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BOOK [Notes/Highlights] The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Discussion in 'Education, Learning, Books' started by HackVenture, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. HackVenture
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    HackVenture Digital Marketer, Crypto Guy Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    He never tried to be anything other than what he was. The genius in Bukowski’s work was not in overcoming unbelievable odds or developing himself into a shining literary light.

    After all, no truly happy person feels the need to stand in front of a mirror and recite that she’s happy. She just is.

    Ironically, this fixation on the positive—on what’s better, what’s superior—only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not, of what we lack, of what we should have been but failed to be.

    The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience.

    Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience.

    The more you desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy you feel, regardless of how much money you actually make.

    "You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

    Because when you give too many F*cks—when you give a F*ck about everyone and everything—you will feel that you’re perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times, that everything is supposed to be just exactly the F*cking way you want it to be.

    Subtlety #1: Not giving a F*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.

    They say, “F*ck it,” not to everything in life, but rather to everything unimportant in life. They reserve their F*cks for what truly matters.

    You can’t be an important and life-changing presence for some people without also being a joke and an embarrassment to others.

    Subtlety #2: To not give a F*ck about adversity, you must first give a F*ck about something more important than adversity.

    If you find yourself consistently giving too many F*cks about trivial shit that bothers you—your ex-boyfriend’s new Facebook picture, how quickly the batteries die in the TV remote, missing out on yet another two-for-one sale on hand sanitizer—chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate F*ck about. And that’s your real problem. Not the hand sanitizer. Not the TV remote.

    It then follows that finding something important and meaningful in your life is perhaps the most productive use of your time and energy. Because if you don’t find that meaningful something, your F*cks will be given to meaningless and frivolous causes.

    Subtlety #3: Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a F*ck about.

    suffering totally sucks. And it’s not necessarily that meaningful either. As with being rich, there is no value in suffering when it’s done without purpose.

    life itself is a form of suffering. The rich suffer because of their riches. The poor suffer because of their poverty. People without a family suffer because they have no family. People with a family suffer because of their family. People who pursue worldly pleasures suffer because of their worldly pleasures. People who abstain from worldly pleasures suffer because of their abstention.

    problems never F*cking go away, he said—they just improve.

    “The solution to one problem is merely the creation of the next one.”

    “Don’t hope for a life without problems,” the panda said. “There’s no such thing. 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. 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.

    To be happy we need something to solve. 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 in a top-ten article on the Huffington Post or from any specific guru or teacher. It doesn’t magically appear when you finally make enough money to add on that extra room to the house. You don’t find it waiting for you in a place, an idea, a job—or even a book, for that matter.

    True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.

    Denial. 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.

    Victim Mentality. Some choose to believe that there is nothing they can do to solve their problems, even when they in fact could.

    Victims seek to blame others for their problems or blame outside circumstances.

    Many self-help gurus teach you new forms of denial and pump you up with exercises that feel good in the short term, while ignoring the underlying issue. Remember, nobody who is actually happy has to stand in front of a mirror and tell himself that he’s happy.

    “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. Joy doesn’t just sprout out of the ground like daisies and rainbows. Real, serious, lifelong fulfillment and meaning have to be earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles.

    People want to start their own business. But you don’t end up a successful entrepreneur unless you find a way to appreciate the risk, the uncertainty, the repeated failures, the insane hours devoted to something that may earn absolutely nothing.

    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.


    I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process. I was in love with not the fight but only the victory. And life doesn’t work that way.

    Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can bench-press a small house.

    See: it’s a never-ending upward spiral. And if you think at any point you’re allowed to stop climbing, I’m afraid you’re missing the point. Because the joy is in the climb itself.

    The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all.

    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. Problems add a sense of meaning and importance to our life. Thus to duck our problems is to lead a meaningless (even if supposedly pleasant) existence.

