I paid my kids $100 to read “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”

Have you ever resorted to paying your kids to get them to do something?

There are a litany of personal development/self-help books.

I read to my kids regularly from birth until well after I had taught each of them to read. I never considered paying my kids to read.

Until . . .

I read Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art. . . “

I really wanted my boys to grasp Manson’s “take” on life and happiness.

Here’s why:

  • It’s filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor . . . my boys, at ages 16, 18, and 20, were a prime audience.
  • It’s brutally honest. The book is full of real talk . . . great for short attention spans.
  • It’s the antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset which infected the generation my kids grew up in. It trashes the concept of gold medals for showing up.
  • I thought that reading this book at a young age might trigger a few thought provoking moments for my boys, and potentially save them from some stupid mistakes.

A few points from the book:

  • We only have so many F*cks to give. Choose wisely.
  • Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent, it means being comfortable with being different.
  • Avoiding problems does not equal happiness. And temporary pleasures don’t solve problems.
  • Happiness stems from problem-solving. Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress. Life is an endless series of problems.
  • Improving your life hinges not on your ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Everything sucks some of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate?
  • Failure is the way forward. Get comfortable with being wrong. People who base their self-worth on being right all the time prevent themselves from learning from their mistakes.

For my full review of the book, connect with me on Goodreads.

My boys had to answer a list of questions and write a one-page report on what they learned from the book. After a review and a one on one discussion, I handed each of my boys a $100 bill.


Have you read this book? Would you buy it for your kids? Better yet, would you pay them to read it?