If you’re anything like me, then you can’t half-ass or somewhat commit to anything. You’re either ALL in or ALL out - there’s no in between. This sort of mindset has worked wonders for me in the past, as I’m always deemed the ‘most dedicated’ to anything and everything I choose to be a part of. Seriously, I’ve got trophies to prove it. Yet, this mindset has also come back to bite me in the ass at times…because I spread myself waaaaay too thin trying to do it all, end up having weekly panic attacks about it, and inevitably have to bail on someone or something to keep my sanity intact. What can I say? I’m a people pleaser through and through. It’s one of my best and worst traits, and I know I’m not the only one.
I recently finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, and one of the key themes he focuses on is the idea of being extremely selective of the fucks we choose to give/how we spend our time and energy. This is how he sums it up:
“…the problem is that giving too many fucks is bad for your mental health. It causes you to become overly attached to the superficial and fake, to dedicate your life to chasing a mirage of happiness and satisfaction. The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck only about what is true and immediate and important.”
This whole thought process really stuck a chord with me. I stared at the words on the page at first to soak it all in, and then my mind automatically went into defense mode as I thought: Who does this guy think he is?! Just because I care about a lot of things doesn't mean I’m attached to the superficial and fake, nor does it mean I'm chasing some mirage of happiness. Screw you, Mark Manson. You don’t know me.
And then I thought back to all of those times I said yes without hesitation only to receive the approval of others or make myself feel better. And I thought about the fact that I did it without thinking twice, because I believed I should take any and every opportunity thrown my way for fear of missing out. I was, in fact, chasing each opportunity because I believed one of them would ultimately bring me happiness. Damn you, Mark Manson. I guess you do know me.
What I’ve come to realize, both over the years and through reading this book, is that happiness is not an end goal. It’s not going to magically fall into your lap because you achieved x, y, or z. Rather…happiness is an activity that we choose to participate in, and it comes from working hard at something that we believe in and give a shit about. Happiness doesn’t mean that you no longer have any problems…it means that you’ve found problems that you enjoy having and solving. Basically, the things that make us the happiest are the things we are willing to suffer for and work our asses off for. When we love the PROCESS more than the REWARD we may or may not receive, we should do that shit every day. Because THAT, my friends, is happiness.
Now, when I am faced with choosing to give a shit or commit to something, I ask myself the following five questions. If the answer to 3 out of those 5 questions is no, I walk away. If the answer to 3 out of those 5 questions is yes, I dive on in.
Will this bring you joy?
Will this make you money?
Will this leave you feeling fulfilled?
Will this serve a purpose in your life?
Will this get you closer to where you want to be?
I’m not saying this tactic will work for everybody, but it has done wonders for me in my life. And, if you are currently living your life the way I used to and running yourself ragged…it might be worth it to give it a try and cut all of the excess bullshit from your life to leave space for all of the wonderful things trying to sneak their way in.
Mark Manson has so many great insights throughout this book, and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone seeking inspiration or who needs the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders.
I created this blog to help inspire people to become the most authentic and empowered versions of themselves - a space where personal experiences, tips, and tidbits guide others to live strong, grounded, and powerful lives.