Leerlo?

Debería leerlo alguien que siente que no le funciona ser positivo todo el tiempo, que no se siente bien consigo mismo sin importar lo que alcance, y quien considere que quien hace más cosas logra más.

🔄Cómo me Cambió el Libro

Justamente, en la sección anterior mencioné quién era yo antes de leer el libro. Ahora, con los pies sobre la tierra, puedo decir que me siento más feliz de vivir la vida que vivo, tomando en cuenta esos 3 aspectos que incluí.

📊Mis 3 Frases Favoritas

  • “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about what is true and immediate and important”.
  • “As Freud once said, ‘One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful’”.
  • “Depth is where the gold is buried. And you have to stay committed to something and go deep to dig it up.”

🤓Apuntes + Notas

Chapter 1: Don't Try

  • “Bukowski's life embodies the American Dream: a man fights for what he wants, never gives up, and eventually achieves his wildest dreams”.
  • “Self-improvement and success often occur together. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the same thing”.
  • “Conventional life advice –all the positive and happy self-help stuff we hear all the time– is actually fixating on what you lack”.
  • “The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about what is true and immediate and important”.

The Feedback Loop from Hell

  • It is a way of plunging ourselves into negative emotions about our own negative emotions, resulting it in more negativity after all.
  • “Our society today, through the wonders of consumere culture and hey-look-my-life-is-cooler-than-yours social media, has bred a whole generation of people who believe that having these negative experiences –anxiety, fear, guilt, etc– is totally not okay”
  • “Now if you feel like shit for even five minutes, you’re bombarded with 350 images of people totally happy and having amazing fucking lives, and it’s impossible to not feel like there’s something wrong with you”
  • “By not giving a fuck that you feel bad, you short-circuit the Feedback Loop from Hell; you say to yourself, ‘I feel like shit, but who gives a fuck?’”
  • “Because there’s an infinite amount of things we can now see or know, there are also an infinite number of ways we can discover that we don’t measure up, that we are not good enough”
  • “The backwards law–the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place”.
  • “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never liveif you are looking for the meaning of life”.
  • “What’s interesting about the backwards law is that it’s called ‘backwards’ for a reason: not giving a fuck works in reverse. If pursuing the positive is a negative, then pursuing the negative generates the positive”
  • “To not give a fuck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action”
  • “Look, this is how it works. You’re going to die one day. (…) And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. (…) And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice –well, then you’re going to be fucked”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

  • “When most people envisions giving no fucks whatsoever, they imagine a kind of serene indifference to everything, a calm that weathers all storms. They imagine and aspire to be a person who is shaken by nothing and caves in to no one” (psychopath)
  • “Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different”.
  • “There is no such thing as not giving a fuck. You must give a fuck about something. It's part of our biology to always care about something and therefore to always give a fuck”.
  • “No matter where you go, there’s a five-hundred-pound load of shit waiting for you. An that’s perfectly fine. The point isn’t to get away from the shit. The point is to find the shit you enjoy dealing with”
  • “To not give a fuck about adversity, you must first give about something more important than adversity”
  • “If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about. And that’s your real problem”
  • “Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuck-worthy”
  • “Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about”

So Mark, What the Fuck Is the Point of This Book Anyway?

  • “The idea of not giving a fuck is a simple way to reorienting our expectations for life and choosing what is important and what is not”.
  • “The only way to overcome pain is to first learn how to bear it”.

Chapter 2: Happiness Is a Problem

  • “There is no value in suffering when it's done without purpose”
  • “There is a premise that underlies a lot of our assumptions and beliefs. The premise is that happiness is algorithmic, that it can be worked for and earned and achieved as if it were getting accepted to law school or building a really complicated Lego Set”.
  • “Happiness is not a solvable equation”

The Misadventures of Disappointment Panda

  • “The greatest truths in life are usually the most unpleasant to hear”.
  • “We suffer for the simple reason that suffering is biologically useful. It is nature’s preferred agent for inspiring change”.
  • “Our own pain and misery aren’t a bug of human evolution; they’re a feature”.
  • “It is not always beneficial to avoid pain and sick pleasure, since pain can, at times, be life-or-death important to our well-being”.
  • “The emotional pain of rejection or failure teaches us how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future”.
  • “Don’t hope for a life without problems (…). Instead hope for a life full of good problems”.

Happiness Comes from Solving Problems

  • “Problems never stop; they merely get exchanged and/or upgraded”.
  • “Happiness comes from solving problems”.
  • “True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving”.
  • “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”.
  • “Some people choose to believe that there is nothing they can do to solve their problems, even when they in fact could”
  • “Nobody who is actually happy has to stand in front of a mirror and tell himself that he’s happy”.

