A Counter-intuitive Approach To Living A Good Life

Don’t we all give a shit about everything?

I mean, we give a shit about our work, we give a shit about the things we want to have, we give a shit about how we look and what we wear, we even give a shit about people giving shit about us. So aren’t we giving way too many shits?

Don’t get me wrong, I think giving a shit about something means that something matters to you. It just becomes a problem when you start giving a shit about everything!

This book by Mark Manson titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, gives us a counter-intuitive approach to living a good, less-f*cks-being-given life.

It introduces the backwards law: not giving a f*ck works in reverse.

“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience, And paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

It simply means that the more we chase feeling good all the time, the less satisfied we become, as chasing something only reinforces the fact that we lack it in the first place. That the more we desperately want to be rich, the more poor and unworthy we feel.

We live in a society where “feeling good” is the metric used to determine if you are living a good life. You have to always “feel good”. Buy this to feel good. Listen to this to make you feel good. Go to this place and you will feel good. Wear this shoes, eat this food to feel good. Attend this seminar so you won’t ever have to feel sorry for yourself ever again.

We need to stop giving a f*ck about feeling good all the damn time.

“The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.”

Shit happens. And it will keep happening. No matter where we go. And that’s okay. The point is not to get away from the shit. The point is to find the shit we enjoy dealing with.

What determines your success isn’t, “What do you want to enjoy?” The relevant question is, “What pain do you want to sustain?”

It’s because pain is actually a necessity. We need to struggle in order for us to survive. It’s no different than what it was a million years ago. Because pain drives growth. And if we are not growing, we are dying.

If you look at the major decisions you’ve made that changed your life, most of it came as a result of a painful experience. Sick of being overweight so you go to the gym. Tired of being cheated on so you end the toxic relationship and got your shit together. You get the picture.

Pain is part of the process. It’s important to feel it.

It’s okay if you’re not where you want to be yet. It’s okay if you haven’t got it all figured out. It’s okay if you don’t know where you are going or what you want to do for the rest of your life. You actually have the upper hand.

“Uncertainty is the root of all progress and growth. As the old adage goes, the man who believes he knows everything learns nothing. We cannot learn anything without first not knowing something. The more we admit we do not know, the more opportunities we gain to learn.”

I say don’t figure it all out. Learn to sustain the pain you’ve chosen. Stop giving a f*ck to anything that doesn’t really matter to you.

So the next time something bothers you, just ask yourself one question: Will this matter five years from now? If yes, then do something about it. If no, then let that shit go.

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