Book Corner: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

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    Hello, everyone. Cliff here. Today’s episode is going to contain some nuts, eight words. So make sure that you keep children and small dogs away from the speakers. Now I’m with the shell.

    Hello everyone. And welcome to the show. My name is Cliff Duvernois. And this is a new segment that I’m starting and I’m going to call it the book corner. Now, initially, my concept for the book corner was to talk to Michigan authors about the books that they’re writing have written and the thoughts that they want to share about self-improvement or travel to different spots in Michigan.

    That was the concept. I could not get any authors on to the show on such short notice. It’s probably going to be a couple of weeks. So I just elected to start talking about books that I’m currently reading that may be of some value to you. So let’s go ahead and get this episode started. The first book that I’m going to talk to you about is a book that I’m actually rereading right now.

    And it is called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. with a subtitle, a counter-intuitive approach to living a good life written by Mark Manson, sold over a million copies, number one, international bestseller. In other words, this is a highly rated book.

    What I want to do is I want to talk about first, how this book even originally ended up on my desk. So a handful of years ago, I belong to this online marketing group. Very elite, super, super cool. And we were learning how to write better stories. And to do this, we would take books. And somebody would recommend a book.
    We would go, we would read it, we would dissect it, and then turn around and write stories based on the content. So somebody brought the subtle art of not giving a fuck to the group. We all bought a copy, went out, dissected it. And I devoured the book in a matter of days, underlining passages, like crazy.
    Cause that’s what I do. Highlighting different passages, writing notes in the margin, kind of summary up with the pages. I mean, I really went through the book in fine detail. Then I put it on the shelf, you know, as soon as I was done reading it, I said, okay, that was cool. There was a lot of great advice in there.
    I’m just going to stick it up here. And, you know, I’ll, maybe I’ll read it again some other day. Well, probably about three weeks ago. When I was talking to my counselor. Yep. I’m seeing a counselor when I was seeing my counselor and I was kind of outlining to her what I wanted to address, what some of my goals and objectives were for our sessions.

    She said, “this is great, Cliff. We’re going to definitely work on these things. What I would like you to do in the meantime is read this book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. And of course, I laugh because it’s on my bookshelf. And I said, Hey, that’s no problem. I’m going to go back and reread it.
    dr. John Maxwell, who was probably the world’s leading authority on the topic of leadership said the first time that you go through a book and you’re writing notes, whatever it is, you’re making a note on the book. But the second time that you read a book, the book is making a Mark on you. And I think that’s really powerful because when I was rereading this book for a second time, rereading my notes, looking at the underlined passages that I had given all of a sudden, a lot of things in my life started making sense.

    And some of the reasons why I, why I’m suffering this pain, why I’m not able to move forward is outlined in this book. And so what I want to do is share with you three core concepts from the book that I absolutely got and. Then I’ll do a quick summary at the end. So let’s talk about the topic.

    Point 1: You Want New Problems

    Number one, topic, number one, you want new problems?

    Remember I told you this was counter-intuitive. So it is t you want new problems. That’s basically it. So what am I saying when I do that? Cause I know a lot of people out there are saying all different kinds of things. So like, I don’t want any drama. I don’t want any problems. Here’s a hard fact of life for you to accept you are going to have problems.

    the thing is, is that if you’re fighting the same problems all the time, you should really question yourself if you’re really moving forward in life. And that’s the argument that the author makes in the book. Now, I’ve heard this before grant Cardone wrote in his book, 10 X, that you want new problems, but he really didn’t explain it.

    But in this book, and remember, this is the counter-intuitive approach to life. He argues that you want. New problems. So the author writes that here when we feel that we are choosing our problems, we feel empowered when we feel that our problems are being forced upon us against our wheel. That’s when we feel victimized and miserable.

    And I was thinking back when I was reading this topic about. a new chapter in my life that I was starting and the problems that I had versus the new problems that I encountered. So we’ll take a trip back in time. I am in high school and back then in high school, I only had like a handful of real problems, right?
    Some of my problems were, how do I get gas into my car? Cause I loved being independent. I love driving around, loved driving my friends around. So that was my biggest problem. How do I get gas in my car? A couple of other problems that I had was how in the world do I not get kicked out of school because I was arrogant and shot off my mouth quite a bit.

    And another problem that I had was how can I. How can I TP toilet paper roll, whatever your vernacular is? My friend’s houses and not get caught, even though everybody knew that I was doing it anyway, those were my chief problems when I was in high school. But at some point in time, high school was coming to an end and I had this crazy wild idea that I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.

