The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k – Summary and Application [Part 1/2]


It’s time to switch things up a little bit;
as the main mission of this channel is to empower fellow students, help you become a
more well-rounded and ultimately better version of yourself, I’m working on expanding the
breadth of Med School Insiders content. I will still be making regular videos on study
and productivity hacks but will also incorporate occasional book summaries such as this one. As you are all aware by now, I’m a huge fan
of reading and the lessons you can learn. I know that not everyone is able to get through
as many books as they would like, myself included, so In this video, I’m going talk about one
of my favorite books from 2016 and a few lessons that I learned from it. What’s going on guys! This is Jay from MedSchoolInsiders.com. In this video, we’re gonna go over Mark Manson’s
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck While I would classify this as a self help book,
Mark Manson is a very atypical self help author. He acknowledges the toxic aspects of the self
help craze; how constantly seeking improvement in your life can actually focus on what you
lack and what is wrong with you, which ultimately leads to an unhappy and unfulfilling existence
where happiness is always just out of reach. Although the title seems to imply you should
not care about anything, the underlying message of the book is actually this: Everyone cares
about certain things – choose wisely what those things are. First, EMBRACE THE UNCOMFORTABLE He explains
it best when he says; The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s
negative experience is itself a positive experience. The more you pursue feeling better all the
time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you
lack it in the first place. On the other hand, pursuing the negative often
generates positive. For example, the pain in the gym improves
your health and energy. Failures in school or work give you a better
understanding of your own shortcomings and how to improve in the future. Being open with your insecurities makes you
more confident. Overcoming challenges and fears is what allows
you to build courage and character. “Everything worthwhile in life is won through
surmounting the associated negative experience.” If you constantly run from the uncomfortable,
you will feel constantly entitled to being happy at all times, therefore any challenge
coming your way is seen as an injustice, any disagreement becomes a betrayal. We must all be comfortable with the idea that
some suffering is always inevitable. No matter what you do, you will face challenges,
failures, loss, regrets, and ultimately death. THE PROBLEM WITH HAPPINESS Many of us are
guilty of delayed gratification, particularly those of us pursuing the medical profession. We say when I finish training I can be happy,
or when I’m an attending I’ll know I’ve made it. Or we can have superficial aspirations. If I can look like person X or be with person
Y, then I will be happy. This entire approach is the problem, however. Happiness is not an ultimate end goal or solvable
equation. Instead, it is an emotion, and emotions have
evolved to be directions to our life compass. Positive emotions are positive feedback for
good behaviors, and negative emotions serve as a call to action – It’s evolution telling
you that something is not right. The struggles that you overcome are equally
important to creating and sustaining happiness. Manson argues that problems never stop; they
merely get exchanged and/or upgraded. Happiness comes from solving these problems. In fact, it’s a huge problem that many of
us, at least in American culture, that we should suppress our negative emotions for
social and cultural reasons. But to deny one’s negative emotions is to
deny many feedback mechanisms that help a person solve their own problems. I love Mark Manson’s breakdown of life goals. It’s a common question to ask someone “what
do you want out of life?” And everyone is going to have a fairly similar
answer. Happiness, family, great job, etc. But instead ask yourself “what pain do I
want in my life? What am I willing to struggle for?” This is the question that will give you better
insight on how to live your life. What pain are you willing to sustain? For example, many premeds early in their college
career dream of the many advantages of being a physician. But not everyone is willing to put in the
long days and nights studying, the 4 additional years of medical school, the 80+ hour work
weeks in residency, etc. That’s a big reason why majority of premeds
on the first day of college are no longer premed at graduation time. Asking yourself what are you willing to struggle
for will lead you down a path that is more worthwhile for you. Manson also applies this logic to relationships:
“Most people want to have great sex life and an awesome relationship, but not everyone
is willing to go through the tough conversations, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings, and
the emotional psychodrama to get there. And so instead they settle.” People want a romantic partner, but you don’t
find someone you believe is amazing without first appreciating the emotional rollercoaster
that is dating, rejections, and failed attempts. People want an amazing body, but you only
get there if you are able to endure and appreciate the pain and challenges associated with regular
exercise and meticulous tracking of your caloric intake. You’re defined by what you’re willing
to struggle for. Those who enjoy the struggles of the gym are
the same people who are strong and athletic. Going back to the toxic nature of the self
help culture, the truth is that we are not all exceptional. Feeling good about yourself for no reason
will actually do more harm than good. Facing challenges and obstacles head on is
a useful and necessary component in development. You guys know how much I appreciate a good
challenge from the My Story video. If challenges and suffering are inevitable,
we shouldn’t ask ourselves “how do I stop suffering?” Rather, “why am I suffering – for what
purpose?” The beautiful thing is that while problems
can often not be changed, we have complete control over how we choose to think about
them. Problems add meaning and importance to our
lives. So embrace them. Beasting the MCAT and getting into medical
school makes us happier than watching Netflix. Raising a child makes us happier than eating
McDonalds. Each of these activities is stressful and
at times unpleasant. They also require enduring through problem
after problem, yet they add value, meaning, and can create joyous moments in our lives. As Freud said, “One day, in retrospect,
the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful” We can only be successful
at something we’re willing to fail at. If you are unwilling to fail, then you’re
unwilling to succeed. If someone is better than you at something,
it’s likely because she has failed at it more than you have. If someone is worse than you, they likely
haven’t been through all the learning experiences yet. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. While some may argue that you measure self-esteem
by how positively you feel about yourself, Manson argues that the more accurate way is
to see how someone feels about the negative aspects of themselves. Someone who actually has high self esteem
can honestly assess their negative qualities and subsequently act to address them. Entitled people, on the other hand, are unable
to be honest with their problems and therefore are unable to improve their lives in a lasting
and meaningful way. They live in denial. This entitlement usually manifests in one
of two ways: 1) I’m great and you all suck, therefore I deserve special treatment. Or 2) I suck and the rest of you are all incredible,
therefore I deserve special treatment. The former is referring to those who are extremely
arrogant and consider themselves superior, and the latter is referring to those who constantly
pay the victim card. CHOOSE YOUR VALUES CAREFULLY Our values are
what determine the metrics by which we measure ourselves and everyone else. Resist human nature in wanting to compare
yourself to others. Instead, figure out by what standard do you
measure yourself by? The best way to reframe how you see your problems
is to change what you value and how you measure failure and success. Here are some examples of good and bad values. –Good values: honesty, innovation, vulnerability,
self-respect, curiosity, charity, humility, creativity –Bad values on the other hand
would include things like dominance through manipulation, feeling good all the time, always
being the center of attention, not being alone, being liked by everybody, being a gunner (for
those of you who don’t know, gunner is a term used in medical school to describe someone
who is overly competitive and brigs others down in order to get ahead) Figuring out your
values comes down to priorities. What are the values that you prioritize above
everything else and therefore influence your decision making more than anything else? Better values lead to better problems which
leads to a better life. Alright guys, that is it for part one, head
over to part 2 for the rest of this video.

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