The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck — You are a Badass — Personality isn’t Permanent

These Books Spill The Tea About Life

My reviews and short takeaways on 3 popular “Self-help” books about how to look at life in a better way, get out of bad mindsets & care about what really matters in life.


These Books Will Shake Up Your F*ng Life

This will give you short descriptions of the books The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero & Personality isn’t Permanent by Benjamin Hardy. With my thoughts of the books as well as the 3 key things I learned from each one.

I hope this will inspire you too pick up these books too!

Orange book cover of ‘The subtle are of not giving a fuck’

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

A counterintuitive approach to living a good life

By Mark Manson

I listened to the audiobook version

Author summary of the book:

Give a F*ck about that matters

The book title is a bit misleading. It’s not about NOT giving a F or NOT care about anything. It’s about caring about what actually matters, and not giving time, energy, effort or attention to the things that doesn’t actually matters in life. In todays ever connected world with news, gossip, instant reactions and too much information about things that doesn’t concern us, we give out way too many F*ucks.

What would happen if we just didn’t pay attention to those things? Would the world implode if you didn’t engage in juicy gossip at the office? Would that celebrity call you, concerned that you didn’t leave a comment on their Instagram photo? Does the world change in a positive direction if you watch some more hours of angry news?

No. It’s ok to choose what you give a F*uck about and what you don’t. It’s ok to not give away you time, energy and effort to everything around you. What would happen if we all instead found what matters the most to our lives, our focus and only cared about that instead? We would feel lighter, be happier and have a deeper connection to our lives.
Don’t let other people tell you what you should care about and use your F*ucks for their own agenda.

“We are defined by what we choose to reject. And if we reject nothing we essentially have no identity at all”

― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

My Thoughts

This is such a fun and engaging book! The message might sound simple and like you have already heard it before, but it is really something else when the message hits you deep after reading (or listening) to this book.

I highly recommend the audio version of the book. It’s full of fun stories and the performance is great to listen to. It feels like a life coach is talking directly to you, shaking you awake to focus on positive things in life and not give energy (F*cks) to the things that doesn’t make your life better. What you focus on you get more of.

But… he makes some great points and the stories pulled me in, but I feel that the points he wanted to make could have been explained more effectively and deeper if it was not always wrapped up in a long personal story.
I still recommend you to listen/read it though. The core point he is making is something the world really needs to hear and I think it will lift some of your stress and worries.

“This, in a nutshell, is what “self-improvement” is really about: prioritising better values, choosing better things to give a fuck about. Because when you give better fucks, you get better problems. And when you get better problems, you get a better life.”

― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

3 Key Takeaways

  1. Take full responsibility for you own life.
    It’s not the comfortable thing to do because it means being aware and critical of your own actions. That is hard and painful, so most people blame other things around them instead.
    Here are the actions to fix it: Take a deep look at life, recognise what is happening, stop blaming other people, things or events, take full responsibility for your situation and take action to change it.
  2. Care about what matters.
    When you find what really matters to you, stop caring so much and giving a f*uck about what doesn’t matter. Nowadays we get angry about everything. STOP giving so much time and effort to things that doesn’t concern or effect you, or things that are so small in the grand scheme of things that it’s silly to be upset about it.
  3. “Don’t just sit there, do something! The answers will follow”.
    No person knows exactly how to do everything or what will happen when they do them. We can’t just stare at our problems or goals, in hopes of figuring everything out from a distance. This leads to wasted time and often no action. Why is it taking you years to start that project? Just start now and you will find out how to do it. Take one step at a time and you will learn.


This book is for anyone that feel stuck in life, stressed about everything they “should do” in life and for those that feel lost in the mess of it all.

Yellow book cover of ‘You are a badass’

You are a Badass

How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life

By Jen Sincero

I listened to the audiobook version

How serious are you about not settling?

There are many things we hear about ourselves growing up and trying to navigate life. How we are perceived by others, what other people think our personality and skills are, what we are good at, what we suck at, what we can’t do or reach in life. This book tells you those limitations are all lies.
Those things only become reality if you believe them and you let them be true. You can change your mindset, outlook, goals, work hard on skills and therefore change your future! If you tell yourself that you can “never become that…” that becomes your truth. But if you instead change how you think, dream big, take all the big opportunities you find, take a leap before you are ready and work hard to that goal, that is your new future. You are Badass, you just need to believe it. Don’t settle just because other people(or you) think you can’t do better! If you can dream it, you can be it.

“If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.”

― Jen Sincero, You are a Badass

My Thoughts

Ass kicking, interesting, funny, inspiring & life changing lessons.
Jen Sincero reaches out through this book, grabs you by the shoulders, shaking you screaming “Don’t settle! You are more awesome then you think! Don’t believe your own lies! Live your own damn life!” But she does it in the way that cool friend would do it, raw guidance but with love.

Yes, I loved this book. Great stories, lessons told in a light funny way, and a great reading performance by the author. Depending on where you are in life, I think you will pick up on different things in the book. I’m sure that is the case for me and if I read it again at some point I will probably pick up on something new.