Emotions Are Overrated

  • "Negative emotions are a call to action. When you feel them, it's because you're supposed to do something. Positive emotions, on the other hand, are rewards for taking the proper action".
  • “Emotions are part of the equation of our lives, but not the entire equation. Just because something feels good doesn’t mean it is good. Just because something feel bad doesn’t mean it is bad”.
  • “Decision-making based on emotional intuition, without the aid of reason to keep it in line, pretty much always sucks”.
  • A “hedonic treadmill” refers to “the idea that we’re always working hard to change our life situation, but we actually never feel very different”.
  • “Everything comes from an inherent sacrifice”.

Choose Your Struggle

  • “A more interesting question, a question that most people never consider, is, ‘What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?’ Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out”
  • “Because happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems”.
  • “What determines your success isn’t, ‘What do you want to enjoy’ The relevant question is, ‘What pain do you want to sustain?’ The path to happiness is a path full of shitheaps and shame”.
  • “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for”.
  • “Our problems birth our happiness, along with slightly better, slightly upgraded solutions”.

Chapter 3: You Are Not Special

  • “The true measurement of self-worth is not how a person feels about her positive experiences, but rather how she feels about her negative experiences”.

Things Fall Apart

  • “When ‘real traumatic shit’ happens in our lives (…) we become entitled”
  • “This entitlement plays out in one of two ways: (1). I’m awesome and the rest of you all suck, so I deserve special treatment. (2). I suck and the rest of you areall awesome, so I deserve special treatment”.
  • “The truth is that there’s no such thing as a personal problem. If you’ve got a problem, chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future. Likely people you know too. That doesn’t minimize the problem or mean that it shouldn’t hurt. It doesn’t mean you aren’t legitimately a victim in some circumstances. It just means that you’re not special”.

The Tyranny of Exceptionalism

  • “Our lives today are filled with information from the extremes of the bell curve of human experience, because in the media business that's what gets eyeballs, and eyeballs brings dollars”.
  • “The problem is that the pervasiveness of technology and mass marketing is screwing up a lot of people’s expectations for themselves”.
  • “The internet has not just open-sourced information; it has also open-sourced insecurity, self-doubt, and shame”.

B-b-b-but, If I'm Not Going to Be Special or Extraordinary, What's the Point?

  • “Being ‘average’ has become the new standard of failure”.
  • “People who become great at something become great because they understand that they are not already great –they are mediocre, they are average– and that they could be so much better”.
  • “The knowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish, without judgment or lofty expectations”.
  • Ordinary things are what actually matter

Chapter 4: The Value of Suffering

  • “If suffering is inevitable, if our problems in life are unavoidable, then the question we should be asking is not 'How do I stop suffering' but 'Why am I suffering –for what purpose?’”

The Self-Awareness Onion

  • “Self-awareness is like an onion. There are multiple layers to it, and the more you peel them back, the more likely you’re going to start crying at innappropiate times”.
  • First layer: a simple understanding of one’s emotions
  • Second layer: an ability to ask why we feel certain emotions
  • “The third level is our personal values: 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?”
  • “This level (the third), which takes constant questioning and effort, is incredibly difficult to reach. But it’s the most important, because our values determine the nature of our problems, and the nature of our problems determines the quality of our lives”
  • “Take a moment and think of something that’s really bugging you. Now ask yourself why it bugs you. Chances are the answer will involve a failure of some sort. Then take that failure and ask why it seems ‘true’ to you”
  • “Problems may be inevitable, but the meaning of each problem is not”

Rock Star Problems

  • “The question is not whether we evaluate ourselves against others; rather, the question is by what standard do we measure ourselves?”
  • “Our values determine the metrics by which we measure ourselves and everyone else"
  • “Some values and metrics are better than others. Some lead to good problems that are easily and regularly solved. Others lead to bad problems that are not easily and regularly solved"

Shitty Values

  • “Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable, and more depressed. Pleasure is the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the easiest to obtain and the easiest to lose”.
  • “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”
  • “Denying negative emotions leads to experiencing deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and to emotional dysfunction”.
  • “The trick with negative emotions is to 1) express them in a socially acceptable and healthy manner and 2) express them in a way that aligns with your values”
  • “When we force ourselves to stay positive at all times, we deny the existence of our life’s problems. And when we deny our problems, we rob ourselves of the chance to solve them and generate happiness”.
  • “As Freud once said, ‘One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful’”.

Defining Good and Bad Values

  • “When we have poor values we are essentially giving fucks about the things that don’t matter, things that in fact make our life worse”.
  • “This is what ‘self-improvement’ is really about: 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”.

