I no longer give a f***.
I picked up yet another book from the library. Let's just say my reading skills are getting a good practice these days. This one is "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck" by Mark Manson. Instead of me recapping all of the points in the book, I've listed a few quotes that stood out to me. I'm realizing that I no longer give a f*** about certain things and give a lot of f*** about other things.
I think at first glance, seeing the title of the book will automatically give you pause. The word "fuck" itself seems so harsh. In the end, it's really about focusing on what you care about. Not in the cute kittens kind of way, but in the kind of way that pulls you out of your comfort zone and begs you to suit up and fight for what you believe in. We may not care about the same thing and we may not care about everything, but for the things that we care about, we should give it our all.
I was not sure what to expect with this book. I had read this article before so the content felt familiar, but reading it a few months later and with a newer perspective, it really made more sense to me.
I can also relate it a bit more to the things that I am doing. My experiments, projects and adventures in minimalism, zero waste, travel and good health may not be what the typical, very average person is doing and you know what, I give a f*** about these things and will continue to do them. These are things that are not easy to do given the constraints or standards of our society.
- Because of minimalism and zero waste, I don't shop and consume like before even though everything tells me to buy the next best thing.
- Because of my need for adventure, I spend a good amount of money and time traveling instead of saving up for a house.
- Because of what I've learned following the zero waste movement, I no longer get nervous when asking for things not be packaged or when I'm offering my own container. (Zero wasters will get this.)
- Because of the lessons from minimalism, I say "No" often enough to save my sanity without guilt.
- Because of some new perspectives, I am focusing on different things and spending my time towards that.
For every Yes!, there is a No! This has been one of the greatest life lessons for me. We can't be everything to everyone so we must choose our path. If we choose the path that makes others happy, we may sacrifice our own happiness. If we choose the path that makes us happy, we may hurt others. The win-win can be hard to achieve, but it's impossible. The key is to change expectations on both sides.
When I decided to start this blog, I knew I would give up something else to do. Everything is a trade-off. If you work long hours, you don't see your kids. If you want the big house in the nice neighborhood, you have to commute a bit farther. If you want to travel often, you can't have so much stuff bogging you down.
This was an enlightening sentence to read. In the book, Mark goes on to say that we affirm that we are rich because we don't have money. We affirm that we are beautiful because we are in fact not beautiful. Rich and beautiful people don't need to affirm these things about them. Just as happy people don't wake up each day and say "I am happy." I guess there's some truth to that. When we do force ourselves to stay positive, we create rose colored blinders and this prevents us from truly accepting that we do need to make changes to our lives.
This is truer now than ever before. I don't normally watch regular television: 1) we don't have cable 2) each time I watch the news, it riles me up. So, I totally agree with this sentiment. Without going into a political rant, if you don't see this happening, then your eyes have not been opened. Focus on what you give a f*** about, not what others tell you you should give a f*** about. The media distracts us from so many of the important facets of society's problems. A tweet here and a tweet there and millions of people react, forgetting that the way to combat what's happening is to do something about it.
I actually really like this definition of self-improvement. The point of self-improvement is growth right. Matt describes that life has a spectrum of problems. The goal is to not hope for a life of without problems (which is impossible), but to hope for a life with good problems. A life without problems is in itself not a life at all. Problems never stop: they must get exchanged or upgraded. Problems exist whether you are rich, poor, famous or not. When you are rich, you worry about losing your money. When you are poor, you worry about getting money.
For me, when I started this blog, I did not know what I was doing. I had no plan. I just knew that I wanted to document my journey and my journey involved minimalism, zero waste, good health and lots of travel. Did I know a lot about blogging? No. Did I know a lot about these topics: No. The only thing I was certain of was that I could learn new things, experiment, implement and decide for myself if it was successful or nor. Overcoming each uncertainty helped me to grow. The problems I faced each day were different from what I would have faced had I been certain of my path.
The thing too with life is that no matter what, you are defined by what you're willing to struggle for as it determines your effort and your success. At some point, when you change what you give a f*** about, you change how your measure yourself and those around you. "If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change your values and how your measure failure or success."
This line summarizes how I came to start this blog and how I came to figure out what I give a f**** about. I was at a crossroads. I maybe was in a mid-life crisis. I just knew that I wanted to do something. Something different than what I was doing before. I didn't know what to do, but I did something. No matter how small, it led me to other things.
My standard of success was just simply doing something. It may not be what society defines as success, but at least I'm happier. I'm not racing against someone or some imaginary idea of success. I decide when to get off and on the wheel. That, in itself, is huge progress for me. To recognize that we all have a choice.