Book Review Features

The subtle art of not giving a F***

Title: The subtle art of not giving a F*** (Sebuah seni untuk bersikap bodo amat)

Author: Mark Manson

Despite the title, the inside of the book is really the opposite. This book is not about not caring about things, but rather it asks you about what you care about the most and the reason behind it. According to the author himself, this book is about value. He said that he wanted it to be contradictory to the self-help industry. Most of self-help industry assume that your end goal is to have a perfect marriage, have children, live in nice house, etc. Instead, in this book, Mark Manson wants to point out that there are many definition of success and some of them may not be suited for you. He said that the important thing is getting head in life is not just figuring out how to accomplish goals you have, it’s more of asking what goals we should have and what thing we need to care about.

This book is divided into 5 chapters and each chapters of this book gives different value. Every value given by this book is pointing out the theme of this book, which is “negativity is the path to positivity”. The first value given by this book is comfortable for being different. Not caring doesn’t mean you are indifferent, it means that you are just doing something with your own ways. The author, Mark Manson said that if you give an f about nothing, that means you are giving an f about not giving an f, therefore indifferent is impossible. You just need to know what you need to give a f about. The second value is about the problem with happiness. To make it easier to understand, I will give an example about my hobby related to this value. In a game with a lot RNG in general, there are 2 types of player regarding their account. The first one is the one who always be grateful, either for a character, weapon, gear, etc. and the one who never get satisfied. People tend to always find happiness, but what happened when that person reach their goal? Mostly there is nothing, people just find another goal. When you reach your end goal, there are only dead end, but when you keep struggling there you will get more joy. Try to ask yourself “what am I willing to suffer for?” rather than “what do I want to become?” The 3rd value is no one is special. You are not special, he, she, everyone, they are not special, everyone is the same. Mark Manson said that something like ads or social media algorithm is not healthy because it is pushing you to feel you are the most special person. That can make a delusional person think that they are the exception and everything will arrange towards you, that’s what make it socially and mentally not healthy. The 4th and 5th values are about choices and related to each other. The 4th one hardly asks you what you need to care about, because if you have ambition but have the wrong goal, you are screwed. Lastly the 5th value is you are always choosing. It is no matter how good or bad the situation and your decision, you are always choosing. It is just whether you are admit it or not. But, human instinct may have reflect won’t to admit if they choose a bad decision. They will just blame it to something or someone.

If you want a self-improvement book, but you don’t like a conventional method that probably makes you think that you are very special, this book is for you. The beauty of this book is related to the theme “serendipity.” But in this case, it may already have happened without you realizing, you just need to look back and find it. The downside of this book, which I’m not sure it is a good thing or not, but because this book sells as a self-improvement book, I can see why people hate it, is this book’s tone is really casual. It is like you just sit in a café with the author and he tells you a story. Also as the tittle implied, there is a lot of f bomb and cursing in this book. But, for me it is fine.

Especially in this covid era, which I just assume that you are still staying to study, you may have several depression about this online classes, probably nonsense amount of assignment, and you probably cannot do the things you like and you just want to ignore everything and have fun. But, if you still survive, fight the struggle and enjoy the process, it is one of the good thing (I guess).


Writer: Michael Surya D.P. 

Editor: Michael Tan 

Pic: Google

Leave a Reply