The one sentence summary

You can lead a more contented and grounded life by deciding what to give a f*ck about, and what not.


  • We should get to know our limitations and accept them – once we embrace our fears, faults and uncertainties we can begin to find courage and confidence.
  • Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable about being different.
  • To not give a f*ck about adversity, you have to care about something more important than adversity.
  • Whether you realise it or not, you are always choosing what to give a f*ck about. It’s important to say no so you stay true to yourself.
  • It’s counterintuitive, but wanting positive experience is a negative experience; and accepting negative experience is a positive experience.
  • The feedback loop from hell involves getting anxious about confronting somebody or something in your life, then you start worrying about why you’re so anxious, then you become anxious about being anxious.
  • Many fail to achieve fulfilment because they either deny that the problems exist in the first place, or have a victim mentality, choosing to believe that there is nothing they can do about them.
  • Happiness comes from solving problems. Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it. Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for. So choose your struggle.
  • Many people have shitty values: perpetually seeking pleasure (it’s temporary), material success, and always being right. Certainty is the enemy of growth. Trust yourself less.
  • People should ask: what if I’m wrong, what would it mean if I were wrong, and would being wrong create a better or worse problem, for myself and others?
  • Contrary to much advice, knowing yourself can be dangerous – it can saddle you with unnecessary expectations and close off opportunities.


  • The tyranny of exceptionalism: we are all pretty average, and yet every day the media floods us with examples of exceptional behaviour we can’t match.
  • People need to take responsibility about their choices, accept uncertainty and admit that they are wrong, embrace failure and rejection, and their own mortality. With great responsibility comes great power.
  • The responsibility/fault fallacy allows people to pass off the responsibility for solving problems to others –a kind of victimhood chic.
  • “I used to think the human brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realised who was telling me this.” Emo Philips
  • “It’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle


  • The book could benefit from having an index.