Full Review - The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck, Mark Manson

Discover a refreshing approach to personal development with “The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck” for a more serene and authentic life

“The subtle art of not giving a shit” is a personal development book that upsets genre codes. Written by popular blogger and author Mark Manson, this book offers a philosophy of life that goes against the tide, based on accepting your limits, letting go, and focusing on the essentials.

The central themes covered include:

  1. The Toxic Positivity Trap : how the unrestrained quest for happiness and success can paradoxically lead to unhappiness.
  2. The importance of choosing your battles : learning to focus on what really matters to you, rather than wasting your energy.
  3. Accepting discomfort and uncertainty : embracing challenges and failures as opportunities for growth.
  4. Personal responsibility : stop being victimized and take control of your life.

Critical analysis

“The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck” is a refreshing and provocative book that challenges many misconceptions about personal development. It's a breath of fresh air in a field that's often dominated by positive thinking and one-size-fits-all solutions.

The highlights of the book:

  • Manson's irreverent tone and scathing humor : its direct and unfiltered style makes reading engaging and memorable. He is not afraid to push and provoke to get his messages across.
  • Questioning positivity at all costs : Manson shows finely how the obsessive pursuit of happiness can actually make us unhappy. He calls for a more realistic and balanced approach.
  • Emphasis on personal responsibility : instead of looking for excuses, Manson encourages you to take control of your life and your choices. It is a powerful message of empowerment.
  • Personal stories and concrete examples : Manson illustrates her ideas with stories drawn from her own life and the lives of her clients, making her concepts tangible and relatable.

One caveat is that Manson's provocative style and raw language may not appeal to everyone. Some readers may find his approach a bit too brutal or cynical at times.

In addition, While Manson's ideas are refreshing, they're not entirely groundbreaking either. Some concepts, such as the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone or focusing on what you can control, are found in other personal development books.

Despite these slight caveats, “The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck” remains an extremely valuable book for anyone looking for a more authentic and pragmatic approach to personal development. It's a powerful call to let go, focus on the essentials, and embrace your individuality.

Key Points to Remember

  1. To give a shit does not mean to be indifferent, but to choose your priorities and battles wisely.
  2. Happiness is not a destination but a side effect of a life well lived. Running after him is counterproductive.
  3. Problems and failures are not obstacles but opportunities for learning and growth. Embracing discomfort is the key to progress.
  4. You can't control everything that happens to you, but you can always choose how you react. That is where your power is.
  5. Be true to yourself, not to society's expectations. An authentic life is more satisfying than a perfect life.

Similar books

  • “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck"* by Mark Manson (original English version)
  • “Everything Is Fcked: A Book About Hope"* by Mark Manson

Author profile

Mark Manson is an American author, blogger, and entrepreneur, best known for his popular blog and provocative books about personal development and life philosophy.

Manson started her career as a relationship and personal development coach:

  • He started his blog in 2009, sharing his unconventional thoughts about love, happiness, and the meaning of life.
  • His articles, combining raw wisdom and irreverent humor, quickly grew in popularity, drawing millions of readers.
  • He has also worked as a coach and speaker, helping thousands of people around the world.

The success of her blog has led to writing and entrepreneurial opportunities:

  • Manson has written for several prestigious magazines and websites, including CNN, BBC, Business Insider, and Huffington Post.
  • He published his first book, “Models: Attract Women Through Honesty,” in 2011, which became a best seller in its category.
  • He founded his own publishing house, Subtle Art House, to publish his future books.

But that's with “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F.ck”, published in 2016, that Manson has become a global phenomenon: *

  • The book was an immediate success, staying on the New York Times bestseller list for over 200 weeks.
  • It has been translated into over 50 languages and has sold over 12 million copies worldwide.
  • Her success has cemented Manson's status as one of the most influential and original voices in the field of personal development.

Manson continued to explore his unique philosophy in his next book, “Everything Is Fcked: A Book About Hope”, published in 2019. *

With “The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck,” Mark Manson brought a fresh and provocative perspective on personal development, challenging a lot of conventional wisdom in the field.

His message is a call to embrace one's humanity, with all its faults and contradictions, rather than pursuing illusory perfection.

For Manson, the key to a fulfilling life is not to seek happiness and success at all costs, but to accept the inevitability of problems, to choose your struggles, and to focus on what really matters.

With this book, Mark Manson has established himself as a contrarian thinker, bringing a breath of fresh air and honesty to a field that is often dominated by platitudes and positive thinking. “The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck” is not just a book, it's a manifesto for a new approach to life and personal development.


Does the book really promote indifference and I don't give a shit?

No, despite its provocative title, the message of the book is not to be indifferent to everything. On the contrary, Manson pleads for choosing priorities and battles wisely, in order to focus on what really matters to you. It is a call to let go of superficial things in order to better embrace the essential.

Is Manson's approach compatible with positive psychology and other trends in personal development?

Manson's approach is a counterpoint to certain currents of positive psychology that promote positive thinking at all costs. He warns against what he calls “toxic positivity,” that is, the unrestrained pursuit of happiness that can paradoxically lead to unhappiness. However, his emphasis on personal responsibility, acceptance, and resilience ties in with key concepts in positive psychology.

Is the book mostly theoretical or does it give practical advice?

It's a balance of both. Manson spends a lot of time deconstructing preconceived ideas and presenting his philosophy of life, but he also offers plenty of concrete examples and practical tips for implementing his ideas. Each chapter ends with a “Something to Ponder” section that invites the reader to reflect and apply the lessons to their own life.

Is Manson's raw language and provocative humor present throughout the book?

Yes, irreverent style and flowery language are a Manson trademark and pervade the entire book. This is a key aspect of her approach, which aims to shake the reader up and push them out of their comfort zone. However, beyond provocation, the book also contains a lot of wisdom and profound insights.


In conclusion, “The Subtle Art of Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson is a one-of-a-kind personal development book that shakes up the codes and preconceived ideas of the genre. With its provocative style, sharp humor, and profound thoughts, it's a refreshing and thought-provoking read for anyone looking for a more authentic and pragmatic approach to personal growth.

Whether you are a fan of personal development looking for new perspectives, or simply someone looking to navigate life's challenges with greater serenity and meaning, “The Subtle Art of Giving a Damn” will offer you a valuable compass. A book to read, ponder, and apply to live a life that is more in line with your values and less encumbered by trivialities.

A powerful and iconoclastic manifesto for a new philosophy of life. A call to embrace your humanity, to choose your battles and to focus on what matters most. A book that will not leave you indifferent and that could well change the way you see the world and your place in it.