Skip to main content
  1. Posts/

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

2 mins
book summary
Shawn L
Builds stuff minimally
Table of Contents

Learn how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively - how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values. Say “f*ck it” to everything unimportant in life.

Wanting positive experience is a negative experience. Accepting negative experience is a positive experience.

The more you desperately want to be happy and loved, the lonelier and more afraid you become, regardless of those who surround you.

The more you desperately want to be sexy and desired, the uglier you come to see yourself, regardless of your actual physical appearance.

Solve vs. Blame

To be happy we need something to solve. Solving problems is hard and often feels bad.

Blame and denial give us a quick high: a way to temporarily escape our problems.

Negative emotions are a call to action. Positive emotions, on the other hand, are rewards for taking the proper action.

Self-awareness is like an onion.

The first layer is a simple understanding of one’s emotions. We all have blind spots.

The second layer is an ability to ask why we feel certain emotions.

The third layer is our personal values. How did I choose to measure myself?

100% responsible

Believe that you’re 100% responsible for everything in life. Do everything in your power no matter the probability of failure.

The best advice if you’re stuck

If you’re stuck on a problem, don’t sit there and think about it; just start working on it.

Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, the simple act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head.

Relationship advice

The difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship comes down to two things:

  1. how well each person in the relationship accepts responsibility
  2. the willingness of each person to both reject and be rejected by their partner.

Ask yourself, “If I refused, how would the relationship change?” Similarly, ask, “If my partner refused something I wanted, how would the relationship change?”

If the refusal would cause a blowout, your relationship is conditional - based on superficial benefits received from one another, rather than on unconditional acceptance of each other.


When trust is destroyed, it can be rebuilt only if the following two steps happen:

  1. the trust-breaker admits the true values that caused the breach and owns up to them
  2. the trust-breaker builds a solid track record of improved behavior over time.