Chapter 5: You Are Always Choosing

  • “Often the only difference between a problem being painful or being powerful is a sense that we chose it, and that we are responsible for it”.
  • “When we feel we are choosing our problems, we feel empowered. When we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our will, we feel victimized and miserable”.

The Choice

  • “In his diary he (William James) wrote that we would spend one year believing that he was 100 percent responsible for everything that occurred in his life, no matter what. During this period, he would do everything in his power to change his circumstances, no matter the likelihood of failure. (…) The punch line? William James went on to become the father of American psychology”
  • “There is a simple realization from which all personal improvement and growth emerges. This is the realization that we, individually, are responsible for everything in our lives, no matter the external circumstances”.
  • “Whether we like it or not, we are always taknig an active role in what’s occurring to and within us. We are always interpreting the meaning of every moment and every occurrence”.

The Responsibility/Fault Falacy

  • "The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. Accepting responsibility for our problems is thus the first step to solving them".
  • “A lot of people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems because they believe that to be responsible for your problems is also be at fault for your problems”.
  • “There are also problems that we aren’t at fault for, yet we are still responsible for them”
  • “Here is one way to think about the distinction between the two concepts. Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense. Fault result from choices that have already been made. Responsibility results from the choices you’re currently makin, every second of every day”.
  • “Many people may be to blame for your unhappiness, but nobody is ever responsible for your unhappiness but you”.
  • “To simply blame others is only to hurt yourself".

Responding to Tragedy

  • “Pain of one sort or another is inevitable for all of us, but we get to choose what it means to and for us”.

Genetics and the Hand We're Dealt

  • "A lot of people treat being born with a disadvantage, whether OCD or small stature, as though they were screwed out of something highly valuable. (...) They figure, 'I didn't choose my crappy genetics, so it's not my fault if things go wrong.' And it's true, it's not their fault. But it's still their responsibility".
  • “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 wefeel we got screwed over, the real game lies in the choices we make with those cards"

Victimhood Chic

  • “Right now, anyone who is offended about anything feels as though they're being oppressed in some way and therefore deserve to be outraged and to have a certain amount of attention".
  • “People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good”.

There Is No "How"

  • "You are already choosing, in every moment of everyday, what to give a fuck about, so change is as simple as choosing to give a fuck about something else. It really is that simple. It's just not easy."

Chapter 6: You Are Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)

  • “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.”
  • “Personal growth can actually be quite scientific. Our values are hypotheses (…). Our actions are the experiments; the resulting emotions and thought patterns are our data”
  • “Many people become so obsessed with being ‘right’ about their life that they never end up actually living it."
  • “It’s easier to sit in a painful certainty that nobody would find you attractive, that nobody appreciates your talents, than to actually test those beliefs and find out for sure."
  • “Certainty is the enemy of growth."
  • “Instead of striving for certainty, we should be in constant search of doubt”.
  • “Don’t trust your conception of positive/negative experiences.”

Architects of Our Own Beliefs

  • Research shows that we’re really good at coming up with and believing in a bunch of bullshit that isn’t real.
  • “Our brains are meaning machines. What we understand as meaning is generated by the associations our brain makes between two or more experiences”
  • “The brain is imperfect. We mistake the things we see and hear.”
  • “The unfortunate fact is, most of what we come to know and believe is the product of the innate innacurate and biases present in our brains”.

The Dangers of Pure Certainty

  • "Evil people never believe that they are evil; rather they believe that everyone else is evil".
  • “Not only is certainty unattainable but the pursuit of certainty often breeds more (and worse) insecurity.”
  • “The more you try to be certain about something, the more certain and insecure you will feel."
  • “Uncertainty also relives us of our judgment of ourselves.”
  • “The more we admit we don’t know, the more opportunities we gain to learn.”
  • “The only way to solve our problems is to first admit that our actions and beliefs up to this point have been wrong and are not working.”

Manson's Law of Avoidance

  • The Manson’s Law of Avoidance: “The more something threathens your identity, the more you will avoid it”.
  • “We all have values for ourselves. We protect these values”.
  • “‘Knowing yourself’ or ‘finding yourself’ can be dangerous”.

