The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson
Contributed by Micheal Celestin
Chapter 9

Whenever we are thinking of death we imagine it like a finish line where we will have to count all our achievements in order to determine if our life really mattered. This is why in Mansons opinion, death is what exactly defines life. If there would be no end, then everything would be meaningless like the absolute freedom that was discussed in the previous chapter. Once we are able to accept the reality of mortality we end up eliminating all those superficial things which have no value in our life. More exactly, once we are able to understand that our time is limited we tend to become better at prioritizing things. This freedom of focusing only on the essential things in our life is the one that will bring long-term happiness rather than those moments of feeling high which accompanies the insignificant kinds of stuff such as possessions and desire to become famous. We are able to truly live once we become comfortable with the possibility of death.


In order to underline the importance of death in our lives and also why we are so afraid of it, the author refers to a book entitled The Denial of Death and written by Ernest Becker. The anthropologist states that there are two main reasons which represent the foundation of our fear in regard to the end of life. The first of it is known as death terror which is caused by our possibility of imagining ourselves in hypothetical situations. This is a trait which animals don't possess so, in other words, it can be seen as one of those characteristics which make us human. Even so, being able to imagine us in different situations ultimately leads to a deep form of anxiety because we are not sure how things will end even though there is a multitude of possibilities. The other reason presented in the book is in regard to the immortality projects. We extend ourselves over the physical part. That part is known as being the mortal one but there is also a second self-known as the conceptual self. There is a reason why we desire so much to have our names on structures and books because this will ensure that even after our death we won't be forgotten. This is exactly what causes all the fear and feeling of failing. We tend to live for our immortality projects rather for ourselves and as a conclusion of this we end up desiring to always be alive which means we never live.

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