DSM Investor Book Club – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Join us via Zoom to discuss the reading assignments in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. We put together some discussion questions for this meeting. Yeah, we’re that organized!

Discussion Questions for November 13, 2020 12-1pm

Chapter 7 – Failure is the Way Forward

Chapter Summed Up in a Quote

“Just as one must suffer physical pain to develop build stronger bone and muscle, one must suffer emotional pain to develop greater emotional resilience, a stronger sense of self, increased compassion, and a generally happier life.” -p148Quotes to Ponder

Quotes to Ponder

“If someone is better than you at something, that it’s likely because she has failed at it more than you have. If someone is worse than you, it’s likely because he hasn’t been through all the painful learning experiences you have.” – p144

“Better values, as we saw, our process-oriented.” – p145

“[Picasso’s] underlying value was simple and humble. It was endless. It was the value “honest expression.” And this is what made the napkin so valuable.” – p146-7

“Because I failed to separate what I felt from what was, I was incapable of stepping outside myself and seeing the world for what it was: a simple place where two people can walk up to each other at any time and speak.” -p151-2

Questions to Ponder

  • Specificity in values and sometimes backfire. If you finish up the value then it has no more to give you and you’re stuck with a midlife crisis. Would it be fair to say that values are purposely vague and cheesy in order to work properly? (They’re almost written in a language more about abstract thought/feeling and less about language.)
  • The author kind of assumed conventional goals are too basic for a meaningful life. Is this a detail you plan to look into when creating your own values?
  • How did the story of Picasso’s napkin sketch make you feel?

Chapter 8 – The Importance of Saying No

Chapter Summed Up in a Quote

Hey book club participant! Which quote do you think should go here?

Quotes to Ponder

“Freedom grants the opportunity for greater meaning, but by itself there is nothing necessarily meaningful about it. Ultimately, the only way to achieve meaning and a sense of importance in one’s life is through a rejection of alternatives, a narrowing of freedom, a choice of commitment to one place, one belief, or (gulp) one person.” – p166

“This exposure to different cultural values and metrics then forces you to reexamine what seems obvious in your own life and to consider that perhaps it’s not necessarily the best way to live.” – p168

“It’s suspected by many scholars that Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet not to celebrate romance, but rather to satirize it, to show how absolutely nutty it was.” – p173

“People in a healthy relationship with strong boundaries will take responsibility for their own values and problems and not take responsibility for their partner’s values and problems.” – p175

Questions to Ponder
  • Have you ever experienced a glut of freedom? What did you do with it? What could you have done with it?
  • Have you ever “reexamined what seems obvious in your own life” and decided to make a major change?
  • Do you feel like the fake niceties that the author writes about greatly impact your own behavior?
  • Anyone know a bit about Shakespeare? Have you heard about him writing Romeo and Juliet to satirize romance?
  • Do you identify more as a victim or a saver? Or, are you an absolutely perfect specimen of human intellect and emotion?
  • Not a question, but random, unaffiliated, Jessie-really-liked-this-one plug for a recommended book. It’s called Enough by Patrick Rhone.

Discussion Questions for October 30, 2020 12-1pm

Manson’s Law of Avoidance (p130) – The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.

Chapter 5 – You Are Always Choosing

  • How do you feel about the separation of responsibility and fault? Did you previously (or do you still) lump these together?
  • We could complain for days about nutty social media users, but we can only control our own behavior. After reflecting on your own social media usage and behavior, do you find yourself “riding the highs of moral indignation?” If you find this to be problematic, what could you do to improve?
  • Speaking of vices, has this book led you to uncover some of your own vices that you didn’t previously consider to be a vice?

Chapter 6 – You’re Wrong About Everything (But So Am I)

  • What things do you feel certain about that you are now questioning as a result of reading this chapter?
  • Are there areas or aspects of your life that you are avoiding? What’s causing the avoidance?
  • Does the reverse of Manson’s Law apply? Are there areas you’re more likely to pursue because they solidify your identity? Has this been helpful or hurtful?

About the Author:

Jessica moved to Des Moines in 2014 and absolutely positively loves the city for its big-little style and its vibrant real estate market in which she currently invests. She is also a frequent attendee of the DSM Real Estate Investing and FIRE Meetups. Jessica enjoys home projects of all scales from full on remodels to small paint jobs. She loves sharing odd facts and puns, learning about economics and biology, and exercising outside though she is no marathon runner or RAGBRAI champ.