Kill Yourself

  • "When we let go of the stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves, we free ourselves up to actually act (and fail) and grow”.
  • “There’s a kind of self-absorption that comes with fear based on an irrational certainty”.
  • “Don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways”

How to Be a Little Less Certain of Yourself

  • "When we are angry or jealous, or upset, we're oftentimes the last ones' to figure it out.”
  • “It’s worth remembering that for any change to happen in your life, you must be wrong about something”.
  • “Being able to look at and evaluate different values without necessarily adopting them is perhaps the central skill required in changing one’s own life in a meaningful way”.
  • “Probing questions are necessary in order to get at the core problems that are motivating his, and our, dickish behaviour”.
  • “The goal here is to look at which problem is better. Because after all, as disappointment panda said, life’s problems are endless”.
  • “Beliefs are arbitrary; worse yet, they are often made up after the fact to justify whatever values and metrics we’ve chosen for ourselves”.
  • “I try to live with few rules, but one that I’ve adopted over the years is this: if it’s down to me being screwed up, or everybody else being screwed up it is far, far, far more likely that I’m the one who screwed up”
  • “There is simply reality: if it feels like it’s you versus the world, chances are it’s really you versus yourself”

Chapter 7: Failure Is the Way Forward

  • "Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many time you've failed at something".
  • “A lot of this fear of failure comes from having chosen shitty values. For instance, if I measure myself by the standard ‘make everyone I meet like me’ I will be anxious because failure is 100 percent defined by the actions of others, not by my own actions”.
  • “Better values, as we saw, are process-oriented”.
  • “It’s growth that generates happiness, not a long list of arbitrary achievement”

Pain is Part of the Process

  • “For many of us, our proudest achievements come in the face of the greatest adversity”
  • “We need some sort of existential crisis to take an objective look at how we’ve been driving meaning in our life, and then consider changing course”.
  • “If you continue to indulge entitlement and delusional positive thinking, if you continue to overindulge in various substances or activities, then you’ll never generate the requisite motivation to actually change”.
  • “Learn to sustain the pain you have chosen. When you choose and you 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”.
  • “Life is about not knowing and then doing something anyway”.

The "Do Something" Principle

  • "Action isn't just the effect of motivation; it is also the cause of it".
  • “If you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, do something –anything, really– and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself”.
  • “If we follow the ‘do something’ principle, failure feels unimportant”.
  • “You can become your own source of motivation”.

Chapter 8: The Importance of Saying No

  • “The biggest lesson I took from my adventuring was this: absolute freedom, by itself, means nothing”.
  • “Travel is a fantastic self-development tool, because it extricates you from the values of your culture and shows you that another society can live with entirely different values and still function and not hate themselves”.

Rejection Makes Your Life Better

  • “We need to reject something. Otherwise, we stand for nothing. If nothing is better or more desirable than anything else, then we are empty and our life is meaningless. We are without values and therefore live our life without any purpose”
  • “The act of choosing a value for yourself requires rejecting alternative values”.
  • “We all must give a fuck about something, in order to value something. And to value something, we must reject what is not something. To value X, we must reject non-X”
  • “Honesty is a natural human craving. But part of having honesty in our lives is becoming comfortable with saying and hearing the word ‘no’”.


  • “In general, entitled people fall into one of two traps in their relationships. Either they expect other people to take responsibility of their problems. (...) Or they take on too much responsibility for other people's problems”.
  • “People can’t solve your problems for you. And they shouldn’t try, because that won’t make you happy. You can’t solve other people’s problems for them either, because that likewise won’t make them happy”.
  • “Acts of love are valid only if they’re performed without conditions or expectations”.
  • “It’s is 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. That’s unconditional love, baby”.

How to Build Trust

  • “Without conflict, there can be no trust”.
  • “For a relationship to be healthy, both people must be willing and be able to both say no and hear no”.
  • “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 over time”.

Freedom Through Commitment

  • “When we are overloaded by 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”.
  • “When you’re pursuing a wide breadth of experience, there are diminishing returns to each new adventure, each new person or thing”.
  • “There is a freedom and liberation in commitment”
  • “Depth is where the gold is buried. And you have to stay committed to something and go deep to dig it up.”

Chapter 9: And Then You Die

  • “If there really is no reason to do anything, then there is also no reason to not do anything”.
  • “Death is the light by which the shadow of all of life’s meaning is measured”.

Something Beyond Our Selves

  • Immortality projects: "projects that allow our conceptual self to live on way past the point of our physical death".
  • “All the meaning in our life is shaped by this innate desire to never truly die”.
  • “Our immortality projects are our values. They are barometers of meaning and worth in our life. And when our values fail, so do we, psychologically speaking”.
  • “We’re all driven by fear to give too many fucks about something, because giving a fuck about something is the only thing that distracts us from the reality and inevitability of our own death”.

The Sunny Side of Death

  • “Nothing makes you present and mindful like being mere inches away from your own death”.
  • “Death confronts all of us with a far more painful and important question: What is your legacy? (…) This is arguably the only truly important question in your life”.
  • “Happiness come from (…) 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”.
  • “The pampering of the modern mind has resulted in a population that feels deserving of something without earning that something”.
  • “You are already great because in the face of endless confusion and certain death, you continue to choose what to give a fuck about and what not to”.
  • “There is nothing to be afraid of”.