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Mark Manson is the author of this fall’s most provocatively titled self-help tome: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Naturally, we sought out his best counterintuitive advice on how caring less could get our lives on the inside lane to happiness. Glean what you can from our enlightening chat with this NYC-based blogger who has a two-million-strong following.
Does not giving a fuck mean giving up? We want to go places with our lives, thank you very much! “I have a friend who was a VP of a large company and a published author at 23. You know how he fast-tracked? He worked. Obsessively. While the rest of us were in class and playing beer-pong, he was working at two start-ups and getting up at 5 a.m. to write every morning. You want to fast-track? Work so hard that people will wonder if you’ve lost your mind. Then go out and get ‘There are no useful shortcuts in life’ tattooed on your face—preferably backwards so you have to read it every time you look in the mirror. Those boring bits you’re trying so hard to skip are your life. And the only way you will be able to own them and survive them is by not giving a fuck about being amused and feeling peachy all the time. There are more important things in life than feeling like a badass 24-7. Find problems that are so important that you come to enjoy them. Choose a struggle that inspires you so much that you enjoy the boredom, you enjoy the pain. Stop chasing shiny things all the time.” So not giving a fuck is just moving toward a different kind of progress in life? “Not giving a fuck is going to save the world. It’s going to save the world by teaching people that there are more important things in life than feeling good all the time. That sometimes pain is important and even useful and the only way you can learn to leverage pain is by learning to not give a fuck about pain. Not giving a fuck is all about simplifying and choosing the few things that matter more than anything else and then not wasting your precious time or energy. That’s how you get somewhere: by blocking distraction, by ignoring discomfort, by
engaging in the fear and anxiety.” So how do we start? “Get clear about what your values are. Look at what is currently upsetting you or eating up most of your time and energy. Ask yourself if it’s really that important or if you’re just chasing some high or distraction. Chances are, if you’re unsatisfied with your life,
it’s because it’s the latter.” S.L.