Achieving More by Caring Less: How To Succeed in 2024
Holidays often smack us with a reality check: Why? Because as another year wraps and the buzz of work fades, we face that glaring existential question: WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?
This year I finally said no to stress and anxiety, embraced my time off and stopped sweating the small stuff. In other words, I decided to stop giving so much of a f*ck.
Luckily, somebody already wrote an entire book about mastering this art. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson elaborates on how we can lead better lives by simply worry less over pointless things.
Manson’s philosophy is that if we all follow a few simple rules, we can enjoy a happier, less stressful existence. This book helped me realize the cause of my problems and pointed towards what I need to do to lead a meaningful life.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
- 22 min reading time
- audio version available
Here’s how I learned to not give a f*ck:
How Not To Give A F*ck and Succeed
1. Choose What’s Right For You
Mark Manson’s first step to not giving a f*ck is simple. Life is a struggle, so choose one that aligns with your passions. Define clear goals to focus your efforts and persist through hardship.
Ambitions like happiness and a good job need specificity to drive success; vague ones won’t work. For instance, if becoming a CEO is your goal you need to consider the amount of work and stress that goes into being at the top.
CEOs regularly put in 60-hour workweeks, they have to make tough decisions and they need to be ready to fire people, time and time again. If you aren’t prepared for that kind of lifestyle, don’t struggle for it in the first place. As Manson puts it:
“You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a fuck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get fucked.”
2. Values Make You Happy, Not Hard Work
Suffering can lead to great accomplishments, but it doesn’t always make you happy. Dave Mustaine, for example, was expelled from his band only to form the successful Megadeth.
Yet, despite his achievements, Mustaine could not find happiness because he continually compared himself to his previous band, Metallica, setting an impossible standard for his own sense of success.
Mustaine’s experience underscores the peril of gauging our achievements against those of others, a path that often leads to discontent. His relentless comparisons to Metallica meant he viewed his significant accomplishments with Megadeth as failures, which highlights the importance of having healthier, personal metrics for success.
In contrast, Pete Best, who was ousted from The Beatles before their rise to fame, found happiness by shifting his values—prioritizing a loving family and a contented home life over fame. Best’s decision to realign his values and enjoy music on his own terms showcases the crucial role personal values play in achieving genuine happiness, more so than the traditional markers of success.
3. Letting Go Of Your Ego Leads To Not Giving a F*ck
For many, your job is your identity. If you’re a senior manager at a large company your identity is intertwined with your role.
Suddenly, an opportunity arises for you to reach the very top, but it’s fraught with risks that could strip away everything you hold dear, including your sense of self. Most people shy away from such challenges, adhering to what’s known as Manson’s Law of Avoidance, where the threat to one’s identity results in a defensive retreat.
This aversion to risk can be paralyzing, as illustrated by amateur artists and writers who hoard their works, fearing rejection that could shatter their self-crafted identity of an aspiring great. Manson’s Law of Avoidance makes us our own prisoners, thwarting attempts to move beyond our self-imposed limits.
But there’s a remedy found in Buddhism, which teaches that identity itself is an illusion, and mental constructs should not control our decisions and actions.
To truly live freely and pursue happiness, we must release our grip on identity. Imagine shedding the label of a career-driven individual to embrace a life balanced with family and hobbies.
This liberation from your previous self-image can lead to profound personal fulfillment, as you allow yourself to engage in what genuinely brings you joy, such as investing time in your children or cherishing your passion for crafting model airplanes.
Learn How Not To Give A F*ck In 15 Minutes
To get to grips with the philosophy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck I turned to Blinkist. The app distills the essential ideas from nonfiction books and provides a comprehensive explainer that can be read or listened to in about 15 minutes.
Apart from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, there are 6,500 titles covering 27 categories like personal development, productivity, and psychology. With Blinkist, I learned how stop giving so many f*cks in just 22 minutes, imagine what just you could learn.
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