Key Takeaways

  1. The negative stories we tell ourselves are not true!
    “I always, I should, I am not, I never, I can’t, I suck at, I wish, I don’t have, one day, I’m trying to…“
    These is not true! These are lies we tell ourselves that keeps us in the same place in life: Never trying and never changing. They are self-fulfilling prophecy’s that happen because he make them happen. If we change the narrative to instead say we are positive things, we ARE those things and will behave according to those truths. It’s amazing how we can tell our brain to change mindset to be more confident and start doing positive things.
  2. Take steps to live the life you want TODAY.
    When you have a fire under you to come up with the money you need for the life you want, and a deadline to do it, you will find any way possible to make that happen. Sometimes that is the motivation we need to start that company, message those important people or finally start that side project. Yes it sounds crazy but it really works and we don’t have time to only dream forever. Take real action today!
  3. Surround yourself with people you want to become.
    We are really the sum of the people we are around by. If you are mostly around people that don’t have any of the habits or the life you want, they are not helping you. If your environment make it feel like an achievement to get out of bed, you need to look at changing your surroundings. You will put yourself to a higher standard and it will be easier to achieve more when the people around you are inspiring and motivating to you.


People that feel stuck in life and need a kick to their mindset about life. To take action to reach their goals, not just talk about it.

  • Young and anxious persons
  • Entrepreneurs and businesses owners that want to go to the next level
Bright yellow book cover of ‘Personality Isn’t Permanent’

Personality Isn’t Permanent

Break free from self-limiting beliefs and rewrite your story

By Benjamin Hardy, PhD

I listened to the audiobook version

You are not stuck with your history

There are thousands of personality tests online. Some are trying to put us into boxes with colours, letters (Myer Briggs) or even telling us who we are by our choices of cheese! But there is one big problem with all these tests. THEY ARE NOT TRUE!

These tests of trying to figuring out our “true personalities” are ruining our lives. It makes us think that we can’t do certain things because we think we are; “just not good with people” because someone said we are introverted.

But here is the tea on personality: PERSONALITY IS NOT SET IN STONE! You can change! You are allowed to change! You can decide to change, face your fears, go after new goals, learn new things, grow your personality, skills and preferences. You are not the same person you were in middle school, 10 years ago, one year ago or even before/after you had your morning coffee! Environment and context shapes your roles, identity and personality in each moment.

A important part of changing your personality (and therefore changing your future) is to set goals to who you want to become. Having a clear vision of who you want to be is the antidote to having your surroundings mould and shape you to what they want you to be.

“Having a goal, a purpose, helps you transform into a new person. It’s not the goal itself but who you become as a result of pursuing that goal, the new experiences you have in pursuit of that goal can see you birthing a more confident, committed person, for example.”

― Benjamin Hardy, Personality Isn’t Permanent

My Thoughts

Therapeutic and inspiring! This is a refreshing jump into the mindset that we have control of our past and future. We do not have to be pushed around by a current, dictating our future based on our past. We are free to change and grow all our lives. My biggest takeaway from this book is that you can choose how you grow. It’s not set in stone and we do not have to be someone we don’t want to be. If you decide to be different, and take actions to be that, that is now your reality.

Even just listening to the first 1 to 2 hours of this book was life changing and lifted some set ideas I had about myself. Many self-help book are about changing your mindset about yourself in some way. But I think this (for me) is an important piece to get you started to be able to really absorb the learnings from other books and take the actions needed to see real change.

“It is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

― From ‘Harry Potter’ when Harry is choosing Gryffindor over Slytherin with the Sorting Hat.

Key Takeaways

  1. Personality tests are bullshit.
    People can not this easily be put into a box of how they have behaved previously to situations, how they think now or how they will change for the future. If you get the results that you are a nervous and quiet person, that does not have to be true all your life. You are not stuck with that result and it’s not a set personality.
  2. Pull the thorn out.
    Trauma and bad experiences stick with us if we don’t deal with it. It’s like a painful thorn sticking out of our arm that we don’t want to pull out in fear of the pain in doing so. We think we can live life as normal with the thorn still in us. So we adjust out lives with cushions so nothing bad touches it. But in doing so we have altered our lives in such a big way that we are not living life its full potential. Pull the thorn out NOW so you can heal and stop living in fear!
  3. The past, your story, is not set in stone.
    Shift your story by getting more information, a second opinion and then reframe how you view your previous experiences. You can chose how you see the past and with that, how you see yourself. Our memories are easy to change. We misremember things all the time. If we change our feelings about the past, we change our memories of it.

“Prefer being rejected at your new standard than being accepted at your old one.”

― Benjamin Hardy, Personality Isn’t Permanent


  • Parents, Teachers, Leaders.
  • If you’re feeling resistance when envisioning yourself in the future and you think to yourself “I’m not that kind of a person”.

Thank you for reading my Article! Please read my other Book Reviews if you want to get some more leaning gems.



Anna Wikström

Senior UX Game Designer at Hangar 13 (previously CA & DICE). I write about UX in Games and Review Books about Design, Career & Life.