For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson argues that life’s struggles give it meaning and that the mindless positivity of typical self-help books is neither practical nor helpful. The book is a reaction to the self-help industry and what Manson saw as a culture of mindless positivity that isn’t practical or helpful for most people. Manson uses many of his own personal experiences to illustrate how life’s struggles often give it more meaning, which, he argues, is a better approach than constantly trying to be happy. Manson’s approach and writing style have been categorized by some as contrary to the general self-help industry, using blunt honesty and profanity to illustrate his ideas.