Lessons from 2 Completely Contrasting Books

Here are the 2 Non-fiction books, labeled under the same category – self-help. But, just reading their summaries will show how completely contrasting these books are. 

While Think and Grow Rich teaches you to become happy and self-satisfied, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck points out that happiness is the actual culprit. 

Despite their contrasting nature, the lessons provided in both books are equally valuable.

Before discussing the lessons, let’s summarize these books to learn about them a bit, shall we?

Topics we’ll be discussing:

lessons from books
Lessons from books

Summary of Think and Grow Rich

– Napoleon Hill

To write this book, Napoleon Hill interviewed more than 500 successful people to discover the formula for success. The interview included Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Theodore Roosevelt. Hill believed that there had to be a common method that every person goes through to become successful.

Despite what the name suggests, it would be wrong to think of Think and Grow Rich as the book for solely achieving financial richness. The book focuses on our spiritual side as well. Hill provides the secrets to our personal development by discussing the importance of faith, imagination, and subconscious mind. 

With a burning desire and faith to back it up, we can achieve success. There are a countless number of real examples to back up this statement.

The book primarily focuses on using auto-suggestions to insert a deep belief in ourselves. By telling ourselves repeatedly, it is possible for us to form these beliefs in our subconscious mind.  

The concept of the mastermind group also originated from this book. As per Wikipedia, a mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring group used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members. When we work in the mastermind group as suggested by Hill, we are able to generate new ideas and solve our problems creatively.

Summary of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck 

– Mark Manson

the subtle art of not giving a fuck

Isn’t it every blogger’s dream to become the best selling author? Well, Mark Manson showed us the way. 

In the book’s cover, Mark has described the book as a “counterintuitive” approach to living a good life. I knew that the book was going to be different by only going through the cover page, and I’m glad it turned out to be that way.

The desire for a more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience. This has especially been challenging for the millennials in their personal development.

A person who is actually happy doesn’t have to stand in the front of the mirror saying he’s happy. Only when you know that you aren’t happy do you have to talk to yourself in the mirror. It is no wonder we enjoy dreaming of becoming a successful person. However, we don’t realize the importance of a process that involves making it come true. Our want is a reward but not a struggle. Only accepting obstacles on the way is the reason we succeed.

As we have a limited life, Mark urges us to not give a f*ck about everything that happens in our life. We should only give a f*ck to those things that are in fact important for us. 

Personal experience with Think and Grow Rich

I have read Think and Grow Rich 3 times so far. The first time I read it, I left it in chapter 3. I just didn’t find it interesting. Later, after reading a few wonderful reviews about the book, I forced myself into the book. After getting through the first couple of chapters, I found the book intriguing. The chapters where Hill presented how auto-suggestions and imagination can change our lives were fascinating. I have been applying some of the book’s principles for a long time now, and it has transformed my thinking process. 

I was very satisfied giving it a second chance. Only recently, I couldn’t help myself to read it for the 3rd time. 

Get this best selling book! (Currently available in India only)Think and Grow Rich

Personal experience with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

I am almost finished reading this book now. I usually take a few pages of notes from every book I read. With this book, I have already compiled more than 7 pages of lessons!

I have never come across ideas anything like these as mentioned in the book. This book may have been categorized as self-help, but this really is an anti-self-help book. It has contradicted most of the nonfiction books I have read so far. 

Mark is so bold and honest about everything he mentioned in the book. Everyone will die someday, including our family and friends. Death never says you are a child or young. Mark writes that death is inevitable, but he wants to remind us of the fundamental truth about life. 

Get this best selling book! (Currently available in India only)The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Contrasting Lessons between These Books

1. Different takes on Affirmations

Think and Grow Rich emphasizes the positive effects of affirmations. Hill claimed that affirmations help you to focus on your goals, and increase your wealth as well. 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck mentions that we confine ourselves to affirmation to emphasize what we don’t have. You don’t have to say that you’re successful in front of the mirror if you were successful in the first place. 

2. The principle of Certainty

As per Hill, if you apply all the book’s principles, you are certain to achieve greatness in your life. 

Mark has dedicated a whole chapter to how life is uncertain. He suggests us to doubt ourselves and always question how uncertain this world is. He urges us to acknowledge our own ignorance as well.

3. You are unique, aren’t you?

Hill indicates that we all are unique in our own ways. We were bound to do something extraordinary in our lives. We can earn a lot of money and become successful with our uniqueness. 

“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”

Napoleon Hill

“We are all, for the most part, pretty average people. But it’s the extreme that gets all of the publicity. We kind of know this already, but we rarely think and talk about it, and we certainly never discuss why this could be a problem.”

Mark Manson

The above quote is taken from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. We aren’t special. Most of us are average. There’s nothing unique about you, or your work.

4. To be Happy or not?

Hill encourages us to be happy. He has described the different happiness and sadness emotions (7 each). He claims that happy and sad emotions cannot be in our minds at the same time. So we should form the habit of using our positive emotions as a way to eliminate our negative ones.

Mark writes that the process of finding happiness is the problem. We are so trying to chase happiness that we don’t realize how sad our life has been in doing so. Whatever makes us happy today won’t make us happy the following day. And despite all our attempts to be happy, we end up feeling like how we began – unfulfilled. 

“Sadly, to deny one’s negative emotions is to deny many of the feedback mechanisms that help a person solve problems.”

Mark Manson


Despite the vast differences between these books, both Napoleon Hill and Mark Manson were right in their own terms. You will know yourself better when you read these books. I have enjoyed reading them, specifically because of their contrasting nature. 

There are plenty of lessons to take away from both books. If you have read any one of these books, then I would encourage you to go through the 2nd book as well. If you have read none, then you are missing out on a lot of important contrasting lessons on life. Finally, if you have read both, then you know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Get this best selling book! (Currently available in India only)Think and Grow Rich

Get this best selling book! (Currently available in India only)The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

4 thoughts on “Lessons from 2 Completely Contrasting Books

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is my favorite book. I didn’t know it will contrast some other books. I will read Think and Grow Rich soon. Thanks for sharing these 2 books review.


    1. I am glad to hear that you are going to read Think and Grow Rich soon. Hopefully, you would be able to find how significant both of the books are though it contrast each other. Thank you Robert. 🙂


  2. Quite an interesting article. It sounds as though it is mainly about “perspective,” do I have that right? Most of us are “average” as Mark says. However, maintaining that kind of thinking will keep you average. I have not read Mark’s book but does he imply he is average?
    Also, I would not tend to agree with him about his happiness premise (I’ve written several articles on that subject).
    We each have our own life/path to live/lead/find and the only self-help book perfect for our own lives is the one we write about ourselves.
    Very fascinating!


    1. Thank you John for leaving your words. Yes, it also depends upon one’s perception. According to Mark, we have to accept that we are average. Only then we can move forward. Success comes mostly after failure. So he suggests to embrace it, but not to make failure disappear.
      You are absolutely right. The book we right for ourselves become the source of motivation.
      Once again,Thank you very much! 🙂


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