    I wanted to design the next space shuttle. So that’s what my focus was, was to become an aerospace engineer. And guess what? When I made that decision, I had a whole new set of problems. Where do I go to school? How am I going to pay for it? How do I get accepted? These were all new problems. And I finally did pick a school.

    I finally was accepted after a little bit of drama. Finally was accepted, figured out a way to pay for it. Thanks to Uncle Sam, but all these problems had to be solved. But guess what? Just getting into college is one set of problems. Staying in college was another set of problems. And I’ll talk about that in a little bit, but the thing is you always want new problems.

    this makes me think back to something that I used to be obsessed with when I was getting into, real estate investing. And when I was getting into the world of finances and that is this concept that I’ve heard a lot of people say, man, if I could only win the lottery, all my problems would be solved and that’s not true.
    Simply not true. The reason why I can say that is without fail. 75% of people who win the lottery wind up in bankruptcy within five to seven years. It doesn’t matter if they win a million dollars, $10 million, or $200 million, 75% of lottery winners wind up in bankruptcy. Why is that? Well, They already have money problems before they won the lottery.

    And just because they got $200 million, doesn’t make those problems go away. One of the very common misconceptions about money is if you have $1 spend to, so rather than them spending, let’s say, for instance, $10,000 on a car that they can’t afford. They’re now out there spending a hundred thousand dollars on a porch top of the line gold-plated and they think to themselves, you know what?

    I got $200 million I can afford to spend a hundred grand on a porch. Oh, check out this house over here. It’s $50 million. Well, shoot. That leaves being $150 million. I’ll go ahead and buy that house. So they buy the house and then guess what? Their property taxes are like $10,000 a month. Well, that’s okay.

    I’ve got 200 million. Well, actually I got 150 million left, $10,000 a month. That’s no big deal. I can afford it. And they keep repeating this pattern over and over and over again. The same problems that they had before are just magnified because they’ve won all this money. Now, if they had said to themselves and some lottery winners do this, that’s why it’s only 75%, not a hundred percent, but some of the lottery winners say, okay, so I’ve won a hundred million dollars.

    How can I be smart with my money? How can I invest my money? How can I make my money last? So right there, they are assuming responsibility for new problems. That’s in their lives.

    So a lot of times you could be putting a lot of effort into something, anything, and you don’t know if you’re making forward progress, but if all of a sudden you start seeing that you’re experiencing new problems, guess what? You’re making forward progress, and you need to stay on the path. Which brings me to the second point here that I’ll talk about.

    Point 2: Failure is How You Move Forward

    The second point that I want to talk about is that failure is how you move forward and repeat that again. Failure is how you move forward, not a success, but failure.
    Michael Jordan, obviously, one of the best basketball players ever once said I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times. I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
    Failure is how you, you know, you’re moving forward. Failure is the path of moving forward.
    So before, when I was talking about being in college, I got into college, solved all those problems. And when I was there, I approached college, just like I approached high school.

    I really didn’t care. I did not know how to study. And I just thought that I would just be able to breeze my way through. And I say that because in my high school if you just showed up, you were guaranteed to get a C. I discovered by reading the student handbook that if you got perfect attendance, you didn’t have to take final exams.

    So during the entire high school career, I didn’t take one exam. I had perfect attendance cause I hated to study and I hated taking exams. So I never learned how to study now I’m in college and all of a sudden the college is threatening to kick me out because my grades are horrible. And this isn’t like high school.

    Well, they’ll just push me up to the next grade. If I want to stay there, I need to figure out how to study. And so I had a lot of friends around me who were giving me books. There were all these classes that you could take. And of course, they all charged and I was a starving college student. So I was living on basically Kraft, macaroni, and cheese because it was six for a buck and you don’t need milk.

    You could actually make it with water and it’s revolting. It was disgusting, but that’s how I live. That’s how I made it through. That’s how I made it through college.
    So I tried one method where the guy talked about having index cards and you take notes on the index card. So this is how you do Roman numeral one, Roman numeral two. And this is how you do ABC and all these other things. And I tried it and it didn’t work. My grades didn’t move. I tried this other method, of highlighting.

