The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson
Contributed by Micheal Celestin
Chapter 8

We tend to grow up convinced that freedom is the hidden treasure that will change our perception totally after we experience it. This might be more of a myth rather than reality. This is because freedom by itself has no meaning since there is nothing to reject. In order to be able to reject something we first need to narrow freedom and hypothetically that would mean to experience less freedom rather than more of it. What many of us do wrong is constantly focusing on saying yes and taking the blame when it's not their fault. By doing so we actually return to the first rule depicted in this book which refers to accept that we are not entitled to anything and even though we might possess better skills than others, in general, we are all mediocre. Accepting everything means that everything holds the same level of value for us which turns our life into something which is meaningless. Because of that, the only way to be able to find out what should be prioritized and what we shouldn't care about is by rejecting some things in our life. Nevertheless, we might be amazed by what limiting freedom could bring to us. Sometimes wandering around the world without any specific goal won't make us feel like the king and queen of the world but rather as meaningless beings.


The author believes that there is a strong correlation between what we reject and our identity. In the end what we accept and also what we reject is what defines us. In the most logical way, this means that if we avoid rejecting anything can be translated as avoiding any form of conflicts and confrontation which ultimately leads to a very subtle form of entitlement. We already know from the previous chapter that entitlement is a poisonous trait as it doesn't spur the desire to grow. Manson also denies the idea that freedom is the key to happiness. This is because when we refer to this state we actually refer to a moment in which we are overloaded with options and we end up suffering from what is known as the paradox of choice. Having more is not always better because as a result of a multitude of opportunities we tend to question our rejections. The example which is presented in the book is the one in regard to having the possibility to move to a country out of twenty other possibilities. By choosing this, we forfeit other options which lead to the terrifying question which will haunt us for years "What if?”. In order to present better the practical application of this information, he reminds us of toxic relationships. Those are based especially on the feeling of entitlement to solve the partners' problem or blame the partner for any difficulties.

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