3 Lessons I Learned from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Joy "Jona" Nibbs
4 min readAug 14, 2020
Photo Credit: Clive Kim

The past few weeks were straight from the depths of the abyss; I am sure that Hades and my guardian angel sat down to mimosas and giggles as I cried my eyes out and failed to do a push-up. Truth be told, I would have loved to join in on the festivities, but due to unearthly high pain, frustration, and self-doubt, all the fun passed me by like the worries of my youth.

Despite the unholy trifecta of impending doom, I managed to finish an audiobook and like the content. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson made me laugh, cry, and ponder about my mortal being. To be fair, the secret to the subtle art is finding the right things to give a f*ck about (Just thought I would tell you the secret for free). As Mark so gracefully puts it, we give too many f*cks about the wrong things, which f*cks us over in the long run. He delves into social psychology, failure and growth, death, and the skewed understanding of success all to explain where to place your f*cks. But this isn’t a book review; I want to tell you about the three principles I took away from this book and finding better things to give a f*ck about.

Your Metrics Define Your Life

Mark talks about the application of metrics to judge your life by, and if you are in marketing or business, you may have come across the term before. In lamens terms, a metric is a scale that determines if a product, idea, or service has been deemed satisfactory.

So if the metric by which you base your success is how much money you have in your savings, your life will have little meaning if you have very little money. On the other hand, if your metric of a successful life is a measure of how many people you help on a given day, your rate of succeeding goes up significantly. That is if you don’t live alone on an island and cannot help another person.

The metrics you decide your life by will define your happiness, version of success and failure, and self-worth. If you desire to have a more fulfilling life, perhaps it’s time to focus on your “Life resume,” as Jesse Itzler likes to define his metrics of life’s great adventure.

F*ck It

Haven’t you wanted to say that sweet statement when people and things become frustrating? I know I have!

Life is complicated and unfair; sometimes, you don’t get to make your mother proud of being a psychology major instead of an education major. But, to be honest, that sounds like her problem and not yours. You see, we humans are such problem-solvers that we like to create new ones when they don’t exist.

Your mother not being proud after you have had a successful career is not your problem, your ability to find a job that aligns with your passion and knowledge-base is. Let’s stop creating problems when there are none; let’s no longer try to carry the old wounds from our pass into our bright and shining future, and for the love of all things pure and chocolate-based, let’s stop being a dick when a little kindness goes a long way.

Literally, Just Do It

Shia LaBeouf and Nike had this figured out long before I did. All your dreams and great ideas of adventure are out there in the big beautiful world waiting to happen, go for it! Just do it!

Do you want to start a company that solves cloud security for acquisition firms as the market shifts? Do it.

Do you want to lose weight? Do it.

Do you want to write a book? Do it.

Once you are able to overcome the bullsh*t of your mind and forge ahead with precision and knowledge that will allow you to grow as a person and find internal peace, who can stop you, but yourself?

Go! Do your best, your bestest, your better than bestestest. Gain the knowledge you seek, do that dance, try that dish, go you beautiful soul go!

Last Thoughts

If I could take one crucial aspect from this book and apply it directly to my life, the concept of metrics would be my first pick. Often times we give value, “power,” to the things in our lives that won’t make us better. Rather than changing ourselves, we blame others for our failure. If we can change the principles we value, we can improve our lives and the world around us as well.



Joy "Jona" Nibbs

Writer | Poet | Fascinated with the mind and technology. Find me @jnibbzy