    I was trying. flashcards to memorize things. I was trying, I was trying to try, there was probably maybe 10 or 12, maybe even 15 different study systems that I tried. None of them were working for me. I could do everything. The guy told me to do. Nothing was sticking to my head. I even spent, probably more money than I should have.

    probably like a hundred bucks, but there was some kind of a memory system. This guy on TV was hockey and they’re like, send us a check for a hundred bucks. We’ll send you this memory system. You can remember everything. And I did it and I still failed miserably. I couldn’t even remember where I left my keys in the morning.
    So, how did I learn how to study? Well, I happened to be in one of my classes and it was solid mechanics and the teacher was there. We were just kind of wrapping at the end of class. It was a very intense class. And of course, I was lost. And one of the students in the class asked him. How he became a professor.
    How did, how did you get your master’s degree? How did you get your Ph.D.? What’s what is one piece of advice that you could give us? And I was kind of like half paying attention, half, not packing my bag, trying to figure out how I was going to survive the semester. And he said something that stuck in the back of my head.
    He said, you know, at the end of the chapter, there’s probably maybe 30 homework problems and my professors would always assign maybe five or seven homework problems. And. I would do those homework problems and then I would turn it in and my grades were hurting. But then what I decided to do one day is I did all 30 homework problems.

    I did them all, even though they weren’t assigned, even though they weren’t due, I did all 30 homework problems. And that’s how I got to where I am today. And I thought you know what? It’s worth a try. Yes. It’s going to take up a lot more time, but you know what? I don’t need to sleep eight hours a night. I can sleep six hours a night, as long as I can get through all these problems.

    If I can really know that I’ve mastered this particular topic, then I’ll do it. So now I’m creating a new problem for myself, do all the homework problems, not just the ones that were assigned. And you know what I struggled with, this is the homework problems were tough. And I would, I was like, you know what? I need help.
    So I go to the professor’s office. And I would say, look, I’m working on a homework problem. Could you help me? And the professor would say, I didn’t assign this as homework. And I’m like, I know, but I need to know how to do this. And then the professor would smile. Like Holy cow, this guy actually cares about learning this material and knowing this material.

    So they would actually walk me through the problem, even if I didn’t know how to do it, they would walk me through it. I would struggle through it and I would get it. And you know, what was interesting is when I would actually sit down and take the test. At the end of the semester, a lot of those homework problems that they didn’t assign, run the test.

    So all of a sudden taking tests became super easy because I knew the material. I had seen the problems before I already knew the tricks. I already knew the little crevices where secret answers were hiding. Yeah. And my grades shot up. It was awesome. I went from 2.0 and go up to 4.0. It was awesome. It was great.
    But in order to get to that spot, I had to fail and I had to fail time. And again, like I said, 15 different ways of studying, and I failed at all of them until I found the one that worked for me.

    Point 3: Action Breeds Motivation.

    The third point that I want to talk to you about is action brings motivation, not motivation brings action, but action brings. Motivation. I told you that this was going to be counterintuitive and I’m delivering on my promise. Now, everybody listening to this right now has all experienced the same thing.
    It’s Saturday, it’s Sunday morning, you got to clean the house and you just simply can’t do it. And you’re saying yourself, God, I just can’t get motivated to get off this couch. You grabbed the remote, you put it on the history channel, anything to delay, cleaning the house. And for me, that’s watching Bigfoot on the history channel.
    That’s my go-to default because they’re always playing Bigfoot on the history channel. So let’s see if we can find evidence that Bigfoot is real and you know what happens at some point in time while I’m sitting there on the couch, my brain actually says, you know, cliff, you should do a load of clothes cause you’re out of underoos.

    And if there’s one thing that I hate in life is recycling underwear. It is revolting. It is disgusting. I cannot stand it. So I get up off the couch, throw a load of clothes into the washing machine with some soap. Yes. I use soap. Turn it on. Well, now I’m up. Well, I see there’s a bag of Doritos on the counter and I don’t want mice to be running around my house.

    So let’s put that bag of Doritos away. So I put it away and then I see the sink and it’s got dishes in it. I’m like, you know what, I have to do those dishes. So then I do those dishes and next thing you know, I’m grabbing a broom, sweeping the floor, and if you’re anal like me, you run a Swiffer. And catch all that other little dirt, but all of a sudden what has happened is I started moving.

    And when I started going, all of a sudden, now I had more, more quote, unquote, motivation to actually keep moving forward, to keep the cleaning process, the, keep the momentum going.

    now there’s a special reason for this particular one here that I want to share with you. And that is because this episode that I’m making right now is an example. Of action breeding motivation. So if we take a trip back in time, a couple of days, I knew that I had to release an episode on Friday, but I didn’t know what I knew it was going to be a solo episode.

