Frankly, My Dear, I Don’t Give a Damn or a Mark Manson F*ck
Sep 28 2016

squirrels-nutsmasteIt’s an unconventional title: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life(amazon link), but it’s an insightful, irreverent, and hilarious book that’s not too trite, sappy, or “duh, who doesn’t already know that!” kind of read. It seems to be about how so many of us get hung up on the wrong things and make ourselves and potentially others in our social solar system miserable. He helps the reader figure out what they really should give a f*ck about instead of wasting time and energy measuring their success or failures using other peoples metrics instead of their own.

He suggests if we go through life being uncertain about everything, including our adamant beliefs about ourselves and others, as well as accept our idiosyncrasies and human flaws, we will be much happier.  I suck at directions, and that’s OK!

Those who are absolutely certain about things tend never to achieve lasting happiness because really, as most of us know, nothing is certain and disappointment is inevitable.  As a person who practices yoga, self-learning, appreciates the teachings of the Buddha, was raised Episcopal/Southern Baptist, and performs much less mental self-flagellation than I used to, the concepts Manson discusses resonate with me.

It’s a much more upbeat read than the must read book Man’s Search for Meaning(amazon link) by Viktor Frankel, a psychiatrist who writes about concentration camp survivors. Those who made it through the experience (if they weren’t randomly killed) had something they really gave a f*ck about. Those who didn’t were more likely to be measuring success by using metrics that didn’t fit the situation in which they found themselves (i.e., the drastically unfortunate cards they were dealt). I think the lessons in Frankel’s and Manson’s books are similar, but Manson uses many more F-Bombs and has modernized it to address our current more whiny “first world problems,” because, fortunately, almost none of us Gen X’ers and Millennials had to survive a horrific concentration camp!

Other posts I’ve written on self-exploration that may be useful to new/future readers are:

Wow, I didn’t realize how much I wrote about this sappy, self-help, existential crisis stuff! But I think all that writing and creating of songs I did was better than doing the 100+ less emotionally, physically, spiritually, medically healthy things I could have done while processing all that painful personal growth, trying to stay a mostly sane mother, and not turning into a raging HULK. Haha! Thanks to my readers who actually read my ramblings and still remained readers! 😛

Based on who you ask and when you ask them, I am much happier, tolerant, understanding, and calmer (unless provoked/poked while I’m under duress!) than I used to be even 3 to 5 years ago, which likely explains why I post much less frequently.  I’ve learned to tame some of those demons (who never fully disappear), set better boundaries (which Manson mentions in his book), be OK with my human failings by relying on GPS, and try to make better choices largely thanks to the kindness, support, and understanding of my numerous truly amazing friends and certain great family members. Just like Manson and most of us, I am constantly learning what to give a f*ck about based on where I am in life. I’ve gotten better at letting the rest of it flow on by just like the river in Siddhartha(amazon link) by Herman Hesse.

I’ll be interested to see how Manson’s views change if/after he has kids. Those new humans can cause you to question your entire life in a mostly sleep deprived state as well as pummel your a$$ affirming how little we really know/understand about ourselves or tiny humans!  He also discusses the “fear of death” in his book. Ironically, I fear pain more than I fear death. I fear dying before my kids are on their own, and I can’t even think about anything bad happening to them because then I might as well be dead.

I highly suggest you read this book because I care enough about all of you (even if I don’t know you) that I don’t want you to embody this quote: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” – Henry David Thoreau from Walden.

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Making Breakthroughs In Your Life and Career
Feb 9 2009

Back in December 2008 I participated in a workshop called the Landmark Forum.   It has been one of the most profound educational workshops I have ever taken in my life!  I went in skeptical but willing to learn since I have met one former CNN executive who took the course and read that many other successful business people have taken it as well.  You can read the post I wrote after taking it called A Transformation in Process.   Just as with anything worthwhile in this world, there are no quick fixes.  You get out of it what you put into it.  I can honestly say that participating in the Forum has given me a different perspective on life, myself, and other people.  It has also given me the tools (they call it technology) to have extremely different and highly authentic conversations with people I care deeply about and has helped me be more productive in my two jobs and frankly even more connected as a parent.

After completing the forum, there are a series of meetings that occur weekly or bi-weekly with the same people that took the forum.  In those seminars we discuss what we’ve learned and how we are implementing that learning in our day to day life.  We also formed groups, and I have some pretty cool people in my group…two doctors, one musician/artist, a financial adviser, a person who works at an interesting non-profit, and another mom/professional worker like me.

The one thing I don’t like about Landmark is the sometimes ‘hard sell’ of the program.  As a business person, I understand the business behind why they feel they have to do the ‘hard sell’ but as a participant, the first time I attended an introduction, I was actually turned off by it and decided I wasn’t going to sign up.  Only after hearing about it several times from a person I grew to trust and respect did I suspend disbelief and sign up for the course.  So when our seminar leader, Scott Shirey, said he was going to do something different and break away from the typical ‘bring someone to the seminar and then we’ll take them to another room and tell them about Landmark‘ and instead have a mini-Landmark experience with a known Austin individual, I told him I would be happy to promote that!

If you want to sign up, that’s great but I’ve been assured that no one will be taken to another room and educated about the benefits of Landmark.  New people will have the opportunity to experience the activities and the discussions that occur in the Forum and in the seminar meetings.

So if you are in Austin and would like to find out how you can make breakthroughs with money, the economy, and your career as well as make an impact on your and other people’s lives, please come to our February 16, 2009 seminar meeting.  They will even be giving away a free scholarship to an upcoming Landmark Forum valued at $385.  Honestly $385 is not a lot of money when you take into consideration to the time (a 3 day weekend and the 7 to 10 seminars that are included) that is provided to help you realize results.  I hope to see you there!  Details below:

How to Gain an Edge That Lasts a Lifetime:

Creating Unpredictable Results in Today’s Challenging Times
Breakthrough your concerns with money, the economy, and your success.
Consider this a friendly invitation for an evening of possibilities featuring:

Kirk McDow
Business Coach and Professional Musician


Scott Shirey
Seminar Leader  Landmark Forum in Action Series

7:00 P.M. – 10:00 P.M.
Norris Conference Center

2525 West Anderson Lane
Austin, Texas 78757


Because of construction/destruction it is easiest to get there from Burnet (behind Panda Express and Sonic) as the conference center is behind what was/is North Cross Mall.

Author: | Filed under: FYI | Tags: , | 1 Comment »