    These activities are stressful, arduous, and often unpleasant. They also require withstanding problem after problem. Yet they are some of the most meaningful moments and joyous things we’ll ever do. They involve pain, struggle, even anger and despair—yet once they’re accomplished, we look back and get all misty-eyed telling our grandkids about them.

    As Freud once said, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

    Some of the greatest moments of one’s life are not pleasant, not successful, not known, and not positive.

    The point is to nail down some good values and metrics, and pleasure and success will naturally emerge as a result. These things are side effects of good values.

    Good values are 1) reality-based, 2) socially constructive, and 3) immediate and controllable.

    Bad values are 1) superstitious, 2) socially destructive, and 3) not immediate or controllable.

    You’ll notice that good, healthy values are achieved internally.

    Bad values are generally reliant on external events—

    When we have poor values—that is, poor standards we set for ourselves and others—we are essentially giving F*cks about the things that don’t matter, things that in fact make our life worse. But when we choose better values, we are able to divert our F*cks to something better—toward things that matter, things that improve the state of our well-being and that generate happiness, pleasure, and success as side effects.

    When we feel that we’re 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.

    We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.

    It comes back to how, in reality, there is no such thing as not giving a single F*ck. It’s impossible. We must all give a F*ck about something. To not give a F*ck about anything is still to give a F*ck about something.

    “With great responsibility comes great power.”

    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.

    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.

    When we learn something new, we don’t go from “wrong” to “right.” Rather, we go from wrong to slightly less wrong. And when we learn something additional, we go from slightly less wrong to slightly less wrong than that, and then to even less wrong than that, and so on. We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection without actually ever reaching truth or perfection.

    We shouldn’t seek to find the ultimate “right” answer for ourselves, but rather, we should seek to chip away at the ways that we’re wrong today so that we can be a little less wrong tomorrow.

    Some of the most difficult and stressful moments of our lives also end up being the most formative and motivating. Some of the best and most gratifying experiences of our lives are also the most distracting and demotivating.

    Sadism aside, the point of the experiment is to show how quickly the human mind is capable of 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. We press a button, then we see a light go on; we assume the button caused the light to go on.

    Recent research has only reinforced the painful lesson of that era: our beliefs are malleable, and our memories are horribly unreliable.

    The narrower and rarer the identity you choose for yourself, the more everything will seem to threaten you. For that reason, define yourself in the simplest and most ordinary ways possible.

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

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

    Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Inspiration → Motivation → Action → Etc.

    If you’re in the midst of an existential shitstorm and everything feels meaningless—if all the ways you used to measure yourself have come up short and you have no idea what’s next, if you know that you’ve been hurting yourself chasing false dreams, or if you know that there’s some better metric you should be measuring yourself with but you don’t know how—the answer is the same:

    Do something.

    You can become your own source of inspiration. You can become your own source of motivation. Action is always within reach. And with simply doing something as your only metric for success—well, then even failure pushes you forward.

    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.

    This is what’s so destructive about cheating. It’s not about the sex. It’s about the trust that has been destroyed as a result of the sex. Without trust, the relationship can no longer function.

    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.

    The big story for me personally over the past few years has been my ability to open myself up to commitment. I’ve chosen to reject all but the very best people and experiences and values in my life. I shut down all my business projects and decided to focus on writing full-time. Since then, my website has become more popular than I’d ever imagined possible. I’ve committed to one woman for the long haul and, to my surprise, have found this more rewarding than any of the flings, trysts, and one-night stands I had in the past. I’ve committed to a single geographic location and doubled down on the handful of my significant, genuine, healthy friendships.

    I’ve found increased opportunity and upside in rejecting alternatives and distractions in favor of what I’ve chosen to let truly matter to me.

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

    Yes, breadth of experience is likely necessary and desirable when you’re young—after all, you have to go out there and discover what seems worth investing yourself in. But depth is where the gold is buried. And you have to stay committed to something and go deep to dig it up. That’s true in relationships, in a career, in building a great lifestyle—in everything.

    “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”
     
    Marius973 likes this.

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