About SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK

It was very rightly and politely said by SRK – “Yaar, main bataun, ghurbat mein creativity nahi hoti (an impoverished mind cannot be creative), I tell everyone, first get rich then become a philosopher.”

Same is with this book. It was not written by any layman who doesn’t have knowledge about life or who doesn’t have rich life experience. This beautiful book is written by a blogger and a traveller who have a vast experience. 

The writer has travelled to more than fifty five countries, earned a substantial amount of money, dated women from different countries, lived in different parts of the world and now have children and a family. Out of all the experiences in life, the author says that raising children and having a family is the most cherished experience of his life. 

I’ll discuss in short about the important lessons mentioned in this book:-

  1. Inevitable part of your and my life is choosing. Day in and day out we are required to choose. When we choose something, the author says that we choose to give fuck to something particular. The small choices we make everyday from choosing to exercise in the morning to not choosing to exercise, from brushing teeth at night to not brushing teeth at night, from loving a person to not loving a person, from eating home cooked food to eating junk food, from going to consult a doctor to not consulting a doctor and instead choosing to suffer, etc. Every single choice decides our future. 

What you are today is the result of your past choices. 

If you are fat, then you know your fucks.

If you’re having a family and raising children, then you know your fucks.

You always have a choice to choose your fucks. So be considerate while choosing your fucks.

  1. Happiness is a vicious circle. One must not bow down to their happiness. It is not always good things that give you happiness. Eg. being happy by doing drugs.

Author says that true happiness comes from solving problems of this beautiful world. So focus and solve problems. You’ll be amazed at how abundantly it can reward you.

Author cites a story of Buddha where Buddha was kept away from all problems. You can read the story of Buddha by clicking here.

  1. You must always remember that you are not special and at any given point of time there are more than seven billion people on this planet. At one point of time life will be going in a smooth manner but suddenly some unexpected incident will change your life. Author gave an example of divorce of his parents which affected his life. You must prepare your mind in such a way that you can handle uncertainties in your life easily.
  2. Author refers to the story of a Japanese soldier who stayed on an island for thirty years. Click here to read the story. Referring to this story, the author says that achievement is a by-product of suffering. We are always given the choice to choose our sufferings and we must decide on how to go through our sufferings.

One must always value the sufferings in life instead of lamenting. You should never forget that the things which you cherish in life are earned with hard work, suffering and perseverance. 

  1. Author talks about four common values that create poor problems for people. Those are Pleasure, Material Success, Always Being Right and Staying Positive. Human beings must wisely take decisions and decisions must not be dependent upon Pleasure and material success. One must remember that one cannot always be right and one cannot always stay positive.
  2. One thing which is permanent in everyone’s life is “Choosing’. Day in and day out, you are always choosing. Simplest example of this would be what to eat and what not to eat. Eating chole bhature and not eating them, both are choices which you make. This shows how small decisions affect our life in a big way.  

Author gives an example of a psychologist William James who was born with multiple health problems and later on in life his body betrayed him a couple of times. He failed in everything he tried. When he turned 30 years old, he thought of ending his life but fortunately he did not. For a change he changed his mindset for a year and started blaming himself for everything in life and took responsibility for everything in his life. This one thing changed his life and he went on to become the most influential intellectuals/philosophers/psychologist of his generation.

It is said that with great power comes great responsibility, guess what? Choosing is the most ignored superpower.

  1. It is an undisputed fact that things change with time and nothing must be taken as it is. One must have an open mind to accept the reality and truths as when they come out. For eg. People used to believe that earth is flat(many fools still believe that) but now we know the reality. Similarly, many people used to believe that Neil Armstrong went to the moon but now we know the reality that he never did and it was a mere stunt of the USA government to divert the funds of Russian government. One person should have the ability to unlearn and learn. One must have the zeal to challenge the mis-conceptions of our society. 

Author states that there are two problems with us. 

I. The brain is imperfect. We mistake things we see and hear. We forget things or misinterpret events quite easily.

II. We are biased towards what we are taught and we don’t want to let go of it easily, even if we get evidence that contradicts the meaning that we created or taught. We often ignore it.

Author talks about Meredith Maran (click here to read about it), a journalist and feminist who falsely accused her father of sexual harasshment but she believed it to be true. You should read it, it is a very curious case. So be careful on what to believe.

  1. One of the things in this book that shook my belief is this quotation “the dangers of Pure Certainty”. Author says and I believe it too that certainty in life is very dangerous and it is not at all attractive to the opposite gender. If you have certainty in your life then there are high chances that you will not be able to perform upto to the optimum level in your life or do something innovative. It is like Indian parents saying to their children that “you are not working hard enough because all your demands are being fulfilled”. 
  2. If you are not failing in your life then you are not growing or taking risks in your life. Failure is a way forward. Failure and pain is part of the process. The authors focus on a life which is idle for every person who has goals to achieve.

“Don’t just sit there. Do something. The answers will follow. It is the beginning that is Hard” 

  1. Author is not the first person who focuses on the importance of saying no. If you are on any social media, you would have seen many people saying how important it is to say “no”.

One thing which we all know is that time is limited and is equal with every person. So you need to be very cautious with the people you chose to spend your time with.  Moreover you need to be cautious where you spend your time.

  1. Author further believes that breakup is a good thing that can happen with a person as it helps you to grow but the only requirement is how you channelise your energy. You should never run after that person and let them go in peace and be a person with gratitude.  

Author takes around 5-6 pages to talk about people who cheat. I’ll quote a few lines which made me laugh.  “The problem here is that most people who get caught cheating apologize and give the ‘it will never happen again’ spiel and that’s that, as if penises fell into various orifices completely by accident. Many cheatees accept this response at face value, and don’t question the values and fucks given by their partner”. He further states a few reasons why people cheat.  

A. to power over others.

B. validation through sex.

C. giving into their own impulses.

Whatever it is, it’s clear that the cheater’s values are not aligned in a way to support a healthy relationship.

  1. Author gives an example of his friend who died. He explains how fragile life is and it is enough reason to live your life to the fullest. Take risks, travel, commit yourself, work hard and do everything to make this life worthwhile. Always decide your fucks and remember that you’ll die one day.

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