Here’s why you should give a f*#k, about The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*#k.
People often say the key to confidence and success in life is to simply “not give a f*#k. “Oh, look at Debbie, she just went into that audition wearing only underwear and an oversized hat, and she got it!” You probably know someone, or have heard stories about actors who went into auditions, without a care in the world, and ended up booking the job. Seems counterintuitive though, right? If you love it, you’re likely going to care about it, and therefore give a f*#k. Mark Manson is here to tell you how to work around this little conundrum.
This our review of Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*#k“.
The Key Takeaways
“Because when we give too many f*#ks, when we choose to give a f*#k about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life f*#ks us.”
Indeed, if we can reserve our f*#ks given for the things, people and situations in our lives that we truly care about, then failure would be a lot less terrifying, rejection not so painful, and an acting career much more enjoyable (hopefully). However, not giving a f*#k, is more than a mindset, an attitude and a lifestyle – it’s a fine art. Let me break it down for you.
SUBTLETY #1: NOT GIVING A FUCK DOES NOT MEAN BEING INDIFFERENT; IT MEANS BEING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING DIFFERENT
“There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are lame and scared. They’re couch potatoes and internet trolls. In fact, indifferent people often attempt to be indifferent because in reality they actually give too many fucks. They are afraid of the world and the repercussions of their own choices. Therefore, they make none. They hide in a grey emotionless pit of their own making, self-absorbed and self-pitied, perpetually distracting themselves from this unfortunate thing demanding their time and energy called life.”
No more. We want to say f*#k it to every unimportant thing in life (Instagram followers, missing the train, stepping in dog s*#t), and give a f*#k about the things that truly matter (family, friends, purpose, dogs (or cats depending on the person)).
SUBTLETY #2: WANTING POSITIVE EXPERIENCE IS A NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE. ACCEPTING NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE, IS A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE.
Our culture today is obsessively focused on unrealistically positive expectations: be happier, healthier, smarter, richer, sexier, more popular, more productive, just better in general.
In actual fact, all this conventional life advice that we hear all the time, it’s actually fixating on what you lack. Focusing on what we want, these positive things, only serves to remind us over and over again of what we are not. Either you’re happy or you’re not, and if you’re dreaming of something all the time, then you’re actually reinforcing the same unconscious reality over and over; that you are not that.
What do I do? Don’t try. Sometimes when we stop giving a f*#k, everything seems to fall into place.
SUBTLETY 3#: YOU’RE WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING, AND FAILURE IS THE WAY FORWARD.
We are always in the process of approaching truth and perfection, without ever actually reaching truth or perfection. We shouldn’t walk around seeking to get everything right, but rather we should seek to chip away at the ways that we’re wrong today, so we can be a little less wrong tomorrow. Being wrong opens us up to the possibility of change, and of growth.
(This is my favourite bit), failure is all relative. It’s completely personal, and it’s different for everyone. Some people measure their success in dollar figures, and others in body image, what feels like failure to one person, isn’t the same for another. The problem is when our metrics for success are superficial, tangible, external goals outside of our control. Change your values, change your metrics. 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.
How I relate this golden-nugget-of-a-book to Acting
This book made me a better person (thanks Mark, bloody legend). I also reckon it’s made me a better actor. I no longer give a f*#k about all those things that are out of my control (when my next audition will be, the outcome of my next audition, what people think of my work, who sees my work, who doesn’t see it, and who doesn’t care) and give a massive f*#k about enjoying my life – the highs, the lows and the other random middle bits. I think all us actors could give less f*#ks about certain things, and I think the moment we do, is the moment we start booking work. Or the moment we start making our own work.
Things I can guarantee that will happen if you read this book:
- You’ll probably have a minor freak-out after the first chapter, this is profound stuff, and it’s confronting. But keep going!
- Next you’ll feel a little enlightened, and probably skip around town as if everyone is asleep, and you’re the only one who’s awake.
- It will become clear what you really care about, what your core values are, and the metrics you use to measure success.
- You may adjust your core values, your metrics, your dreams and goals. Embrace the change.
- You will approach auditioning, acting, work in general with a little more confidence, simply because you now understand the point of everything.
- You’ll be super excited to begin the journey of not giving a f*#k.
Things I cannot guarantee:
- I cannot guarantee you’ll become a wildly successful actor (whatever that means). No one can guarantee this. Not even Mark Manson. I hope you will learn that just like failure, success is relative, and you decide when you are successful or not.
- I also cannot guarantee you won’t come up against failure, hard work and rejection. But you will survive, you will get up again and keep going.
- Finally, I cannot guarantee you will like this review, but you’ve made it this far, and I don’t give a f*#k.