The worst HR book of 2017 is “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” by Mark Manson. The more time I spend reflecting on this book, the more I hate it.
Great Books Have Remarkable Titles
Let’s start with the title, which isn’t fantastic. I know publishers are picky. Likewise, booksellers are prudish. But if you include the F word in your title and don’t spell it, don’t use it.
You might want me to give this guy a break. He’s trying to move merchandise, Laurie. He doesn’t make the rules, right?
Too fucking bad. I want to read books from writers who are brave. If you’re not courageous enough to use a word, don’t put it on the cover of your book.
You Need a Story, Bro
The heart of this book is built around several important ideas that look like this: The nature of consciousness requires us to suffer. The more you resist, the more you suffer. Get out of your head. Make conscious decisions about how and when you will suffer. Go into the real world and be of service to somebody and stop thinking about your suffering.
That’s not Mark Manson, that’s Buddha. I’m not saying the author is ripping off Buddhist tenets, but this book could use a better editor and more attributions.
As we dive into the book, Manson attaches his autobiography to Buddhist principles without reflecting on how wealth, race and privilege played a role in his life. I wish the author could acknowledge that the road to enlightenment is shorter when you have food, mental health counselors and individuals who love you.
What bothers me the most is that Manson shows zero compassion for readers who have endured trauma and suffer from anxiety and depression. His message is very Trumpesque and abrasive: Your life isn’t hard as you think, so get off the internet and stop complaining.
The days of some dude telling me how I feel are over. I don’t need my life experiences validated by some guy who was born on third base but thinks he hit a triple.
It’s the Worst HR Book of the Year
Is Mark Manson a bad guy? No, of course not. Is this book toxic? No, not at all. Was “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” the worst HR book of 2017? Yes. But jump on the bandwagon and read this book if you like privileged people lecturing you on how to improve your life.