A vibrant city street where masks lie discarded, and individuals radiate their true selves in bright, unique colors, symbolizing the liberation from pretense and the embrace of authenticity.

In this post, Mark Manson, author of _The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck _ outlines ‘5 Life-Changing Levels of Not Giving a Fuck’. It’s not for those with an aversion to profanity, but having read his book what I like about Manson’s work is that he’s essentially applying some of the lessons of Stoic philosophy to modern life. An alternative might be Derren Brown’s book Happy: Why more or less everything is absolutely fine.

Both books are a reaction to the self-help industry, which doesn’t really deal with the root cause of suffering in the world. As the first lines of Epictetus' Enchiridion note: “Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our own actions.”

Manson’s post is essentially a riff on this, outlining five ‘levels’ of, essentially, getting over yourself. There’s a video, if you prefer, but I’m just going to pull out a couple of parts from the post which I think are actually most life-changing if you can internalise them. At the end of the day, unless you’re in a coercive relationship of some description, the only person that can stop you doing something is… yourself.

The big breakthrough for most people comes when they finally drop the performance and embrace authenticity in their relationships. When they realize no matter how well they perform, they’re eventually gonna be rejected by someone, they might as well get rejected for who they already are.

When you start approaching relationships with authenticity, by being unapologetic about who you are and living with the results, you realize you don’t have to wait around for people to choose you, you can also choose them.


Look, you and everyone you know are gonna die one day. So what the fuck are you waiting for? That goal you have, that dream you keep to yourself, that person you wanna meet. What are you letting stop you? Go do it.

Source: Mark Manson

Image: DALL-E 3