Mark Manson wrote about the subtle art of not giving a fuck. Not once, but twice! Just releasing the book on September 13th. Prior to that was a nice post on his blog which, as an introduction for the book (if you want to get the idea), is a highly recommended read.
And the idea is that well, life happens. And life is fucked up. I don’t know if you’ve already heard that life is a bitch, but then why give it too many fuck. You know it can be costly.
Costly of your quest for happiness, and sanity. I say “your” but I mean “our”.
We certainly want all to be happy, and to be happy, (find joy, be motivated, empower yourself and others) we should practice some kind of positivity. Positive thinking and such. Well, Mark says fuck positivity.
I’ll try to give my views of the concept so not to repeat what Mark says better than anyone. Again I encourage you to read the article on his blog laying out 3 principles which certainly have been for me 3 aha moments.
The first being:
NOT GIVING A FUCK DOES NOT MEAN BEING INDIFFERENT; IT MEANS BEING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING DIFFERENT
This ties so well with overcoming procrastination, which Marks wrote also about (I’ll have another post about that), and achieve goals. Or at least starting doing something.
As I read on my Facebook timeline not so long ago: it really feels great to embrace your messy, imperfect self. I don’t remember the lady who told so, it was from a share by one of my virtual friend.
When you aknowledge you’re not perfect, just like everyone, you are just a random guy or gal doing his or her own things. You know you make mistakes.
You will fail. Failure is inevitable, and it’s also another concept that became a great piece of advice among entrepreneurs: FAIL FAST!
Then adjust, and relaunch. And maybe fail again. Note: get feedback in the process.
So if you’re just wondering what you should do with your business, what content you should be producing for others? First ACCEPT you’re not perfect and your content or solution will NEVER be perfect FOR YOURSELF anyway.
I say that so you don’t prevent yourself from launching. If you keep planning the best features to add to your app, or research every freaking little tips for your next “how to” article just so you’re sure to not miss anything, you will end up doing nothing, overwhelmed.
Not mentioning your competition will take advantage of your absence in the market. So fuck perfectionism too.
Now perfectionism may not be your weakness. But you may certainly have the thought of “what others are going to think about me/my work“? That one is a purpose killer and makes sure you don’t get shit done.
There I have it fuck and shit in the same article, how badass is that?
We all have weaknesses, flaws. Emotional or physical ones. But if you already have heard or read that we mostly don’t achieve our goals because of our self limiting beliefs, then you understand what “not giving a fuck” actually is. You do things anyway.
It brings me to subtlety #2:
TO NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ADVERSITY, YOU MUST FIRST GIVE A FUCK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ADVERSITY
This one is about dedicating your fucks to what’s actually worth the fuck. And that means you should have those fuckworthy things in your life.
You should not worry about things that are insignificant. Stuff that you have NO control over won’t change because you start to cry about it. Example: your past.
And if you need another reason, answer the following question about your future: what’s the worst that can happen? What will happen if you hit the publish button on your new WordPress blog post?
My guess is: the worst would be a hate comment/mail. Or your server is too damn slow to run the publishing process and completely crashes. So then, what would you do about it?
I’m mentioning a blog post writing because it’s a common task in terms of content creation in the internet marketing space. Almost everyone is a blogger, or at least has to write something.
And of course, because this is what happens to me too and to just so many (all?) bloggers and writers or content marketers out there who have to create content to exist.
Now, to validate the point that not giving a fuck doesn’t prevent you to live the life you want and move on, and actually help you get things done, I’ll give you some examples. And you can also start thinking about your experiences involving YOU not giving a fuck and still helped you.
1. Writing blog posts! Well I just mentioned that. But not only I now that the content is certainly not perfect, but I’m not even a native English speaker. So grammatically imperfect? Sure! And it’s of course not the first article written on the topic. But words flowed naturally and I was able to knock out this article pretty quickly.
Hmmm, who would have thought that not giving a fuck feels the same as being productive, just much more fun.
2. Hairs. Do you prevent yourself from going out because your mirror tells you “bad hair day”? Those suckers don’t want to stay in THAT direction you want them despite all the product and water and combing/brushing you put them through. I stopped giving a fuck about my hairs some long time ago.
When they get a little longer it’s really difficult to have them in place. Okay so… fuck it.
Guess what: there are SO MANY people in that same situation!
Few of my friends experience the same and… we laugh about it. And when someone gets to tell me about a messy strand of hair (which is really the worst that can happen) I literally answer that I really don’t give a fuck, I’ve tried too long to help and it’s shit anyway. And most people laugh too.
3. People. Let’s start with yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t give too much fuck about how others see you. Also admit your self perception is biased. In various fields you’re going to see yourself as too much or too less. For others, it may be true as well as wrong. You don’t know what they think. Most of the time you’re just fine.
And then there are others.
There are people you think they’re your friends. But they manage to prove they’re not, by the worst behavior and actions ever. Even when your sole purpose is to help them. Help them achieve THEIR goals. Even when you open your home to them. Offer your time and be the nicest person with them. Even a thank you is too hard.
And that’s just the gentle part, they’re still able to lie about you to others, removing themselves from the equation. They actually lie to themselves.
There are some people who can’t change, at least it’s not your job to change them. But it hurts, badly.
You can ruin your sanity and keep thinking about it for weeks or months, or accept they are who and what they are. And admit it’s a hard bitch life lesson. And by not giving a fuck, you stay true to yourself and can watch the mess their life is.
Sounds harsh, but when you’ve already given too many fucks to them, not much more you can do.
This connects well with subtlety #3:
WE ALL HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF FUCKS TO GIVE; PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE AND WHO YOU GIVE THEM TO
Give a fuck to the right person and the right things, for the right reasons. This doesn’t need more explanation.
Oh yeah and just because I care about you, you better buy the book from my not even disguised Amazon affiliate link: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck.
(If you buy from someone else’s link, the concept will NOT work)