The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson
Contributed by Micheal Celestin
Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter, Manson opens our eyes and tries to convince us that the goal is not to evade suffering but embrace it and analyze its hidden meaning. Whenever we are facing a problem, in order to find a solution to it we first need to change our values and the way we measure success and failure.  More exactly, some values and metrics tend to be better to approach a specific situation than others.  We should not close this book until we understand that the values that are considered favorable are those which are based on reality, can be controlled and nevertheless, it improves our social life. A good example is the desire to become the popular person in the group which is seen as a negative value because we can't control how the others will respond to this. Based on these affirmations, Manson also classifies common values based on the kind of problems they create. Hardly solvable problems are usually created by poor values such as pleasure, material success, trying to always be right and always being positive. Whenever we are dealing with poor values we are actually consuming our limited amount of caring for things that don't matter and once again we are trapped on a treadmill of forgetting to prioritize our obstacles.


The author has an interesting way of making us empathize with the knowledge he is sharing with us. Each of the sequences from this chapter starts with a story which has the role of further introducing us to the main subject. For example, this chapter starts with a tale about Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda who hid in the forest for years believing that World War II didn't end. He endured all the suffering because his internal morals dictated him to remain loyal to the emperor and question everything the others had to say. When he finally found out the truth and discovered a country which lost their culture he felt depressed because his values changed and realized that all the suffering brought no benefits to his beloved land. Another story is the one of a guitarist who was kicked out of the band. He ultimately founded the well-known band known as Megadeth and managed to achieve the success everyone would die for. Even so, he was never happy because the initial band was Metallica and he continuously compared his success to the one of the other band which only managed to outline the fact that he failed. The main lesson we need to keep in mind after reading these pages is that failure and success depends on the way we measure things. My failure can be someone else success and vice versa.

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