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The subtle art of not giving a fuck
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You have a limited amount of fucks to give, spend them wisely!

Written by Pieter Mijnendonckx on 9 August 2018 for Professionals

Cover photo: HBO

We’ll let you in on a little secret of ours, each year our CEO Raf Seymus gives us a book for some light summer reading. Now, before you feel sorry for us, we actually love this initiative. We even look forward to it! Why? Because Raf carefully selects each book and looks for valuable lessons we can take away from the read. This year, he chose a book by Mark Manson: The subtle art of not giving a fuck. In this blog post we share 4 lifechanging truths we learnt. Ready to be enlightened? Keep on reading, unless you don’t give a fuck, of course.

the subtle art of not giving a fuck

(1) What’s in it for me? Learn to focus on the important things in life – and screw the rest!

Too many choices, sounds familiar? Decidophobia (fear of choices) is definitely something we all struggle with. How do you know which career to choose? What partner suits you best? Where to go on holiday? The multitude of options and the freedom we have today to choose whatever we want has the opposite effect of what you’d expect. We’re don’t feel empowered, we feel pressured to make meaningful, right choices. But what is right?

Instead of concentrating on all our different choices and opportunities, all the time, we should instead find out what is important to us and concentrate on doing just that. Everything else? We shouldn’t give a fuck about it!

(2) Whatever you do in life will be a struggle, so you need to find the struggle that’s right for you.

Once you’ve figured out what’s important to you, you are able to set goals for yourself. The most important thing to note here is that achieving your goals will require hard work and plenty of perseverance; it’s guaranteed that there will be setbacks and hardships on the way.

There is no such thing as an easy life. That is one of the few certainties we have in life. And since struggle is unavoidable, you have to find something worth struggling for. You have to identify what you really enjoy doing.  However, it’s equally important to say no to all the struggles and tasks that don’t bring you joy. Be ruthless and stop chasing the things in life that don’t make you happy. Concentrate on the few great things – and don’t give a fuck about everything else.

the subtle art of not giving a fuck

(3) Suffering can lead to great things, but if you don’t have the right values, you’ll never be happy.

What do we mean by the right values? We mean that it is of the utmost importance not to compare your success against the success of others. If you do, you will never be happy with what you’ve achieved. Being more successful than your peers, friends, coworkers… is very subjective. Why would you do that to yourself? You’ll be doomed to disappointment. Instead, define what success means to you and try to live by it.

We’ll never try to tell you what values are right for you, we will however, warn you about two pretty shitty values you should definitely steer clear of:


Chasing pleasure above everything else isn’t healthy; in fact, it’s the central value of drug addicts, adulterers and gluttons. Research has shown that those who regard pleasure as the greatest good are likely to be anxious and depressed.

Material Wealth

Studies have shown that once our basic needs in life are cared for, extra wealth doesn’t increase happiness. And chasing wealth can even have a detrimental effect if we chose to pursue it over values like family, honesty or integrity.

(4) You need to accept your mistakes and insecurities if you want to see positive change.

Don’t you just hate those annoying people who always think they’re right? Those smug know-it-alls who, even when you tell them they’re in the wrong, simply won’t listen? Thank heavens you’re not like that yourself! Well, unfortunately, you are.

From time to time, we all suffer from the delusion that we’re correct when we’re not. If you want to avoid acting like this, you’ve got to be willing to question yourself, time and time again. This isn’t as easy as it sounds; quite often, our false beliefs cover up our insecurities. This means that, by constantly questioning our decisions and actions, we’ll uncover uncomfortable truths about ourselves. Not easy nor fun, but definitely worth it!

Our personal takeaway from this book?

Dare to say no, not only to others but also to yourself. Yes, life is short and we should try to make to most of it. But most does not equal all. The main reason for our insecurities, unhappiness and restlessness is the fact that we demand too much from life. We really need to learn how to stop “giving a fuck” about everything. Instead, we should spend our fucks wisely and solely on the things in life that are important to us, that give us joy, energy, satisfaction… Our personal advice to you would be: pick what’s important to you, and ignore the rest. Be totally ruthless with this.


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Written by Pieter Mijnendonckx Digital Growth Marketeer