    I really did want to talk about books, but I wasn’t exactly sure the angle that I wanted to take with it. Like, what’s the story that I could share. Why would I put a piece of content out there in the first place? And so I was asking my friends, I was asking for opinions and people were giving me all kinds of really great advice.

    I’m like, that’s really cool. That’s really cool. It’s really cool. But then it was. The situation became, how do I get a Michigan author on the show to talk about their Michigan bucks? And there’s no way that I could get one on short notice. So at that point in time, I was resolved to simply not releasing an episode because how was I going to get one prepared?

    And this was my mentality when I went to bed Thursday night and I will admit I didn’t sleep really well Thursday night because something was bugging me. I got up. And that was my mentality. When I went to bed. On Wednesday night.

    And that was my mentality. When I went to bed Wednesday night, just not going to do an episode, but something didn’t quite sit right with me. And I woke up Thursday morning and I prepared my pot of coffee. Cause I needed my six cups. I grabbed the subtle art of not giving a fuck. Cause that’s what I do.
    First thing in the morning, as I read. And in there he covered this concept. Action breeds, motivation, and then it hit me all the points that I’ve just covered in here. All came together. As clear as day, I wanted to do an episode, I wanted to talk about a book I needed to do it. And so the first thing came into play.
    Right? Once I resolved that I was actually going to do an episode, all the points that I mapped out here in this episode came into play. The first one, you want new problems. So the problem of not doing an episode evaporated, now it became a question of how do I do an episode. I’m not going to have access to my recording equipment.

    I’m going to be mobile that day. So how do I do it? And I’m a little bit of an audio nut. I like good sounding audio. So I knew that I just couldn’t talk at my phone all day, cause the audio would sound like crap. So now I’ve got a new problem. I need to get a headset. The problem is, is that I lost my headset and I was kind of just kind of dinking around.

    Not really thinking I needed a headset. Well, guess what now I do. So there’s another problem that has to be solved. So I go out and about over to Walmart and it’s seven 30 in the morning because I know they’ve got headsets that fit my iPhone. So I go over there and I get my headset. So that problem is solved.
    Now, what application do I use to record it? Where can I record it? So I can have some privacy. There are all of these new problems that came into play. And guess what? I solved them all because now here I am recording the episodes, right? The second thing is failure. The path forward this episode could bomb.
    People could hate it. People could be telling me all clips. This was the worst episode ever. Do us a favor. Don’t ever do it again. I would rather listen to mean to nails going down a chalkboard, then listening to your, I mean, it could be any number of reasons.

    I don’t know, personally, I don’t care because I like this.

    I like doing this and you know what? This episode could completely suck. And I am willing to take on that responsibility because if I know that the episode is bad if I know that it’s an abject failure, guess what? I can make it better. So you know what, the next episode. Is not so much of a failure. It doesn’t suck as much.
    It’s an iterative process. It is going to get better by the time I’m able to get a Michigan author onto the podcast and actually be able to talk about your books. I’ll have this thing nailed out. It’ll be a great episode, but the only reason that’s going to happen is because I actually have to try. And if it fails, cool, I’m going to learn from it.
    The third point. Action brings motivation. Once I had resolved that I was actually going to do this once I had boughten the microphone, once I had connected it to my phone, once I had started talking, the episode came together and it further inspired me to keep moving, to keep recording, to getting these points out there.
    So all of the points that I mapped out today, completely reflective of the book came together to produce an episode. And I’m having fun. I almost don’t want to stop talking, but I know probably most of you right now are getting close to home, either that, or you’ve reached the limit of how much you can tolerate today.

    In summary, do I think you should get this book if you’re thinking about making a life change, if you’re thinking about changing careers or changing jobs, if you’re thinking about starting a business, yes. You should definitely get this book for it. Any number of reasons, I’ve only covered three topics in this book.
    He covers probably a hundred of them. But I really do think that it would serve you well to read this book, if anything, to understand why it is that you do what you do, more importantly, understand what you can do to move yourself forward, challenge some of your limiting beliefs. That’s another thing that I absolutely love to do.
    So what’d you think of the episode? Like seriously, did you like it? Did you not like it? Drop me a note. Let me know links in the show notes down below, and I will talk to you in the next episode. Make it a great day. Cheers.

    About The Host

    About The Host

    Cliff Duvernois

    Cliff is the host of “The Call of Leadership” podcast.  He has published over 500 short stories over Facebook, Medium and LinkedIn.  He is a passionate lifelong learner, marketer and philanthropist.  He currently lives in Reese, Michigan with his fiancé Sherry and her two children.