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Review of THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK by Mark Manson

Admittedly, I have a love-hate relationship with the title of Manson’s book. But it’s effective. It got my attention and made me uncomfortable because I care too much about things like this, which probably don’t matter very much. I suspect that is why my personal partner loaned me his copy of the book.

It’s a quick, easy read for the most part, and it reinforces a lot of success principles you’ve probably heard–but presumably aren’t applying, if the book is calling to you. Buy it. I assure you there will be a few new insights that will help you accept and resolve the conflicts weighing you down. As I say in my book, conflict is a natural part of living. Rather than attempt the impossible task of avoiding all conflict, learn to master it. Manson seems to agree, and his book might be one tool for your journey to mastery.

The chapter titles are confronting, too, but they are also effective. “Don’t try.” “You’re Not Special.” And my favorite, “Happiness is a Problem.” I’ve sometimes blindly followed the latest shiny ball that will supposedly lead me to eternal happiness, but Manson has a better perspective. We are designed, not to sit in the lap of luxury where our every need or desire is delivered to us. We need, and therefore crave, problems to solve. They make us wiser, smarter, stronger, and more confident, which also makes us more honest (with ourselves and others). That kind of happiness is what fulfills and lasts.

These concepts aren’t new. They are simple to understand, yet difficult to apply. That’s why we sometimes need f*** bombs dropped on us. I would have preferred the book without them, but I might not have gotten the message as bluntly. This, of course, is part of Manson’s intent. F*cking get it already.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an attorney, arbitrator, and mediator based in New York City. She is the founder of The Law Studio of Nance L. Schick, where we create resolution. Her holistic, integrative approach draws from her experience as a human resources supervisor, as well as her legal, ADR, EEOC, FINRA, and ICERM training. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by Super Lawyers (ADR, 2018), the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition). She currently serves as the Main ICERM Representative to the United Nations.

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